Why I love: A shaggy-dog story

Orla Brady, actor
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The Independent Online

I love this dog I saw once at Borough Market in south-east London. When I saw him I was late for rehearsal, and I ran past him, but then I had to turn back and say hello.

He was a Parson Jack Russell, sitting there with his justifiably proud owners. Usually smaller dogs are arm-candy but he had a punky attitude, a swagger. In a canine production of Oliver! he'd be the Artful Dodger.

He reminded me of my own lovely mongrel Phineas Finn – named after the Trollope novel – who is huge, shaggy-haired and untrainable, like a cartoon character. When we got him from the pound they said he was fully grown at 45lb; now he's 85lb. He is the Fagin of the dog world. He lives at home with my husband in LA; sadly, though, he can't seem to use the telephone.

Triptych, by Edna O'Brien and starring Orla Brady, is at the Southwark Playhouse, London SE1 (tel: 0844 847 1656), until 10 May

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