I am not a dog lover
August 12, 2013
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Up until I was nine years old my parents had a black and white collie named Penny. He was the only dog I ever really loved, a constant companion in my wanderings over the hills and valleys of our southern Saskatchewan farm, and my protector.
Later on we had a fox terrier named Trixie. She would sometimes accompany me on my wanderings, but it just wasn’t the same. She was really more my mother’s dog.
My wife had a dog in her teen years that she was quite attached to. We tried being dog owners after we were married, but it never really worked. For one thing, we didn’t have a clue how to train a dog and an untrained dog is just a nuisance. For another, we moved too often.
The best dog we owned during our married life was another long-haired black and white collie. I had just read Farley Mowat’s book, WestViking, which is a retelling of the Icelandic sagas relating to the discovery of Newfoundland. One of the old Viking explorers was named Ragnor Shaggypants and I decided Ragnor Shaggydog was a fine name for our dog. We eventually moved again and gave Ragnor to friends.
I spend several hours every week doing bookkeeping for Delisle Veterinary Service in their office. Dr. Fraser’s three resident dogs come to greet me enthusiastically when I come in the door. Two of these are elderly dogs and one is a stray that was found half-starved and scavenging around a northern campground and sent to Dr. Fraser.
Sadie is an elderly black Lab that makes her home under the desk where I work. Sometimes she will come and lay her head on my knee, then bump my hand every time I try to use the mouse or keyboard. I am supposed to keep on petting her.
I told Dr. Fraser’s husband the other day that I don’t like dogs. He gave me a quizzical look and informed me that the dogs believed otherwise. Hmm. Do they know me better than I know myself?
There is a really scary corollary to that. I suspect my family and friends also know me better than I know myself.