Dog Day: A Study in Contrasts
April 23, 2008
Tonight I start my course, Total Health, and I can hardly wait. I am truly hoping that a holistic, well-rounded approach to diet and lifestyle will put me back on the right track to improved health. This is one area where the HH has a hard time comprehending the Herculean effort it takes to avoid certain food-related temptations, as he is naturally slim, has never had an eating disorder, and knows exactly when to stop eating, even if he adores the food on his plate.
As I’ve mentioned before, food isn’t the only area where the HH and I differ. My beloved and I are, shall we say, sort of like Oscar and Felix. . . like analog and digital. . . like yin and yang. . . like ice cream and tofutti. . . like Sonny and Cher. . . like Jack Spratt and–well, you get the idea. (And, on another note: how did we ever survive without Wikipedia–seriously?).
Anyway, that got me thinking about the old cliché that says dog owners and their dogs come to resemble each other more and more as the years go by. . . I’m not sure about the looks department, but Elsie and Chaser sure do mimic me and the HH in the realm of personalities. (I’ll leave it to you to guess who’s who).
You couldn’t invent two more polar opposites than The Girls: while Elsie is demure, reserved and shy, Chaser is entirely in your face.
[“Ha ha Elsie, bet you can’t catch me!” “Oh, really, Chaser, you are sooooo immature.”]
Where Elsie is timid and afraid, Chaser is “I can do it! C’mon–let me jump out that second storey window!”
(“Hmmm. . . all I need to do is push up that blind, then balance on the windowsill. . . yep, I’m sure I could do it. . .)
Where Elsie is polite and respectful (“Why, yes, Mum, please do go ahead of me through this doorway, I wouldn’t have it any other way”), Chaser is always pushing the envelope (“Doorbell! I’m on it! Let’s go!! Outta the way! Someone’s there!!”).
(“Here is that frisbee you requested, Mum. Where would you like me to deposit it?”)
Where Elsie is elegant, graceful, and glides silently from room to room, Chaser is the class clown, the one who lacks coordination and who’s all legs, thumping her way across a room (and, in fact, one of her many sobriquets around here is “Thumper”).
(“Chaser, you’ve got your legs in my back again. Sheesh. Can’t a gal get any sleep around here?”)
Where Elsie is a little chubby, rounded and soft (in all the right places), Chaser is lanky, lean and lithe.
(“Mum, Elsie’s taking up too much room. . . my legs don’t fit in this space.”)
When we first got Elsie, we were afraid that she had no vocal chords. In fact, we didn’t even know she was capable of barking until she was about 10 months old.
(“ *Sigh* “)
Chaser, on the other hand, whined the entire way home from the first afternoon we got her. She is also, as the HH is fond of saying, rather “lippy”: I’ve never known another dog that yelps, whines, howls, cries, barks, growls, and basically complains as much as she does. Oh, and she groans. Like an old man, like a creaky rocking chair, like an exasperated audience at the comedy improv: there we’ll be, late at night in utter darkness, trying to sleep. . . when suddenly, I’ll hear the rumble of an outboard motor–but emanating from the foot of our bed: it’s just Chaser, changing position in her sleep, and groaning.
(” *** Groan ***”)
Well, despite their differences, The Girls have managed to find a balance, to develop a true love for each other and their respective quirks and peccadilloes (as have the HH and I).
And anyway, what would life be without a little contrast?
[Photo of a photo of] The HH and me dressed as Sonny and Cher for a Hallowe’en party, the year we met (and before the dreaded weight gain). Dig those wigs! .]
(“Mum, you totally embarrass us. . . no, we don’t care that people know about our cute little quirks, but how could you publish that photo of you and Dad?? Oh, cringe. . . “)