Why do people have rubbish dogs? I’m not talking about real dogs, retrievers or whatever - working dogs that give a lot of joy to so many. I’m talking about little rat dogs. There’s a handbag dog pressed against my leg on the train right now. A ball of smelly fluff that its tweed jacket wearing owner seems to think is going to give him an edge in life.
I’m a cat man, I love the way they wont fake anything for you – get the food in the bowl or else they will go somewhere else. That indifference they give you most of the time contrasting with being so fussy when they are fed is what makes a cat funny. Dogs I’m not so keen on, though there are always exceptions. I wouldn’t want one myself but playing with some of my friend’s dogs now and again is enough to let me understand the attraction.
The man in front of me though, mid forties, starched hair, tweed jacket, shirt open 3 buttons down and pale jeans, definitely thinks that the pocket rat he has carried on board will at some point catch him some ladies, presumably at Ascot as he appears to be headed. As usual with this kind of dog owner though, he has no concept that others may not share his love of rodents. The first thing he did as he sat down was to ignore totally the fact that the back end of his mutt was rubbing onto the clean pinstriped suit of the old city gent next to him. The look of horror and disgust on the suited man’s face was only enough to get tweed to move the dog slightly over – no apology.
Now he’s sat reading the racing post, there are no ladies around us so the dog is on the floor, forgotten and ignored as it embarks on a new found romance with my leg. I’m far too British and too busy writing to complain though, but if it goes for second base then it will be meeting my size 9 steel toe-capped chaperones.
I think I’ve worked out the answer though – why do they have them? They are not dog lovers, they are not people who take these dogs out every day and play with them and love them like most real dog owners do. They are simply fashion items, a tool to use in order to try and create a personality that someone else might like. I seem to remember buying a kit car once for the same reason. I wouldn’t recommend that approach though - I wound up married!