Dogged Good Looks

When people ask me if I'm a "dog person," I respond with an "It depends on the dog." I go for larger dogs that rarely bark. Golden Retriever, English Bulldog, rescue pups like our current pitfall-terrier mix. We have a 50-lb minimum. Lily is 60, so she made the cut. But what is interesting to us is how dogs respond the first time they see themselves in a full length mirror. Our English Bulldog, Dudley, was disappointed. He looked at himself and his big shoulders drooped in what can only be called disappointment. I think he thought he was an Afghan Hound. Sad, but he recovered.

Which brings us to Lily. We were on a trip to Connecticut and stopped in a motel about halfway, which is where she saw herself for the first time. She stared, approached the mirror, sniffed the nose of the dog in the mirror, and acted thoughtful. Her concern, however, was that she also saw my long-suffering wife in the mirror, and that was not acceptable. One "mom" was just fine, but two was one too many. She looked as if she were processing information, then she walked away and lost interest in the mirror.

I can go for a dog that doesn't take appearances seriously. Strength of character and a humble spirit. Wish there were more humans like that. I know there aren't any cats that qualify. Another reason I'm a dog person.