Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Canine faux pas

If you were looking forward to taking care of a West Highland terrier

and it turned out to be a French bulldog

would you be disappointed? Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and I must admit the little blighter above seems to be saying 'love me!'). Our Swedish friend Carl Otto, who can't keep a dog in his London dwelling, clearly misses his little companion, no doubt pining back in Stockholm. So how saddened he must have been when he came to supper and I learned the truth, reeled a bit from the picture on the internet and rudely asked whether it slavered and snorted like other bulldogs I know.

Alas, he said, it did. So I'm afraid I dashed his hopes of finding his beloved canine a temporary home here. J, who is entirely to blame because he gave me the wrong information in the first place and raised my hopes, asked me how I'd feel if I had a child and someone else told me it was ugly. To which I retorted that you can't choose the look of your child, but you can choose your dog.

Anyway, reflection on my insensitivity was rammed home, amid gales of laughter, up in Edinburgh with friend Caroline, who had also shared our rather odd supper and noted how, after that tergiversation, Carl Otto went rather quiet. Such was the thanks he got for introducing me to two of my idols, Anderssons Harriet and Benny, last year. Humble apologies, min herre.


Will said...

But the terrier really is incredibly appealing and adorable so I, at least, will cut you some slack on this one.

Gavin Plumley said...

I'm with you David... and I'm not particularly fond of Pugs either (sorry, Glyndebourne), though I do long to have a dog.

Most members of the classical music blogosphere seem to do nothing but put their cats online. Perhaps, when I publish my book I'll also acquire a dog for the photo shoot?

David said...

My personal choice would (and eventually will) be a Border terrier: bags of character, if a bit truculent (we like some independence of spirit). Highlands can be neurotic: if Jo reads this, will she forgive for grimacing at the name of Tuppence, her mother's snarling terror in Edinburgh?

So, probably better a sweet-natured French bulldog than a nasty west Highlander. I must admit I melt the more I look at that second picture above.

Paddy said...

David, I was upset to read your comments vis a vis the french bulldog. Please take note of the following text from the rspca blog and be more responsible next time you feel the urge to spread lookist opinions. You should reserve your aesthetic judgements for things that don't have feelings.
- Paddy
"The RSPCA kill over 60,000 animals a year - which includes more than one out of every 3 dogs. Some of these dogs are killed in circumstances such as this, most in RSPCA "rescue kennels".

Reasons for this are not just temperement and ill health. I have had an RSPCA officer asking me to help get a dog out of an RSPCA rescue kennel on the quiet as he was due to be put to sleep... as he was TOO UGLY to be rehomed".

David said...

I am bad (though I don't think I know you, Paddy). But I did say I found that 'love me' photo appealing, and Carl Otto is fine with the situation.

It seems that, however careful I try to be about not hurting people's feelings on a blog, I'm bound to come a cropper - and this is it, albeit over a hund I've never even met.