Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Fri Nov 10 07:34:13 EST 2000

Ok, all you cat people have had it all your own way long enough! ;) 
I quite agree about the wonderful cat details in DWJ books, but also 
feel that she must have had (and loved) at least one dog somewhere 
along the line, given the wonderful description of Leo/Sirius in 
Dogsbody.  So at least this will swoop briefly on-topic.

We got a dog of our own recently, just after I'd read Dogsbody to 
Cara, and there were strange resonances.  The dog was rescued by a 
woman, when it followed her into her pub. Presumably she was thrown 
out of a car (right near the middle of town) - abandoned because she 
was pregnant.  The sheer meanness people are capable of never fails 
to amaze me...

Anyway, we named her Belvane (yes,it's from a book), but call her 
Bell (_not_ Belle, Becca says - reverting to our names thread, and 
agreeing that spelling of names does make a difference).  She'd been 
named Bailey after the drink, so we'd to keep the name sounding 
similar, but were not going to leave it at that!

The poor dog was rather unsettled for a while, as you can imagine, 
but now knows she owns the place.  The funny things which relate to 
Dogsbody include her learning what we were saying.  When she first 
came, she didn't know the word "walk", but picked it up incredibly 
quickly.  For about three days in a row, I'd talk to her as I was 
putting on my runners before taking her out, and she'd _watch_ me 
talking, with amazing concentration.  Reminded me eerily of Leo 
trying to learn to understand human talk!  After a few days, she'd 
bark if asked if she wanted to go for a walk - but she'd a special 
short bark, which sounded frighteningly like "ALK"!

But then she got really terrified of cars and started balking, 
shaking and even sometimes lying flat on the road refusing to go any 
farther.  I knew exactly how Kathleen felt dragging Leo backwards on 
his first walk.

The non-topical funny thing is her food preferences: pasta I think is 
shared by lots of dogs, apple was vaguely surprising, but not that 
strange, but when we discovered grapes, mango (we only tried this 
because Cara dropped a bit on the floor - it's far too expensive to 
have been offered to her just as an experiment!), tangerines, peas, 
cooked carrots, broccoli and sweet potato, it's just plain weird.  It 
seems almost like any human food, except that she won't touch banana 
or onion (only two I've discovered so far).

Back to topical, she chewed up the cover of our copy of Dogsbody, 
which was funny remembering the "teething" problems in the book, but 
decidedly unfunny otherwise!  She also runs away every time I take 
out the broom to sweep, which wouldn't even have struck me, except 
for Duffie hitting L/S in the book.

And for one last effort at being on-topic, Becca says we should have 
named her Vierran, because she has high cheek-bones (she's a cross 
between a collie and a mystery, according to the vet).  Cara said we 
should have called her Sophie, because I nick-named her Mrs. Nose. 
All the bedroom doors upstairs fall shut, probably because the house 
has settled, although it could possibly have been built uneven. 
Anyway, she regularly pushes them open just to poke around and then 
gets stuck in there - until rescued by one of us, if anyone's home! 
She's also learned the sound of the car, and pushes aside the 
living-room curtain to watch sadly as we drive off, or greet us when 
we come back.  It looks so sweet from the car, as all you can see is 
the long nose and two eyes above it.  And can she ever pack an 
emotional punch with a look!

Hallie (who'll shut up now, and leave things back to the cat-lovers). 
(And fwiw, we had several cats as well as dogs when I was growing up, 
and they were lovely, but I'm still decidedly a dog person).

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