There is a New Dog in the Park. I have never seen anything like it.
That Dog is Weird, I say. It has spotty parts and plain parts and floppy ears, and its tail is a different colour to the rest of it, I say. It is a canine Jackson Pollock, I say. I hope you will give it a Wide Berth, I say.
Hm, says the Owner, I think you and I need to talk.
Then let us go home at once and avoid this Weird Dog, I say.
It looks Friendly, says the Owner. Let us go and Make Friends.
I do not want to make Friends, I say. All of my Friends are respectable dogs, I say. They pick one Colour and stick with it I say. Albeit that some of them choose not to Go Easy on the Fluff, I say.
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder, says the Owner.
That depends on the Beholder, I say. May I point out that Social Distancing has deferred your annual Eye Test to the point at which one should question whether you are safe to be let out, I say.
I can see that Dog perfectly well, says the Owner. He is a Puppy. And I think he is Lovely.
I am a Puppy, I say. I am not yet a year Old, I say. If I were, I say, I would remember a Birthday Party with Cake and a Surfeit of Lollies, I say. And a Balloon, I say.
The Moral Dog has made his Birthday point, says the Owner, but he is still Lovely. Look at his Lovely Floppy Ears and Spotty Rump, she says.
Wash your Mouth out with Soap, I say. And I do not see ears that Flop any more effectively than my Own, I say.
The Owner begins her What-Ho-Fellow-Well-Met with the Other Dog’s Owner, who is making some remark regarding my own Good Looks, Excellent Posture and Extraordinary Ball Focus. These are Clearly Insincere because the eyes of the Owner and the Other Owner are turned towards the Other Dog.
He’s so pretty, says the Owner.
I think he is rather Scrawny, I say. He needs Colouring In, I say.
Thankyou, says the Other Person, his name is Sirius. He is named after a Star.
What sort of a Stupid Name is that? I ask. A star is a big ball of Gas, I say. I expect he wees everywhere too, I say.
That is a Lovely Name, says the Owner, continuing to feign Selective Deafness. How Old is he?
Four Months, says the Other Person. What is your Dog’s name? asks the Other Person.
He is Hergest, says the Owner. His ears used to be Too Big for his Face like that, she says.
What are you talking about? I ask. My Ears have always been a Perfect Fit, I say.
Oh, says the Other Person, that is also a Good Name. And he has Lovely Ears. You could cut the Insincerity with a Cheese Knife, if such a knife were not Better Employed on Cheese.
I am named after a Hound of Great Faithfulness, I say.
He is named after a Ghostly Dog, says the Owner, from near to Wales, she adds.
I have never even met a Whale, I say.
They are Amazingly Similar, says the Other Person, even for GSPs.
Indeed, says the Owner, they are almost Identical. Hergest is, if anything, slightly more Spotty.
On the way home I maintain a Dignified Silence. It reminds me of the day she tried to insist that the Dog in the mirror was me. I know one has to be polite to strangers but this is ridiculous.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.
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