The other day I was walking with Lilo and my friend. Lilo vanished, which she does, by magic - one second she is walking delicately alongside and the next - she simply isn't. She reappeared on a bit of a hill. Standing square with her back to us, on a slight angle, ears tightly pricked, neck arched and muscles bunched. She was not about to dash off, she was just showing profound interest in a new place.
I said to my friend,
"Look at that! Isn't that simply stunning? - Often she reminds me of a mystical Egyptian creature that has somehow materialised and I am lucky enough to own her.€
My friend replied,
" I think that you are in love with your dog!€
Well, I have been pondering on that one!
Are you in love with your dog when:
€¦€¦€¦. their comfort and well-being are the most important things to you?
€¦€¦€¦. you want them to feel happy, secure and find their place in the world?
.......... you are proud of your dog when "he/she€ behaves serenely and politely and someone says what a beautiful dog you have?
€¦€¦€¦. you look at them and admire their physical beauty, and sometimes it takes your breath away?
€¦€¦€¦. you look forward to going for a walk every day and to hanging out with them?
€¦€¦€¦. you sit in your office to work and padding feet come trotting down the hall to be in the same room and that makes everything better?
€¦€¦€¦. you sit watching telly with a cup of tea and your dog is sitting beside you munching on a pig's ear. And it feels so nice.
€¦€¦€¦. you look at them, when they are upside down, and having our equivalent of a bad hair day with their lips - and you still think they look awesome.
Is all that being in love with your dog?
€¦€¦€¦. When Lilo, seeing her lead, bounds like a mad pup - her teeth chattering with joy (like Spanish castanets) and it makes you laugh every time, every day.
Is that being in love with your dog?
Well if it all is - then - Guilty as Charged ! And it's fine by me !
I have to say the whole adoption process is a pretty amazing experience. The good feeling that at last this dog, your dog, my dog, is having a life they deserve, after one where it must be assumed that times were stressful and maybe even lonely - who knows? We can't be anthropomorphic, but we can imagine. To see them flourish over many months is very fulfilling.
They appear to keep their hearts and souls close to their chest for the early months and then little by little they give of themselves and there it begins - a marvellous journey with a sweet forever companion.
Mmmm - this does all sound a bit like true love. (Hope my dear partner doesn't read this).
Time for a more practical note and to put out something for friendly discussion if I may: Greyhounds are promoted as being "Couch Potatoes€. I like the term, it is funny, but it has been niggling at me. Forgive me if this reads as "picky€, it is in no way meant to be. Thank you.
Does the term "Couch Potato€ encourage people to think that greyhounds do not need much, if any, exercise?
Could the term on occasions inadvertently rob a hound of potential fitness, stimulation and well-being, as the blanket description covers all hounds - young and old.
I can of course see that it is important for prospective adopters to realise that they do not need to be charging around a race track with their hounds several times a day and that greyhounds love their sleep - and lots of it but they also need varying degrees of good exercise.
Lilo is ten and a half, she loves going out, takes everything in, sniffing, looking, walking, running, paddling, meeting other dogs, a twice daily dunk in the sea - she loves it.
We walk twice a day for an hour - amounting to at least fifty - sixty kilometres a week. She is very fit for an old girl. Maybe she got the "Speed Freak€ gene instead. However I suspect that if I did not take her out, she would lie on the sofa day in and day out - to her detriment. It's just a thought.
Well on that note, I will prepare you for the next episode which comes with a rating - X.
On a scale of 0 - 10 for embarrassing an owner: Lilo scored 10 on at least 4 occasions.