Even though we don't actually have a dog of our own (heh, heh.... yet), I really am quite fond of them and consider myself to be honourary auntie to our friends' dogs.
Most people I know like a dog with at least a spark of intelligence. "He's really smart!" they'll say proudly of the little furball chewing on my shoe.
Intelligence has its charms, but it also has a few drawbacks. For a couple of years, I was in charge of the lunchtime walks of friends' Jack Russell. Belle is very bright. I didn't consider it my task to teach her tricks, but I did think it important for her to learn to stop at the curb before crossing the street. It only took a couple of days practice for her to catch on. The day she did, the walk went so smoothly!
The next day, we got to the corner and she darted straight out into the street. I pulled her back, horrified, and repeated the commands we'd been practising. She looked up at me with a confused expression, like, "But I've learned that already! Move on!"
For sheer lovability, I like a dog with a little dumb. Take Murphy, for instance, my friend Kim's dog. Part chocolate lab, part hound dog, part tree stump. All the love in the world is not enough for Murphy. He wants more. After a visit with him, I come home covered in dog slobber and the occasional bruise. You don't want to get in the way of that tail when he's happy.
The first time I met Ernesto, I was a little nervous. Large beast. Huge. Also one of the gentlest creatures on this earth. His greeting ritual involves rearing up on his hind legs and resting his forepaws gently on your shoulders. The first time he did it, my knees buckled. But now I know to brace myself. I rub his shoulder and ask, "Shall we dance?" I think he gets a laugh out of it.
I asked Douglass if he knew when they got him that he would be so huge. "Well, we knew he'd be big....."
Apparently his mother was some spectacularly large breed and his father was,
"A moose?" I hazarded.
Our friends Hammond and Judith have three dogs. Two Jacks and a mixed breed that looks like a wolf. I'm a terrible influence on them and they gather round me at dinner time, waiting for treats and a chance to sit on my lap. It says much about the patience of their humans that we keep being invited back. Of course, Briggs and I do share a birthday. How many of you can boast of having a twin doggy?
We even look a bit alike. He being a wire-haired terrier and I having hair troubles of my own...
While I wait for life to settle down so we can get a dog of our own, I keep in regular contact with my friends' dogs and follow the exploits of a couple on the internet. There's Frau Chloe and Franny, both dachshunds, both with something to say.
Loving, funny, charming. Dogs give so much and all they really ask in return is the occasional belly rub and a chance to sniff your crotch.