The other day, when a friend and I were discussing our favourite breeds of dogs, my thoughts turned to my friend Ellen's dogs, Kinley and Cisco, whom I affectionately call "The Whippet Boyz."
I have always been attracted to fairly large chunky short-haired dogs like labs and pittis – perhaps because I am rather chunky and short-haired myself. That is not to say that I don’t love all four of my very hairy crew, none of which are particularly chunky. I suppose I could say all four chose me, as was the case with previous non-chunky, long haired dogs I have adopted. I came by them in an unplanned, serendipitous way, mostly through rescue. The only two dogs who have fit my stereotype of those I am attracted to – Emma and Caleb – were with me for less than a year. (Hmmmm......there must be a message in that, somewhere).
Conversely, I have always been almost repulsed by the ultra-skinny breeds like greyhounds and whippets – anorexic dogs whose ribs are exposed and who look like someone forgot to feed them for the past month. Or maybe, like my reaction to ultra-skinny people who without speaking seem to question my food choices, I just feared I would be judged and rejected by them.
But, of course, dogs don’t care if we are appetizer-sized or super-sized. They may fear the person who is angry or cruel, they may protect the person who takes care of their needs, but they don’t judge a human for their size.
When Ellen adopted Kinley, I thought “What the heck does she see in him?” Yet despite his skinny little body and youthful exuberance (or perhaps because of it) he has grown on me.
Kinley in snow
I really doubt I will ever adopt a whippet, though, because I just know I would be driven to fatten them up until they looked more like rotund labs with pointy noses. And that probably wouldn’t be the least bit healthy for them. Oh course, if I adopted one like Kinley, who clearly reads food labels carefully for their nutritional values, I might actually lose some weight myself:
In writing this piece, I actually came to the realization that whippets no longer look anorexic to me. Instead, I see only their shy sweet gaze, their smooth aerodynamic form, their long legs all folded into themselves, their caring hearts. They are beautiful dogs, inside and out. Kinley and Cisco, thanks for being part of my life.