The faithful dog - why should I strive
To speak his merits, while they live
In every breast, and man's best friend
Does often at his heels attend.
The New-York Literary Journal, Volume 4, 1821
This piece of doggerel (well pardon me) is, as far as I can find, the first reference to "man's best friend" in print. The local rag has it that the East Riding, and Hull in particular, has one of the highest rates of animal cruelty in the country, but then it was quoting the RSPCA, an organisation that is, perhaps, more of a money raising engine than an animal welfare organisation. This old hound was left to wait its master return from the supermarket and, if you'll allow a little anthropomorphic fancy on this Saturday morning, appears to be regretting its choice of 'friend'.
There will, I suppose, never be a better opportunity to post this little song by Alex Glasgow.
The weekend in black and white is waiting here.