>  Might there be a social dimension here as well? The aristocracy and the
>  serfs probably had rather different views on dogs. 
> Serfs needed dogs to herd livestock, and they weren't completely excluded from
> the hunting process anyway (someone had to look after the hounds and do the
> beating and all the chores). Surely the ambivalence in the views about dogs (as
> also pigs) is to do with the takeover of biblical hostility to pigs and dogs
> (unclean in a hot climate) into a cooler climate where pigs and dogs can be
> clean and useful?

 You may well be right, although I'm not sure that pigs are that 'unclean' in a
 hot country. (Those Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs don't come from a cold climate,
 after all.)

 But your response does raise the question of why cats got such a devilish
 reputation? I'd have thought that cats are equally useful wherever mice and rats 
 are a nuisance.

 Alasdair (just about keeping to a religious theme) Mackintosh