I overheard a deeply wounding conversation the other day.
The Boss received a dog breed-selector tool from the Orvis company and seemed to think it would be funny to try it out on the family.
You wouldn’t believe their eagerness to try it. Shook me to the core, it did. Here they were, telling each other what their “perfect” dog was -when they’ve got me.
I mean, as if there could ever be a better choice of dog than me.
Think about it: I’m pretty well perfect. I’m an athlete. I can swim all day. I am master of the “Big Entry” off a high river bank. The cod shudder when I land belly-first in the river. I can run down a hare – a little one anyway – and fetch a duck. I can tear a brown snake in two and suck a chicken leg in without it touching the sides.
And I can talk. I talk and sing all the time. The humans don’t necessarily understand what I’m saying but that’s not my fault.
And I am probably a genius, like The Donald.
Instead of sticking with something tried, true, tested and brilliant, they go off looking for something better, as humans often seem to do. When a dog is on a good thing, he sticks to it.
So the Missus tries this thing out and presto! She comes up with a Nova Scotia Duck-tolling Dog, for goodness sakes. These things are in-bred, shed hair all the time and look like sissies.
Then the young missus has a go and comes up with a Flatcoat Retriever, those hyper-active hounds that stick a wet nose in your armpit most of the time.
And they get terrible burrs and knots caught up in that long black hair.
Well, you would have thought The Boss would decline to try it, wouldn’t you? What is there after perfection? But no, he does it right in front of me.
“Guess what, General?” he says, with a smirk on his face. “The perfect dog for me….is a Rhodesian Ridgeback!”
I wasn’t going to show my feelings - so I yawned. That’s what dogs do as a kind-of “up yours” gesture when they get yelled at or criticised – or caught out for doing something they maybe shouldn’t.
Those Ridgebacks are lazy devils. The Boss wouldn't last five minutes with one of them and get impatient. And they look a bit skinny and under-done. Fancy him even bothering to mention it.
So I’m in the market for a tool that helps me find the perfect dog owner – and when I find one, I’m off. In the meantime, if you want to try one of these tools, have a go: