19 August, 2015

What One Person Learned from Two Dogs in Three Weeks

- After years of running races and triathlons - some of them quite long and some fairly quickly, I'd come to think of myself as a "runner." I now know, after finding myself tethered to a running West Highland Terrier (westie), I am, in fact, not.
"Donut" - photo copyright Andrea Chow

- That fundamental human skill - where we learn to holler "Off!" - is best taught by the westie command action of jumping onto things humans once considered special.
- Two individual leashes are simply in the temporary state of being what we call "untangled." Their natural condition is a tightly coiled knot, linking a hapless walker with two westies intermingling like coy in a restaurant aquarium.

- An 1800 sq. ft. house has over 1700 sq. ft. of additional space in which a westie can nap than its owners originally allowed for. This is not entirely a problem, given the incredible Swiffer-like quality of westies' coats.
- If I yelled as loudly as our two westies bark I'd be hoarse. If I ate as relentlessly as they could I'd weigh as much as a horse.
- Squirrels must have either an agenda or a perverted sense of humour, considering how rarely they stop and bob their tails around for 15 minutes unless westies are barking at them.
- A walking westie's ability to hoover anything off the ground without breaking stride is on par with its resolve to clamp its jaws shut when humans try to find out what was sucked in.
- A fence may be built to dog-proofed standards, but can only be certified once a westie has wedged, stuck, jammed, wiggled, shaken, pryed and thrust its snout along every centimetre of its length and seams, countless times a day, for several weeks. Just to be sure. Because, you never know when something might want to get in. Or out.
Yes, I know - two articles ago I was ranting about dog owners ignorantly blocking pathways. Now the shoe is on the other foot - we've adopted two Westie rescues. Life, it would seem, is not lived linearly.

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