Friday, 12 September 2008

A working dog?

Every time we go to the vet (which is often), Gail comes away muttering something about sending me out to work for a living. Or else she starts going on about how grateful she is for the NHS, and how humans at least are treated for free in this country. It seems that all these medicines I'm taking at the moment are rather expensive.

You know, I'd really like to help with the money, but what are the options? Let's think.

My ancestors earned their keep by digging out and chasing after small animals, rabbits and such-like. Well I do still like digging, but rabbits can run so much faster than me and I just can't be bothered with them any more. As a youngster I'd try to chase anything - grouse, mountain hares, deer even, but with age came wisdom, and I learnt that energy was more efficiently spent in hunting for chocolate biscuits in certain people's houses, rather than in futile pursuit of wild animals on the hills.

What do other working dogs do? German Shepherds seem to have an exciting time helping out the police, and I quite fancy having a go at that, but, strangely, the idea of a Westie assisting in the fight against crime doesn't seem to be taken seriously in some quarters.

Being a sled dog rather appeals too, as I do love rolling around in the snow, and several friends of Gail who've tried to walk me on the lead have noted that I'm surprisingly strong for my size. But then with global warming, this may not be a career with a promising future.

There are other jobs - guidedogs, gundogs, sheepdogs for example. Gail points out that dogs employed in these areas all score highly in the obedience stakes, and that this is not my strong suit. (By the way, I've noticed that humans often tend to confuse the traits of obedience and intelligence in dogs. I would ask, how clever is it to slavishly follow idiotic and pointless commands !?)

Like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and company, I could of course trade on my good looks. People in public places often try to take my photo, purely on the basis that I'm cute. I've even participated in a couple of wedding videos down in Duthie Park. Once, when I was on holiday, we stopped at a cafe by the Glenfinnan Monument, where a man was charging bus loads of Japanese tourists to be photographed with his scraggly collection of owls and hawks, then the same tourists came and posed besides me and no money changed hands at all!

One thing I know I'd be really, really good at is being a sniffer dog at the airport. Want to know who's smuggling in illicit quantities of finest Swiss chocolate - I'm your man! Oh. Gail says that customs aren't interested in the ability to detect microgram quantities of Lindt through several layers of packaging. Shame.

Looks like it's Gail that's going to have to go out and find a proper job.

No comments: