It’s A Dog’s Life – February 2019
It may not be puppy love, but Rolo explains how Valentine’s Day and the joy of companionship benefits man and beast alike.
Now I know I’m just a dog and I don’t have a secret sweetheart, although I’m happy to consider any distinguished lady furs who’d like to put themselves forward, but I’m aware of the imminent arrival of Valentine’s Day. Although it isn’t really intended for marriage veterans like ‘Him and Her Indoors’, ‘Him Indoors’ dutifully produces flowers and a card for ‘Her Indoors’, and the romance might extend to a ‘meal deal’ from the supermarket of choice.
However, I’ve been doing some research, and St Valentine got himself into serious trouble for performing secret marriage services at a time when Christianity wasn’t popular. By serious trouble I don’t just mean ‘Her Indoors’ telling you off until your ears wilt or ‘Him Indoors’ practising some alternative names, but the kind of serious trouble that can make you lose your head… St Valentine therefore, in reality, actually embodies the concept that you should be prepared to suffer for your affiliations, something that the greetings card manufacturers might have glossed over somewhat.
Still, ‘Him Indoors’ reckons he’s suffered from ‘Junior Her’s’ affiliation with me. He could arguably make the case that ‘Her Indoors’ has perpetuated that suffering by extending dog ownership to include my apprentice, Teddy. Yet enduring the daily doings of two small dogs are nothing to the fate of poor St Valentine, so ‘Him Indoors’ really has nothing to complain about.
I personally prefer to consider the gentler concept that all good relationships also have a downside. Take me and Teddy. Now I am quite fond of him, and he, naturally, adores me, but he does have his disadvantages. Now that he has thoroughly settled in, he can be a bit cheeky in the food stealing department. I’ve also noticed, that the toys we got for Christmas, seem to have migrated in his direction. Occasionally he’s tried pinching my bed but I don’t stand for any of that kind of nonsense, or lie down for it, come to that. And I do get my own back on rainy days when he is forced to wear one of my old coats; sharing goes in both directions. It’s fluorescent yellow so all he needs is a hard hat and the local council could employ him filling in potholes, a worthy cause.
Yet Teddy provides many positive benefits. He’s large and muscular by Border Terrier standards so useful as a bodyguard. He’s an outrider for my buggy, and can be deployed to bark and chase, as required, for things I don’t have the hearing or the energy to deal with myself. He amuses me with his youthful exploits and his woeful attempts to be naughty and he’s a bit of company in the kitchen. We share the same perspective, what can I tell you. So maybe Valentine’s Day should be about love in the wider sense, warts and all, which, as a senior dog, I happen to have too. What can I tell you, I’m the perfect catch!