The Enid Blyton Society
The Dog Who Would Go Digging
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Book Details...

First edition: 1966
Publisher: Brockhampton Press
Illustrator: Jacques Fromont
Category: John and Mary
Genre: Family
Type: Short Story Books

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Review by Terry Gustafson

Pete the dog belongs to John and Mary who happen to be two of the thousand and one children that grace Enid Blyton books. Everyone in the family likes Pete but later on something happens that makes him fall out of favour with Daddy when he's caught digging up his precious garden. This is a fairly natural action for pooches and in Pete's case he likes burying bones so they can be dug up when a peckish feeling descends upon him. Unfortunately his memory is not all that good so he sometimes has to root out various sections of the garden before locating his booty, which means that Daddy's carefully planted pansies, forget-me-nots, and roses tend to suffer. This excavating gets to such a stage that Daddy's had enough of it and his decision is that Pete will have to go! The milkman needs a dog so he can take him.

What a terrible thought. Their pet, a member of the family, is to be given away. Mary sobs and pleads with her father but to no avail - Pete will vanish if he does any more damage at all, and that's the last word. As can be imagined, John and Mary do their very best to monitor their dog and see that he behaves as he should but unfortunately, the day arrives when Pete digs yet another enormous hole in the garden, and his fate is sealed.

"Give him to the milkman on Monday," Mr. 'Whoever-He-Is' tells John and Mary's mother.

There's a picture of two miserable children sitting on a tree trunk, dwelling on their misfortune and realising that it's no use arguing with their papa because when he speaks as he spoke, he really means what he says.

The day before their dog is due to go, Daddy takes Mummy and the children to view some fields of buttercups. Pete is left behind and there he is all by himself with the garden beckoning. Being who he is, the dog doesn't give a thought about what might be happening tomorrow; he simply rushes to the flower bed and commences digging under a lilac bush. He's looking for a bone that was buried two days ago and sure enough, something is found. It's big. Like seeds and plants do when they're buried, do bones grow as well because this one's so bulky he can't seem to get it out.

Thus a scene is set for the family's return home.

What follows is an episode of history that is recalled and recounted. If you visit John and Mary 'Of No Fixed Surname,' you'll find Pete the dog still residing at the family home and, strangely, he's never dug holes in the garden again.

How curious.
Pete is black and white. Possibly a spaniel.

Daddy wears glasses and the question arises as to how many other Enid Blyton characters have them and an examination of the books might be enlightening. There's Uncle Quentin of course, probably the easiest to remember although it might simply be the absent-minded-near-sighted-scientist-with-glasses image projected upon him, because he doesn't appear to wear them much at all; he does in 'Demon's Rocks.' There are others - at least one Mam'zelle, Mr. Lenoir, and maybe a schoolgirl or two. Leaving aside the TV adventure series that had Jack with specs, perhaps one needs to concentrate on a few older members of the throng such as Mr. Twiddle.

There's a little mouse peering out at Pete when the dog is scrabbling for his bone.

Whether or not Pete survived the other 'John & Mary' books is anyone's guess, but the family definitely has a coal-black cat.

Stop Press Announcement: Due to recently discovered evidence, the chances are that Daddy, Mummy, John and Mary have the surname of 'Paget.'