I’ve always loved the phrase a “dog-eared page”.

dog-eared page

The OED defines it as “ having worn or battered corners” but we almost always use it to describe turning down the corner of a book page.

My own dog, Baffi, has the same ears, gently folded over like a corner of a page (or as a stranger remarked in the Metro one day, she has ears like artichoke leaves).



Baffi was a young dog when we lived in Paris. If the mail came when I wasn’t at home, it would be pushed under my front door, to be greeted by my bored little dog who, if it had some bulk, would nibble at its corners.

One such time, I opened the nibbled package and, to my delight, found that Baffi had gone through the packaging and made it to the book itself!

Robbe-Grillet’s Les Gommes

Of course, being 12 years old now, Baffi has matured into a non-book eating dog (she now conserves her energy for merciless killings of chipmunks in the garden), but whenever I look at the chewed corners, I think of how Baffi lead me back to the original “battered” meaning of “dog-eared pages”….

18 thoughts on “dog-eared

  1. Baffeeeeeeee! Clearly a dog eager for knowledge! … Imagining you and Baffee venturing in the metro.. what a sweet pic.

  2. I love the idea of artichoke leaves for dog ears, she is adorable. I think there should be a word like ‘dog eared’ for when cats claw at carpet giving it that fluffy appearance.

    • Thanks! I used to see Border Terriers all of the time when I lived in London but don’t see them often now that I live in America so am excited whenever I get a chance to talk about them. They really are fantastic dogs 🙂

  3. Wonderful. Your dog is adorable. My schnauzer has one ear straight up and one that flops over. One of the ways I guess how she’s feeling is by her ear positions. Both straight up, excited. One up and the other down, curious. Both down, submissive. Both pointed back, “I don’t want to!” I’m sure most dogs do this, but it supports your post on the importance of “dog ears!”

    • That is so cute! My dog’s ears are always in the same position (or flop up unintentionally) so don’t reflect her moods (unlike her eyes which are very expressive and tell me exactly what she wants). I love that your dog’s ears are so expressive! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  4. Pingback: Barking Interrupted | reading interrupted.

  5. Hahah! Love those dog ears (on books and on Baffi)! Some of my books look exactly like that. It really adds to the reading experience when the pages crackle because of dried dog saliva. Baffi looks like she would be perfect to curl up with while reading. That’s great that she enjoys a good book as much as you do!

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