"Not long ago, there lived in London a young married couple of Dalmatian dogs named Pongo and Missis Pongo. (Missis had added Pongo’s name to her own on their marriage, but was still called Missis by most people.) They were lucky enough to own a married couple of humans called Mr and Mrs Dearly, who were gently, obedient and unusually intelligent – almost canine at times. They understood quite a number of barks: the bark for “Out, please!”, “In, please!”, “Hurry up with my dinner!” and “What about a walk?” And even when they could not understand, they could often guess – if looked at soulfully or scratched by an eager paw. Like many other much-loved humans, they believed that they owned their dogs, instead of realising their dogs owned them. Pongo and Missis found this touching and amusing and let their pets think it was true."