Wednesday, February 17, 2016

May We Have the Herding Group in the Ring, Please?

Waiting for the pool to warm up.  Cleaning the kitchen after an evening and morning of cooking and baking.  Folding towels while Perfect Patty folds the bike shorts (a talent which escapes me).  One's mind tends to wander while performing mindless tasks.  Supreme Court nominees, nail polish colors, flowers for the containers outside...... there was nothing of great import running through my brain until TBG changed the channel and there it was:  The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Little Cuter loved watching this.  We'd record it and spend hours reviewing the coats and the tails and the gaits.  Her green, hard cover Ultimate Dog Book was by her side; confirming the announcer's descriptions.  We had allergy restrictions so dander was always an issue, but that didn't stop us from admiring the collies and the St. Bernards and the other fluffy four footed creatures prancing on the green carpet.

Murphy, the world's stupidest dog, usually curled up on the couch next to us. He was sweet and loving but definitely not show dog material.  There wasn't very much going on behind his eyes, not much beyond sit-and-stay and Murphy-there's-cheese-on-the-floor.  G'ma tried to teach him to fetch, and after 45 minutes of laughing and coaxing and guffawing and tantalizing she threw up her hands and agreed : This is a dumb dog.

We loved him then and we love him in memory. That seems to be the dominant emotion at Westminster, too.  Everyone loves the dogs and the handlers and the judges.  There's no snarkiness, beyond reminding humans that terriers have minds of their own, and don't take kindly to intrusions.  "They allow you the illusion of assuming that THEY are living with YOU, when it's obviously the opposite."

There are Bergamasco, sheep herding dogs, who live in Brooklyn and poodles who live on hobby farms.  There are dogs created for specific jobs - Bouvier de Flandres as a milk truck dog - and dogs whose sole purpose in life seems to be to snuggle.  There are furry dogs who don't shed but need lots of grooming, and short haired dogs who freeze in Minnesota.

There are biblical dogs, like the Canaan dog, who were wild and then domesticated.  There's nothing extra on that breed; it's been fine tuned over the millenia.  That's not the only ancient dog showcased at Westminster.  The are records of Cardigan Welsh Corgis as far back as 1200 BC.

I want them all. Even the ones who shed, the ones who need lots of exercise, the ones who are determined to train me as I try to train them.  I'm not sure that I'd feel the same if they actually arrived om my doorstep, but it's shows like these that make me rethink my decision to pare down my responsibilities.  It would be nice, I tell TBG, to have four feet and a wagging tail to greet us as we came through the door.

He reminds me that we have a dog - our granddog, Thomas Hawkeye, the multi-ethnic rescue hound SIR and Little Cuter keep around for Grandpu to take on walks.  "When we miss him, we can visit him.  When we're done, we can leave."

That's our plan for now, anyhow.  After all, he's the perfect beast.
Cautious Optimism


  1. I think Thomas the Wonder Dog is sooooo cute. You can tell he loves FlapJilly. I love dogs, but I don't have the patience to take care of a dog. One of our cats thought she was human; so that was the next best thing to having a dog. She would follow me around everywhere. Loved french fries and thought she was way better than our other cats. I miss her so much.

    I've never watched the Westminster Dog Show, but I can imagine that it's a lot of fun (at least I think it would be fun). Probably not a good idea to watch in our house though. My daughter will go on her I want a dog polling again and get her brother and sister to join in on the begging. That is NOT fun. She even put up a poll on her bedroom door with her siblings "voting" for a dog. She researched too what kind she wanted. All of my friends who have gotten dogs end up taking care of the dog.

    We can get our dog fix from our neighbors.

    Happy Wednesday!

    Megan xxx

    1. Yes,Little Cuter got "her" dog, but I cleaned up the accidents inside, shlepped to the vet (my allergies kicking in BIG TIME), and did the worrying. TBG did the death watch, tho.....

      Little Cuter lobbied as hard as anyone could for a dog; the promise of one is what allowed her to leave Chicago for Marin at age 7.

      Thomas tolerates his non-furry sister, protects her, guards her, but is the victim of her love, too. "GENTLE" is the new password for her touches.

  2. I couldn't agree more. I love to watch the beautiful, active, intelligent creatures on Westminster and miss the one we had very much, but we won't be assuming that huge and expensive responsibility anytime soon. Like Megan, I can get my fix from my neighbors' cuddly tail-wagger when I so desire. Here's to canine companions!

    1. Expensive is right - out Visa bill year end analysis showed us that, after food, Murphy was the next largest outlay of funds!

      JannyLou and Amster share their pooches with me, so I get a 4 footed hug whenever I need one.... without the mess and bother.


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