Monday, March 09, 2009
city dogs and country dogs
I was thinking about the difference between city dogs and country dogs, when I was walking into town yesterday. My daughter's dog, Pepe, seen above in a nest of down comforter, is definitely a city dog.
Though we both harbor the fantasy of buying land in the country, partly so Pepe could just run outside whenever he wanted to pee, I don't think he would last more than a few days. There was an eagle drifting overhead as I was walking into town and I think Pepe would look like a great snack to an eagle. Ditto to an owl. Last night one of the resident owls at Hedgebrook ate one of the resident bunnies.
It struck me that a dog like a Chihuahua (and probably other toy dogs), are designed to be city dogs. They are status symbols, like long fingernails or white carpets, that say, I don't have a dirty job. They signal class and wealth, which is probably why Paris Hilton flaunts them. (I'm not sure what Mickey Rourke is doing with a Chihuahua, but it is adorable to see that ravaged, rough-looking man cradling the small, big-eyed dog against his chest.)
The country dogs here seem to be working dogs, dogs like collies and shepherds that are bred for herding skills, or guard dogs, like the yappy Chow mix at the farm down the road. On my way back from town, I saw a border collie mix crossing the street in front of me. He just stopped in the middle, his ears cocked in my direction. He stood there for about 45 seconds, then loped up a long drive into the woods. About three minutes later, a car approached from town and turned up that same drive. The dog had apparently recognized the sound from miles away and was heading to his post, to greet the members of his family when they disembarked.