I’m not a dog person. In my whole life, which has seen a dazzling procession of larger-than-life cats, I’ve enjoyed the company of only two dogs – both white German shepherds – who were sufficiently well-trained and well-kept to dispel my long-held convictions that dogs were smelly, servile morons.
So it’s come as something of a surprise to discover that a certain small, malodorous, intellectually stunted animal, loosely descended from wolves, has me wrapped around her little finger. Ladies and gentlemen – meet Mumu. Mumu is not my dog, I should hasten to add. She belongs to a young lady who has the dubious and somewhat complicated honour of being simultaneously my ex-girlfriend, my terrific drinking buddy, and one of my employees. This young lady (I’ll call her Emily, because that’s her name) likes to slope off to the Mainland at weekends to drink inexpensive baijiu and eat delicious Xinjiang lamb-toothpicks, and during these times, it is incumbent upon me to take care of Mumu.
Mumu is actually an ideal starter dog for a cat-lover. She’d certainly disappoint any real dog lovers. Like cats, she sleeps almost all the time. In common with the felines, she is generally silent and reserved. And a final comparison to the cat – Mumu is completely untrainable (although cats are this way because they choose to exercise their veto in all matters, whereas Mumu is powered by a vestigial ganglion and two double-A batteries, and is – genetically – 70% tuber). Moreover, Mumu is old, emits gas, is blind in one eye, and has a tongue like a piece of crispy bacon because she forgets to put it back in her mouth after using it, and so it dries out. And yet she sits, sans eye, sans taste, sans gorm, spilling white hair onto my black couch, and I can’t help but feel a pang of affection for the creature.
I can draw my own conclusions as to why, but I leave it as an exercise for the reader to work out what they are. Suffice it to say, I’m starting to see the point of dogs. But it’s going to be a long road before I invest in my first rottweiler.