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Thursday, February 18, 2010
It's A Dog's World
******************************************************** For the 8th time, a Scottish terrier has won "Best of Show" at the renowned Westminster Dog Show. Her name is Sadie. I'm hardly surprised she's a champion. I owned a Scottie. Well, more accurately, he owned me, I suppose, as well as the rest of my family. As a kid, I wanted a dog. When I was 10, my siblings and parents chipped in and bought for my birthday a puppy I picked out of a litter in a private home. I named him MacDuff, which I knew was the name of a Shakespearean character from the Bard's tragedy, "Macbeth". He ruled the household and our hearts for many years. He was as loyal as the day is long, and when I went away to university, about a month after my departure, he was found lying outside my closed bedroom door, crying. He lived until I was in my mid-twenties, and despite the fact I no longer lived "at home", he provided excellent companionship for each of my parents.
For a period of time, I lived in Ann Arbor, a few blocks away from one of my former professors. This particular prof was a "dog person" and acquired a Bernese Mountain Dog. His children promptly named her Heidi because, they reasoned, she was Swiss, and so should share the moniker with the famous character from children's literature, who lived in the Alps with her grandfather. My former prof and his family traveled fairly often, and the dog needed exercise, so I used to walk her when the family was out of town. She was wonderfully loyal, too, and each time she saw me, assuming it meant a trip to The Arb or Burns Park, her tail would wag enthusiastically.
In my kitchen there is a bulletin board. On the bulletin board for the last several years, I have had a "full size" photographic calendar of Scottish Terriers, with beautiful glossy photos of Scotties in various poses. I'll pen in appointments on the calendar, so my brother will know not to worry if I'm not home. Each month, there are quotes on the calendar, pertaining to dogs and their place in our lives.
These are some of my favorite quotes:
"To err is human, to forgive, is canine"---Unknown
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the chief difference between a dog and a man."---Mark Twain
"Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet."---Colette
"The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too."---Samuel Butler, Notebooks 1912
"My little dog-a heartbeat at my feet."---Edith Wharton
"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring, it was peace."---Milan Kundera
Well done, Sadie. You've represented your species, your breed and your home state very well.