The possession of and by a dog by a French intellectual unleashes a flow of experience particular to the relationship of pet and mistress. Douchka was a beautiful, though imperfectly bred (she was the daughter of siblings) Alsation female (the author could not bring herself to call her a bitch), given, between her moments of devotion, to wild barking in cars and other digressions of which the author makes much. She was taken on as a puppy in a triste moment, and as the third member of the menage bound mother and son more closely. The effect of Douchka on the household, her own appropriation of it, the attention to her daily round are all examined, as are, soul-searchingly, the nature of the relation between mistress and dog, the attempt to understand where words fail, the responsibility of ownership. The unique relationship gives way to the unique loss, and the mourning for the dog whose place cannot be filled by another. An odd mixture of commitment and guilt pervades... for those who wish to consider this kind of attachment in its most serious terms.