I love George MacDonald....
"Now the shepherd, though he is wise, is not quite clever enough for all that is wanted of him up in those strange, terrible hills; and he needs another to help him. Now, who do you think helps the shepherd? Ah! you know, Maggy; but you mustn't tell. I will tell. It is a curious creature with four legs—the shepherd has only two, you know;--and he is covered all over with three different colors mixed—black, and brown, and white; and he has a long nose and a longer tongue, which he knows how to hold. This tongue is a great comfort to him sometimes to hang out of his mouth as far as ever it will hang. And he has a still longer tail, which is a greater comfort to him yet. I don’t know what ever he would do without his tail; for, when his master speaks kindly to him, he is so full of delight, that I think he would die if he hadn't his tail to wag. He lets his gladness off be wagging his tail, so that it shan't burst his dear, honest, good dog-heart. Ah! there, I've told you. He’s a dog, you see; and the very wisest and cleverest of all dogs. He could be taught anything. Only, he is such a gentlemen, though dressed very plainly, as a great many gentlemen are, that it would be a shame to teach him some of the things they teach common-place rich dogs."
[A Scot's Christmas Story]
Now go and read the whole story!