As I have said on any number of occasions, my dog Snipe is somewhat lacking in the brain cells department. In fact, the older she gets, the more obvious it becomes that she was at the back of the queue when they were handing out intelligence. And common sense. And grace. And dignity… Ok, I know she’s a Labrador, but even so!
Jo and Snipe - 6 September 2009
On Sunday night, however, she exceeded herself and surpassed all my previous (lack of) expectations.
I knocked on my landlords’ door to drop off my rent and started chatting to them and a friend of theirs, who was visiting for the day with his dog, a Border Terrier. He asked if he could meet my two, so I popped back to mine (not that far to go – my flatling is an annexe to the main house!) and let them loose in their living room.
Midge made herself at home, jumping from lap to lap whenever she thought a better offer was on the cards. Snipe was your typical stupid Labrador, bumbling about and generally charming everyone. “Oh, what a pretty head, what a lovely colour” and so on. H even remarked on how sweet and clean she smelled (Fairy Liquid, which was a darn sight better than the fox poo incident that morning, hence the washing up liquid and its fragrance).
Suddenly, Snipe caught sight of an ornament low down on the bookshelf. A cat. A rather large cat. A rather large ginger cat, not that much smaller than a Border Terrier, now that I come to think of it.
Snipe started growling at the feline statue. It stared unblinkingly back at her. Her hackles went up. No response. In fact, the more it ignored her, she more scared she got and slowly backed away. By this time, she was shaking. So were we, but with laughter! M started making cat noises, which made Snipe cringe and jump away. Then their visitor took the cat off the shelf and put it on the carpet. Snipe practically wet herself at this, especially when the cat “pounced” and shot forward in act of unprovoked aggression against a poor, defenceless Labrador.
This went on for a good ten minutes before Snipe plucked up the courage to get close enough to sniff it. Even then, she failed to tell the difference between china and cat and backed away hurriedly, lest its painted claws scratch her eyes out.
Poor old dog, I love her dearly but I was crying with laughter by the end.