"It had begun with the dog, a black retriever. The gypsy who sold it to us took advantage of our ignorance, saying that it was a golden retriever, and that it would turn gold later. All golden retriever puppies were black at first. He was obviously expecting us to fall in love with the dog, so that by the time we found out we'd been sold a pup, we wouldn't be wanting a refund. He was right, that was exactly what happened, only we got revenge by giving him a rotten rooster and telling him it was a pheasant, well hung."
"He was altogether the natural retrieving dog... The trouble was that Archie wouldn't stop retrieving, and in his spare time he filled the house with junk."
"When we couldn't take it anymore, Archie just went out and fetched things that hadn't even been thrown. That's how my mother found her gardening gloves again, and that's how one evening we were presented with a frog, a log, a baby rabbit and a marrow that needed picking. One day Archie shattered the rake by trying to charge through the front door with the handle horizontal in his mouth. The only thing that Archie didn't retrieve was the cat, because Sooty wouldn't cooperate, and fluffed herself up into a chimney brush if ever he tried."
"When Archie was about two years old he came in with a blackbird, but we paid no attention. The bird was dead, and we thought that he must have found it somewhere. But then the next day he came in with a song thrush and a starling, and we became suspicious."
Fra Notwithstanding av Louis de Bernières.