Regardless, I have a fear of dogs. Once on a train to Brighton with my ex-girlfriend, I sat in a state of catatonic fear as a small Beast of Fury, which I believe was a dachshund, mingled with my legs underneath the small table. I cut off the circulation to her thumb, so frozen was I in fear that it may bark or something similarly outrageous.
However, I firmly believe in cutting your enemies down to size in an effort to conquer your fear, and though I generally turn into a ball of silence in the presence of a dog, I try score what victories I can.
So it was that when I was walking with my good friend Gavin to the market after a couple hours swimming that I saw my ideal target: a dog, small and fluffy like a hairball that had passed through a balloon factory, no bigger than my foot. It had a face like miserable pie.
This was The Enemy.
It's tiny pink tongue was one of mocking. It's big brown eyes were marbles of hate. It's fur, though soft, an instrument of torture. It walked like a penguin wearing tight trousers.
Faithful Reader, I found this to be hilarious.
To my friend, I pointed at the dog and giggled a high-pitch girly giggle and cried 'look at the fuckin' dog!' And laughed again. Because that's how I roll. So ridiculous was this dog that I could not help but laugh and jeer at it.
|Look at its stupid, hate-filled face.|
So caught up were we laughing at this dog that what happened next took me completely by surprise. The dog looked back to see us laughing at it and I saw in its face such a look of sorrow: it knew it was being mocked. It could not help the way that it grew. It was a stupid dog, what did it know? But it was a simple creature, one based on love and loyalty. It had probably been mocked all its life, by Greyhounds and St. Bernards and probably even the noble Westie for it's ridiculous appearance, and now it was receiving those same, hurtful jeers from a human. I felt bad in that moment, and saw piece of myself in that small, hairy animal. We were two kindred spirits, striding forth as best we could through the world, despite the opposition we would face.
I didn't apologise though. It was only a dog.