Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"He's the only dog I ever saw kiss a cat."

"The way I see it, dogs had this big meeting, oh, maybe 20,000 years ago. A huge meeting— an international convention with delegates from everywhere. And that's when they decided that humans were the up-and-coming species and dogs were going to throw their lot in with them. The decision was obviously not unanimous. The wolves and dingoes walked out in protest. [...] In some respects— Ph.D. potential, for example— I don't make any great claims for Chester [the Labrador Retreiver]. When I would arrive home, I fully expected to find Hugo [Border Collie] reading the newspaper. Not Chester. Chester would try to make his way through a narrow sliding door, find himself stuck halfway and then look at me with total and quite genuine puzzlement. I don't think he ever got to understand that the rear part of him was actually attached to the front. But it was Chester, who dispensed affection as unreflectively as he breathed, who got me thinking about this long-ago pact between humans and dogs. Cat lovers and the pet averse will just roll their eyes at such dogophilia. I can't help it. Chester was always at your foot or your hand, waiting to be petted and stroked, played with and talked to. His beautiful blocky head, his wonderful overgrown puppy's body, his baritone bark filled every corner of house and heart. Then last month, at the tender age of eight, he died quite suddenly. The long, slobbering, slothful decline we had been looking forward to was not to be. When told the news, a young friend who was a regular victim of Chester's lunging love-bombs said mournfully, "He was the sweetest creature I ever saw. He's the only dog I ever saw kiss a cat."
Krauthammer, Charles (2013-10-22). Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics (Kindle Locations 862-868). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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