Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Of Dogs (with a nod to Bacon)

A very large dog
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
I’ve been thinking about … dogs.

We live in a very odd society. Over the last few weeks – to say nothing of the past 60 years (aagh) – I’ve heard perfectly ordinary, respectable, otherwise kindly people say that they can’t stand young babies (“I like them when they can talk back”) or adolescents (“I’m frightened of teenagers”/”I can’t talk to them”/”they were only nice till they were ten; now they’re awful”). No-one bats an eyelid at such remarks. And the converse is true also – I find that when I admit to having enjoyed my time in the classroom, and that I especially liked teaching adolescent boys, people think I’m a freak.

So it’s ok not to like kids. But try saying in polite company that you don’t like dogs. That’s quite another matter. Especially if you aren’t necessarily afraid of them (not the wee ones anyway). If it’s merely a matter of repugnance then you’re a pariah. Apparently like-minded people, people with whom you have a good relationship, suddenly shut up, as if you’d confessed to necrophilia. It’s very odd indeed.

Imagine this scenario: your best pal takes up with a man who, for starters, always wears a hairy coat. He never takes it off, regardless of the weather. He is, therefore, smelly. He bathes only rarely, but likes to wallow in muddy ditches. Smells again. He never, ever, cleans his teeth. (You’re getting it). He has no awareness of other people’s personal space, which he invades with joyful abandon. He comes into your house, if you let him, and pokes his nose into everything. He sticks that same nose into malodorous messes (supply your own) and then into your face. He scratches his privates noisily and with abandon. He will never grow out of any of these traits, and he will never make up for them with witty conversation.

If that scenario did indeed apply to your pal’s latest (human) squeeze, you could deplore him with impunity to the rest of the sisterhood. But see when it’s a dog?

Very, very odd.


  1. Anonymous7:49 PM

    I think you've just described the perfect man.

  2. Anonymous9:21 PM

    tut tut, Christine. Remember:

    He prayeth best, who loveth best
    All things both great and small;
    For the dear God who loveth us,
    He made and loveth all.

  3. A plague on both your houses! ;-)

  4. Oh - and welcome back, Jimmy: I've missed you!

  5. There is nothing worse than being jumped on by a hairy monster only to be told "oh he would'nt hurt a fly. He's just being friendly" It does not help when you are left covered in mud with your new jumper/tights etc. all snagged! Cats, on the other hand, are wonderful!

  6. There are two types of people in the world: those who like dogs and idiots. :-)

    As a nation, we do have some weird attitudes towards animals in general. For example, my wife the English teacher was at a First Aid course at school recently. One of her fellow teachers had been a biker in his youth and described how a dog ran out in front of his bike one day. He tried to avoid hitting it but clipped it and went skidding across the road. He narrowly missed being squashed by an oncoming lorry and ended up sprawled at the side of the road some distance away. Apparently about a dozen people, including the lorry driver that had almost squished him, ran to see if the dog was OK. Not one person came to see him!

    I was recounting this story to daughter number 1 and I had just got to the "narrowly missed being squashed" bit when she interrupted to ask if the dog was OK! She says she wants to be a doctor, but her question seems to indicate other concerns. :-)