There is a history of badly behaved dogs in my family, it's a fact I am not desperately proud of but a fact it is. Our dogs are not endearing either, I mean whippets aren't everyone's cup of tea are they? To us they are perfect, to others - well most say they are horribly skinny, shivery dogs but I think the best descrioption of them was something I overheard in Wales such a long time ago now...
It was on a beach picnic in the mid 1970s there was me, Mum, my sister and two of the most badly behaved dogs ever. In their defence we were there first on the beach and it was quite empty to begin with but as the morning wore on and the sun became hotter and hotter, more and more families came to join us.
Now our two dogs Robin and Jay were northern whippets and like all whippets enjoyed sloping off to hunt whenever Mum’s back was turned. They were quite incorrigible and Mum had no control at all. From a distance she could see that her dogs were misbehaving badly. Instead of hunting up the grassy slopes away from the beach those two rascals had hit upon the best game ever - nicking everyone’s sandwiches and peeing on all the sandcastles and running like stink when people found out. It was pure heaven - for them!.
When you can do something really, really well you can’t help but show off and these two could run and it was so lovely watching them – although when I pointed this out to Mum she quite disowned them and said they weren’t ours. She rammed her sunglasses on more firmly, dug her nose more deeply into her magazine and studiously ignored the dogs.
I think this had a lot to do with the fact that there were two ample ladies in nylon flower print dresses looking disapprovingly at the dogs as well.
Creaking in their comfortable stripped canvas deck chairs one pursed her lips and said to the other: “Look you at those two dogs over by there – ooohhh, they look like rats on stilts!”