I used to think that fluff, as a quality, was of little practical use. Now I am not so sure. Today in the Park as Caspar and I creep through the undergrowth we come suddenly upon tribe of Small Humans, lined up in the jungle, feasting on cheese.
We race to greet them and their cheese in the spirit of friendship. Caspar touches the first one with his fluff and they all go down like skittles.
For a moment I am lost in admiration at the Power of Fluff as the children wriggle and shriek in the mud. I have chosen my Sidekick wisely.
Sadly, however, All Is Not Well. Despite the fact that the children seem to be feeding Caspar their cheese very cheerfully, their Owner is telling my Owner that a Moral Dog would not knock over nine children all at once. I spring to Caspar’s defence to ask how many children would have been okay but the Owner nudges me and gives out the card she has had printed for dry cleaning.
Wounded, I try to demonstrate how Moral I am by returning my cheese but this does not seem to help, since Caspar has already eaten his. He is in such trouble now.
The Owner sighs. He was just being friendly, she says.
The Owner of the Small Humans is unimpressed. No, that fluffy dog is being friendly, she says. Your Dog, she says, is a positive menace. He has giant paws. He is Very Bouncy. And he is covered in mud. Then, with a shaking finger, she points at me!
I am accused unjustly. Am I, like Dreyfus, to be sent to Devils Island for the crimes of Esterhazy through prejudice, anti-pawism and circumstantial evidence? Don’t I even get a proper trial? Just because I have giant paws that doesn’t mean you can strip me of my properly earned cheese.
The Owner she can’t believe I’d blame poor Caspar and she didn’t see any Esterhazy pushing the children into the mud.
He didn’t, says Caspar valiantly, attempting to look both fluffy and guilty, it was me.
Pull the other one, says the Owner, and puts me on my lead. As we leave I see the Owner of the Small Humans giving Caspar my cheese.
There is nothing I can say. Even I can see that looking fluffy makes looking guilty impossible.
Injustice is a flame that burns like a furnace in the heart. The next time we go to the vets I am asking for fluff.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.