PETER MORTIMER considers the advantages of a dog’s life – and the solution to Brexit.
I WAS ABOUT TO EMBARK on a column about dogs when I was struck, metaphorically of course, by an epiphany: had I been shown a quick and easy solution to the whole Brexit farrago?
Yes, I concluded; I had. Now pay attention. . .
- Announce a general election.
- Persuade Gareth Southgate to stand as Prime Minister. Don’t worry about party structure, manifestos, procedures, focus groups or any of that nonsense.
- Appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Southgate’s deputy (okay, I’m not sure foreigners are allowed, but we can make an exception in this case: he’s European, after all!).
- Ask everyone to form an orderly line behind them. Sense the surge of optimism that will rapidly replace the black nihilism currently draining the body politic. We shall soon be out of the current mess. And the last three years will seem like some tortured debilitating nightmare – which, actually, is what they have
For right now, unbelievably, at the top of the football tree we have two highly talented men who also happen to be instinctively decent human beings. England manager Southgate is a humane deep thinker; Man U. saviour Solskjaer has a beneficent childlike strength and good humour.
Both are obviously good eggs, not given to the xenophobia, misogyny, racism or greed which is known to attach itself to others of their ilk. Leaders, step forward!
Meanwhile, but not straying too far from the main thrust of my argument, let us focus on the serious matter of dogs. My partner Kitty has recently acquired a six-year-old border collie called Rosie and I have taken on a minority share of dog duties.
Rosie is a wonderfully energetic, exuberant dog with an unlimited desire for running. Her uninhibited zest for life shames most of we nervous pill-popping humans. Most of us run only when (a) being pursued – usually by dogs; (b) in quest for an Olympic medal; or (c) as part of an exercise regime.
No, that is NOT where Southgate and Solskjaer come in! I’ll get back to them later. . .
Rosie runs because she can, powered similarly to the rabbit in the advert for Duracell batteries. She is the closest we have to proof of the existence of perpetual motion. I have this strange image of her running off the edge of the world and disappearing into some distant galaxy.
A dog breaks down the usual social barriers that hamper we Brits, when in fact anyone seeking a partner should abandon online dating and simply buy a pooch. Attractive women who look at you aghast when approached in the street unannounced think nothing of engaging in conversation if each of you is canine-attached. They will even initiate the conversation thing themselves. You are all part the unaffiliated but influential DOG (Dog Owners Group) a common bond offering all sorts of potential for those in search of same.
No, I am NOT suggesting that Gareth and Ole Gunnar lead the DOG party: do keep up!
Another conclusion I draw from these doggy experiences, is that there’s a fortune to be made for anyone inventing a successful doggy-poo bag. Such bags should not be made of nasty plastic as they currently are; such bags should also pass the Squidge Test, by which I mean they must be capable of picking up poo as firm as bullets or as squidgy as toothpaste. No bag currently passes this test: I am frequently left with an unsavoury mess underfoot and and dirty hands that require constant washing and wringing.
Yes, dear reader, a bit like our present Prime Minister; hence the need for Southgate and Solskjaer!
Humans need dogs as much as dogs need humans. This delicate balance makes the relationship between the two unique and quite unlike the bond between humans and cats, budgerigars, hamsters or goldfish, none of which really gives a toss as long as the grub arrives.
Dogs possess a simple love of life. Their friendship is uncomplicated by hang-ups or prejudices. For a dog, the current moment is always one of wide-eyed wonder. And boy, do we need some wide-eyed wonder right now!
‘Doggies of the world unite! We have nothing to lose but our chiens’ as a French Marxist once punned.
Man’s Best Friends can save us from our terrible wilderness. . . with just a little help from Gareth Southgate and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leading from the front.