When I was a little girl there was a poster on the wall of our unfinished basement. This poster has the title “Dog Breeds of the World” and featured small illustrations of around seventy-five different breeds with their names written underneath. I remember staring at the poster for hours, memorizing the size, shape, and markings of each one. My sister and I would pick our favourites and make up stories about them.
For a long time I loved the Bedlington Terrier best because it looked just like a soft lamb. “That one,” I would announce, “when I grow up, that will be my dog.” My sister always favoured, and still does I think, the Dandy Dinmont. She will probably correct me in the comments if this is wrong.
Later on, when my canine knowledge went beyond 1980’s graphics, I changed my mind. No more was the fuzzy little terrier for me. Nope, I wanted gigantic – the bigger the better – and drooly. A Saint Bernard, perhaps, or a Newfoundland. It wasn’t until I discovered the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on television that I first paid attention to the beauty of the mastiff. A large part of my heart was stolen that day and I’ve yet to get all of it back.
Honestly, I do love all dogs, even the little sassy ones. I’m not particular about breed any more. Just ask my husband. It’s rare for a pooch to pass on the street without me saying something about it or making a silly, love-struck face. After all, my dog Shiva isn’t exactly from blue-blood stock. Sometimes lately I think it’s the mutts I adore the most.
But if one day – when we are living in the country with fields of space – a large, drooly, and wrinkled behemoth of a dog was to wander into my yard? It would be pretty hard for me to let it go. Wouldn’t it be brilliant to see one in the agility ring?