It is impossible to go through the albums of William Fulton Jackson without seeing images of his beloved pet, Snark the dog. More than one Snark features in the albums, Snark III and Snark IV, presumably Jackson kept the same name for all his dogs and simply gave them a new number.
Snark is very much part of the family, he is pictured both at the family home in Edinburgh and out and about when they are travelling around Scotland. Indeed even the fact that he is photographed shows that he was important to Jackson, as photography was a great deal more complicated and expensive than it is today. Whilst Snark is part of the more staged photographs, he also stars in some more candid shots where he is playing or sitting on someone’s lap as a puppy.
The modern love of animals is seen as a relatively new phenomenon; when Paul O’Grady spent thousands on vets bills for his dog many questioned whether such a sum would have been spent in the past. The idea of a pet, where an animal has worth for greater than that of its physical abilities, is also seen as something that only recently gained popularity. The images of Snark show that perhaps these things aren’t quite as new as we believe. Even a century ago, dog was man’s best friend.
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