Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 14: My Funny Valentine

Earlier on this holiday of love, I was thinking that my valentine of the day was hearing the titmice singing their courtship songs along the banks of the still-frozen river. What could be more romantic than birds singing songs of love? But this afternoon, as I was talking to a co-worker, a yellow lab appeared at the  glass door leading out to the porch. With no owner in sight, this cute little dog looked in expectantly, tail wagging, no doubt ready to lavish us with slobbery dog kisses if we'd open the door. We exclaimed how sweet our visitor was just as turned away and ran off up the hill, apparently heeding the call of its (still invisible) owner.

My husband has to put up with my watching the Westminster Dog Show every year. Tonight is the final judging. He quickly gets disgusted with such a blatant display of genetic manipulation and inbreeding. I just enjoy marveling at all the different breeds of dogs humans have produced--all those shapes, sizes, and colors for so many different reasons. There are dogs for every purpose: the Norwegian lundehund, for example, has six toes so that it can climb cliffs and hunt puffins; the toys are bred to be companion dogs; it's in the border collie's genes to herd, as my sister who owns one can attest; the bloodhound is a scent hound that can track its quarry's dried blood. There are 13" beagles and 15" beagles, and three different varieties of dachshund. There are elkhounds, deerhounds, and coonhounds; dogs that point, dogs that retrieve. The Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever apparently creates a ruckus in the water to attract curious geese and ducks. The Pekingese, once only owned by Chinese royalty, doesn't even look like a dog as it toddles around the show floor. Truly, without even entering the realm of mutts, there's a dog for everyone... if you want one. I like to think that its like that with humans, too.

Little dog visits
just to see us, devoted
for those brief seconds.

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