Paddy is our beautiful fawn brindle greyhound. So striking and unusual are his markings that people often stop us to comment on them. I came up with what I thought was a rather witty one-liner, “yes, he’ll make a lovely rug one day,” which I used on such occasions. I don’t any more.
One day, at the dog park, we met a large bouncy malamute; the husky’s somewhat dimmer cousin. The malamute’s person made the usual complimentary comments on Paddy’s markings and I deployed my usual remark. The malamute’s person proceeded to tell me that she used to be a social worker in an Inuit community in northern Canada. She’d visited one of her clients whose dog had become ill. A few weeks later, visiting the same client, she enquired how the dog was. The woman motioned towards the latest addition to her floor covering, “your standing on him,” she said.