Thursday, 7 August 2014

Random Thoughts and Canines.

It’s odd isn’t it, how a random thought can jump into your head without any apparent provocation, divorced from any preamble provided by the form of reality in which you’re currently operating. Today, mine was:

‘Who on earth would own up to having a Dandy Dinmont Terrier?’

It isn’t the most prepossessing of names for a breed of dog, is it? It doesn’t have the power of a Rottweiler, the nobility of a German Shepherd, the elegance of an Afghan, the cuteness of a Corgi, or the workmanlike qualities associated with a Whippet, a Collie or a Jack Russell. It’s foppish and pretentious. It’s redolent of limp-wristed men dripping handkerchiefs. You can smell the wig powder, and see the free arm supported on the hip like the handle of a teapot.

Which is a shame really, because I’m sure the dear Dandies are perfectly nice, characterful little dogs. And the epithet ‘terrier’ suggests they must have done an honest day’s work at some point in an earlier incarnation. It’s just a pity about the name.

The fact is, though, I’ve no idea where the thought came from. It happened long before I encountered the Sprocker mentioned in an earlier post, and even before I saw the thin little squint-eyed dog being held on a lead by a thin little squint-eyed man.

My own preference in dogs would be the Border Collie and the Beagle. I wonder what that says about how I appear to other people.

And I went beagling once, you know, when I was a cadet at Dartmouth. I expressed my objections to my Commanding Officer most strongly, but was told I had no choice. All I remember about it was that the hare escaped simply by jumping over the dogs and running away in the opposite direction. Got to love those cute but clueless beagles, haven’t you? And so I do.

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