A Few New Friends

Monday, 19 February 2007
While I’ve been carefully navigating the slippery sidewalks lately, the dogs in the hood are having a field day in the snow. What is it about the snow that makes kids, animals and everything in between so playful? In the past 4 months since I moved to my new place, six dogs or 3 different pairs have started to recognize me as I start making these high-pitch squeals (something like “heyyy!”) which turns into a conspiring whisper (something like “yesh yesh, show me ze love”) when I approach them.
The black Labrador pair next door are called Java and Laska, named after the software program and the dog in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Whenever I go over, they come bounding to the door together and compete to see who gets to jump first on top of me. Laska is definitely the tamer one but the minute I start scratching Java’s belly, she’s looking at me with those me-too-please kind of eyes. Soo irresistible :)
Mimi and Gigi are the pair of Scottish terriers who live around the corner from my house and are apparently retired show dogs. They still seem to be very obedient and don’t even require leashes when they go out for their walks. And having to live up to their French names and fine pedigree, they like to waltz around wearing these fine looking highland coats, too! Gigi is getting on with age and doesn’t care too much for socializing. But when Mimi comes over to sniff and say hi, Gigi will slowly hobble over to see what the fuss is about.
Recently I’ve started seeing a lot of Duncan and Macduff, west highland white terriers or more commonly known as westies (as shown in picture). The pair of them – named after the characters in Macbeth – love frolicking around in the snow and Duncan is the more excitable of the two. The other day he just hopped up to lick my face, snow and all. Macduff sniffed around my boots for a bit before looking up to declare “hmm, you’re not so bad.” I scratched his neck to show my gratitude and silently prayed my dog back in Delhi was not shooting telepathic rays of utter disdain and contempt.

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