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. . . “)


10 Responses to “Dog Day: A Study in Contrasts”

  1. VeggieGirl Says:

    Oooh, best of luck with the Total Health course!!

    It’s DEFINITELY true that dog owners and their dogs come to resemble each other more and more, as the years go by – the mannerisms, mostly ;0)

    HAHA!!! That photograph of you and HH is PRICELESS!!!!! :0D

  2. Lizzie Says:

    Hahahaaaa! What a sweet and funny post. Chaser sounds exactly like Henry; she’s even “lippy” like Henry! Those photos were adorable too. It’s so nice to see your pups getting along so well.

    And the photo of you and the HH? To take VeggieGirl’s word: priceless. I really hope that’s framed somewhere in your house 🙂

  3. Your dogs are adorable (I’m sure I’ve told you that before, but it’s worth mentioning again). And that last photo is hilarious!

  4. ruthEbabes Says:

    Hey Ricki, thanks for stopping by my blog! Loving yours…. I often give my pup a voice and it drives my hubby crazy. Your pups are adorable!

  5. Romina Says:

    I hope you enjoy that course! Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    Aww I love your dogs!!

  6. Johanna Says:

    your dogs are gorgeous – but no wonder they are embarrassed to be compared to sonny and cher wannabees 🙂 Hilarious pic! Hope your course gives you some new insights!

  7. Ricki Says:

    Thanks so much for the good wishes. So far, so good (but of course, it’s only been one evening!). Glad you got a kick out of the photos!

    Hmmm. . . maybe a date can be arranged for Chaser and Henry some day ;). And yes, the photo is up in the house (the only one of me I’ll allow to be seen at this point!).

    Thanks. I certainly think they’re cute (so I just impose all these photos of them on people!). Glad you liked the Sonny & Cher. 🙂

    Thanks so much! Since they are obviously speaking to us (in their own way), may as well let them be heard, I say. 😉

    Thanks! The course was very interesting, so far. . .can’t wait to see what the next nine weeks bring.

    Thanks (and E and C thank you, too–oh, and S&C, too!).

  8. i am so crazy inlove with these adorable pups!

  9. I stumbled here thinking this was a blog about dogs and boy was I plesently supprised to find you analysis of your two beautiful canine companions. Thanks for the interesting read. I too am a dog lover but we have 4 that color our home life.

  10. Kiki Says:

    Your dogs are such cuties! I loved reading about them and really enjoyed the pictures that accompanied the stories!

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