Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Luci's diary: size matters

There’s a comfortable size, right? And then there’s uncomfortable.

The right size for a dog is about the right size for a cat. Well, a large cat anyway. Like, say, our cat Misty. But lighter. He’s just a bit on the heavy size, is our Misty. When he lies on you, well, you really know you’ve been lain on. If he’s at your kibble bowl, it’s not a lot of good trying to push him away. Barking helps, but only because it wakes up human number 2 who’ll come out and tell him to leave my food alone, if I make enough noise about it.

About cat size. The right size for playing. The right size for a dog.
Still, I’m not really talking about Misty. More about his size. We can look each other in the eye, we two, him and me, without having to look up or down. That’s what I call about right. Size-wise.

Smaller’s OK too. Smaller runs around and yaps a bit but generally you can see it off. Or if you can’t, you can certainly outrun it.

See what I mean? Comfortable. I can cope with that.

Then there’s uncomfortable. I never thought you could have too much dog in this world. But the truth is you can’t have too much right-size dog. You can easily have a lot too much dog in just one dog, if you see what I mean.

Ruddy great galumphing beasts. Paws the size of food bowls. Silly slobbering mouths full of massive teeth.

“Hello, little dog,” they say to me, and before I can even say back, “little? I’m the right size,” they say, “let’s play, little dog, let’s run around and jump up and down and look silly.”

And they go ahead and do it, as though your peaceful enjoyment of a pleasant walk just didn’t matter. They bound up and down. I don’t mind the up so much, but the down’s a bit of a pain in the backside. Literally. That’s exactly where one of those far-bigger-than-necessary dogs came down on me the other day. On my backside. 

See, some of those lumpy outsize dogs aren’t just big, they’re surprisingly nippy. I’m pretty fast on my paws myself, but when you’ve got legs that long, you can cover as much ground in one step as I can in two. Maybe three. That’s why he was able to come down on my rear end like that before I could get away.

A puppy, his human said he was. He felt like about fifty puppies to me. A right-size puppy’s a gentle, feather-like creature, you barely notice it jumping on you. I know when I jump on human number 1, she says silly things like “oww – that hurts!” but that’s just her way, she’s just joking. Anyway human number 2 laughs, so it can’t be hurting her, can it? 

Though I notice he doesn’t laugh half so hard when I land on him. Odd.

Still, all that’s beyond the point. What the real point is is that proper-size dogs are just right. They play nicely and they’re fun. So why is the park – my park – so full of big lump dogs? What is the point of that?

And what I don’t understand is why human number 2 lets them get away with it.

“Yes,” he says, with that laugh of his, “I can see he’s a puppy. Just wants to play. I don’t know why she’s so shy of other dogs.”

You don’t know why? How would you feel if a human ten times bigger than you came down on your backside with his ruddy great paws? Would you still be laughing?

Then you might understand what the difference is between the right size and too big for comfort.

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