It’s A Dog’s Life

I’ve never been a fan of Scottie dogs, or Scottish terriers as they’re known in America. In fact, I wasn’t the least surprised to see George W Bush trotting along with one under his arm soon after he first moved into the White House. I’ve always considered it’s possible to ascertain the character of a person by their dog, and George W Bush served to cement that belief. “Barney” was the epitome of a George W Bush pooch.

Scotties are short on temper, not very intelligent, prone to snap without warning, and given to an excess of flatulence. And if that doesn’t describe George W Bush, then I don’t know what does.

There’s something strangely worrying about a man who walks around with a living hearthrug under one arm. It’s not terribly manly. One would condone such behavior from the late Barbara Cartland, or even Noel Coward, but one doesn’t expect the leader of the free world to step out of an aeroplane sporting something resembling a large black rat draped from the sleeve of his Armani suit.

On the other hand, the need of many US males to be seen in the company of huge and aggressive Rottweilers, Bull Mastiffs, or oversize German Shepherds, is equally alarming. Not so much because of the nature of these canines, but from the very public displays of insecurity by the owners, who obviously find it too frightening to venture out of the house without them.

Reuters TV White House correspondent Jon Decker was yesterday either very brave, or more likely, rather stupid.[1] No-one in their right mind bends down to pet a strange Scottish terrier. Once, after just commencing service as an animal welfare inspector for the British RSPCA, I too made that mistake. An aging female veterinarian who worked at the local animal hospital owned a “Scottie” called Marmaduke. Young, and eager to please, I reached down to pat its head in passing, only to receive a similarly gashed finger. The dog’s owner exhibited no sympathy whatever. (see “Even Little Sparrows” in the sidebar).

Hardly surprising then that Laura Bush’s only comment on her dog’s misbehavior yesterday was to say, “”I think it was his way of saying he was done with the paparazzi.”

[1] “President’s Pooch Bites Reporter During Walk” KCAL-9, November 7th 2008

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6 Replies to “It’s A Dog’s Life”

  1. What a snotty rant! You obviously know little of dogs and certainly nothing of Scottish breeds as well… which are as varied as the Golden (yes! that was first bred i Scotland) to the Border Terrier (too often confused with his hyper cousin, the Parson Russell Terrier)

    Scotties are incredibly perceptive of people and their true intents. Hope you neer go near on. THey will most certianly bit you as well… as well they should! THey have a low tolerance for stupid people and don’t hide their opinions with schmoozing like Labs do. You have no doubt where you stand… or your true nature when you are with a Scottie. Cairns are pretty much the same way, but they will do anything for a treat… no so with Scotties. They are honest and never simpering, like poodles. My Scottie girl bit the woman who turned out to be my (ex) husband’s girlfriend. Anyone who can win a Scottie’s loyalty is a worthwhile person, no matter what duplicitous hyopcritical humans think of that person.

    Go get ’em all Barney!!!!

  2. LOL, RJA.
    …I couldn’t help it, reading your first comment, this person obviously doesn’t know your history in the animal realm.
    I too, am fascinated with dogs and their owners. So representative of each other.
    Someone pointed out to me recently that I always get very hairy dogs. And I have enough hair for two heads. Very thick.
    and dogs that love hiking with me and are really good nesters (i.e. love travelling in the car for great distances).
    Like meets like.
    I would figure you for a Kerry Blue or a Jack Russell.

  3. Awwww – I thought Barney looked quite sweet, like a grumpy old man. I rather like grumpy old men 😉

    I’m no expert, but I suspect that any breed can be trained away from inbred negative traits, when young, if the owner is enlightened enough to do it. GWB has had other things on his mind, I guess.

    Following on from WWW’s idea for you, RJ, I see you as an elegant Doberman who can be both sweet and very sour. 😉

  4. Isobel – welcome to Sparrow Chat. Not so much a ‘snotty’ rant as a ‘Scottie’ rant. I wasn’t suggesting they were untrustworthy with their owners, merely with strangers. Personally, I’d advise anyone to not rely on any dog’s ability to perceive whether one was stupid, or not. Perhaps, if your dog bit the girlfriend of your ex, she was picking up your vibrations rather than those of the unfortunate mistress?

    Flimsy – it’s a matter of choice, though I would certainly agree the mutt will make just as good a pet, and dependent on type, is often better with children.

    WWW – neither Kerry Blue nor Jack Russell, I’m afraid. When I was younger I owned an Irish Setter, who was just as mad as I was. I’m more of a cat person. I love their independent natures, and frankly I have no desire to walk a dog around the streets of our foul American town.

    Twilight – You may go off grumpy old men if they start biting you on the finger. Sorry, but I’m definitely not a Doberman person either. If I was to have a dog now it would be a crossbreed of the Labrador/Retriever variety. Kind, gentle, soft mouthed, trustworthy – just like its owner (well, I’m not sure about the soft-mouthed!).
    We have no pets at present. If we ever stop flying across the pond for weeks at a time, and move to a more rural area, we may consider a cat, and possibly a dog of the type above mentioned.
    I don’t think I’m sour! Well, hardly ever. 😉

  5. I tend to avoid petting dogs unless I know them, or their owner has expressly said that it is ok. Holding my hand out, palm down, is the closest I will come, having been attacked as a child by what I considered was a friendly neighbour dog (she didn’t hurt me, but made it clear that I was not welcome near her!) Not afraid of dogs (I don’t scream and run), just wary of anything which has eats meat and might see me as a food source!

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