Just over a year ago, I wrote a post about my dog, Jessie.
Since then my parents have decided to acquire another dog.
When I say ‘decided to acquire’, I mean that I pressured them until their willpower broke.
My family’s second dog is called Bailey.
Like Jessie, Bailey is a Labradoodle which means that, genetically, he is a mix of Labrador and a Poodle but, physically, he looks like he is the descendant of a large teddy bear and Rowlf from The Muppets.
Bailey is 18 months old which means that he is now the size of an adult dog but still has all the raw enthusiasm of a puppy.
As a result, he carries himself with the grace and sophistication of a bulldozer being operated by a person who is not very graceful and sophisticated.
Bailey’s main ambition in life is to catch a squirrel.
Unfortunately, his current technique of barking loudly and running directly at the squirrel in the hope that it will not see him coming has produced a success rate of 0%.
In addition, his chances of catching a squirrel are not improved by the fact that sometimes the ‘squirrels’ he chases are not actually squirrels and are instead just generic small moving objects that happen to have strayed into his visual range.
In fact, Bailey’s general lack of bodily coordination means that he often finds it difficult to catch anything at all, including inanimate objects, as his absurd levels of enthusiasm often significantly impair the accuracy of his attempts.
Aside from squirrel chasing, Bailey’s other hobbies include pulling on the lead and howling.
When out on a walk, Bailey operates under the delusion that he is a member of a professional dog sled team but, since he is the only one on the team, he has to pull extra hard to compensate.
When inside the house, Bailey enjoys testing both the dexterity of his vocal chords and limits of my sanity by engaging in regular bouts of howling.
The howl is a noise that was designed to allow wolves to communicate over long distances.
However, unlike wolves, most dogs no longer inhabit vast expanses of wilderness.
When this powerful form of communication is released within the confines of an enclosed residential space, it becomes amplified by the walls, creating what can only be described as a greenhouse effect of concentrated, ear-splitting sound.
Dogs are well-known for their loyalty, a trait that has been documented in many films and books.
However, I think that there is a difference between the loyalty displayed by iconic dogs such as Lassie and Bailey’s tendency to cling to you with the adhesive qualities of a solid PVA glue.
Bailey tries his upmost to ensure that he is included in the majority of my daily activities.
Because of their loyalty, dogs are commonly referred to as man’s best friend, a title which they have held for hundreds of years.
You would presume that such a long-lasting relationship would be founded on a strong connection, a cross-species link, operating outside of verbal communication, that enables us to understand each other.
However, since we have had Bailey, I have begun to doubt the dog’s ability to understand humans at all.
This is because Bailey has an ongoing tendency to misinterpret the pretty much all of things that I say to him.