When I was a kid I used to play all sorts of bizarre imagination games with my sister. They seemed perfectly normal for an eight-year-old’s standards but when I look back as an adult, I see my sanity was questionable from an early age. One of our favourite games to play was – naturally – “animals.” We each chose a type of animal and then spent the rest of the day imitating the animal’s behaviour. It was outrageously fun, even as the rules of the game grew overly complex. I am pretty sure my mother hated it. Not only did she have to start interpreting our attempts at zebra noises but she complained we wore holes in our pants by crawling around on the floor.
A few weeks ago I read a post on Pawcurious that reminded me of our childhood goofiness. The always-entertaining Dr. V ruminated over the classic animal lover’s question: if I were an animal, what would I be?
More often than not, during play, my sister and I would revert to the same favoured species. She always chose to be a cat and I always chose to be a dog. A cocker spaniel dog, to be more specific.
Even though I am now an adult and no longer wear pants with holes in them, when I try to decide what kind of animal I would be, I still go back to the same thing I did as a kid. It seems a bit incongruous, I admit. I’ve never lived with a cocker spaniel. I haven’t even been around one since our first obedience class three years ago. And that guy wasn’t the friendliest.
Nevertheless, there are many things about the breed to which I can relate.
– Energetic and sporty, but can also enjoy a good lie-in. Much like myself.
– They can adapt to any climate or lifestyle. I live in Nova Scotia where it can be sunny one second and pouring rain the next.
– With their long, wavy fur, cocker spaniels require daily grooming. My hair is also wavy and it remains my biggest vanity. I don’t leave the house unless it is at least presentable.
– They are trusting and hard-working. I am the consummate people-pleaser.
– Their largest faults are their sensitivity (I hear that) and their ability to become pudgy if not kept active (ditto).
– If not properly socialized, cocker spaniels can suffer from shyness. Story. Of. My. Life.
Perhaps I am just drawn to the breed as cocker spaniels were one of the most popular dogs in my area growing up. I am not sure I would ever want one for myself – the daily coat maintenance is daunting – but I do feel a sort of connection with their sweet faces and large, dark eyes.
How about you? If you were an animal, what would you be?