Hats off, owner!

Unlike the intolerant Beagle, the Labrador loves human company

The dog is human being’s best friend. It is an interesting companion. In fact, one besotted dog lover who owns the most disobedient Beagle under the sun, swears it is a great stress buster.

The remark is accompanied by an indulgent smile which she bestows on her pet and strokes his head lovingly. The response from the canine is a belligerent bark and a bearing of teeth which delights the owner. Not all dogs are so vicious. Another owns a Labrador, which even by the standards of the breed, is big for its age. And it has an appetite to match.

It is a free spirit. Unlike the intolerant Beagle, the Labrador loves human company. It jumps on people and nearly knocks them over in its eager welcome. It once damaged a brand new liquor cabinet. The furious owner gave it a sound scolding and tied it up.

The sensitive creature did not eat for a whole day—a record for a food lover! The owner thawed and asked with mock severity, “Will you behave yourself?” Its body language was all penitence as it raised soulful eyes to the speaker and was rewarded with a rich repast.

 But habits die hard. When six of us were sprawled on a big bed chatting, it wanted to join in the fun. In no uncertain terms, I told it to make itself comfortable floor. It wasn’t to its liking but after the recent fracas, it thought it better to obey me. What can be said in favour of these two is that they are very disciplined when it comes to easing themselves— that’s how the owners who take responsibility for their pets very seriously have trained them. But the same can’t be said of all dog owners who can’t be bothered to teach their pets not to be public nuisances.

Very often, people who walk their dogs trespass. It makes me militant.  Once, when I took an irresponsible owner to task, he asked me, “Does the road belong to you?” “No,” I admitted, “But does it belong to you?” The other evening, my brother was strolling in the compound when a lady with two tiny dogs on leashes walked towards our house. They were wearing warm coats to protect them from the cold. My brother’s antennae went into action immediately. He kept an eye on them. Sure enough, one of them eased itself right in front of our gate. My brother bristled.

He was about to unleash his anger on the owner-offender when he stopped short. His confrontational attitude changed and the lecture on civic sense that he was going to deliver died on his lips. He stood transfixed as the lady took out some tissue from the plastic bag she was carrying and very neatly cleaned up the mess. Hats off to the lady!

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