In the very early 1900s, Henslowe Fisk lives beholden to his father, the difficult Horatio Fisk. The Fisk family has suffered the loss of the youngest son, Harrington killed in the Second Anglo-Boer War, shortly followed by the death of his wife. Fisk Senior is looked after by his house keeper Mrs Brimley who has lost her husband. Fisk Junior reluctlantly visits his father every Thursday.
One day, trying to entertain his father, Fisk Junior brings him to a lecture by a visiting swami about the transmigration of souls that is attended by the new local clergyman, Dean Spanley.
Later the same day he sees the Dean at his father’s club. A chance third meeting leads to an introduction. Fisk Junior is intrigued by the Dean’s oddly open-minded views on reincarnation and getting beyond the appearance of an affable, rather bland clergyman by his weakness for certain peculiar sensations produced by Hungarian Imperial Tokay wine, which leads him into a dreamlike state. Working with his clever friend Wrather, an Australian “conveyancer”, Fisk secures a large batch of Tokay and the two entertain the Dean, who acts ever more strangely, starting to reveal memories of his previous life – as a Welsh Spaniel. These memories are acute and convincing, including rich feelings around food and communication with other canines, a deep distaste for cats and pigs and the joy of serving his master. As the story unfolds, Fisk Junior comes to understand his father’s background better and the two draw closer. —Wikipedia