A Jewel of a Dog by Mina Moffat. MacRosty Park, Crieff doggie tails


A Tail by ViVi Dog

Of all my canine park friends there is one whom I admire greatly.  She is a beautiful black Labrador, shiny coat, bright soft eyes and a nice wet nose.  However, that is not why I admire her, although that could be a good enough reason as I am a bit shaggy, drop white hairs everywhere and drool something terrible.

This jewel is Gem, very aptly named although from what her human says Gem is not named for a jewel, it is short for Gemini.  On checking Gemini Zodiac characteristics the only one I could find which suits her is ‘you are happy and energetic’ and she certainly is both of these.  No matter what the reason for her name it suits her perfectly.

She is the most even tempered dog I have ever met.  She is sweet and friendly to everyone, dogs and humans.  The only time I have noticed she seeks attention is if I go to her human for a cuddle and she is left standing feeling somewhat shut out.  That mostly happens when my dad is with us, not sure if I am showing off that her human is a particular friend of mine or not, but she does look miffed.  When dad sees this he makes a big fuss of her and all is well.

Being a true Labrador she loves the water and when I first knew her, her human would let her off the lead so she could go into the river or the mill lade which runs through the park. However this has had to stop, not sure why. Maybe because she was enjoying if too much.  Now when she comes to the park she has a long play chasing a ball and generally running about enjoying herself.  Then she is back on the lead for a sedate walk round the park where the river and lade are, this way she knows she cannot indulge in water play.

I really don’t understand all this enthusiasm for water. Quite a number of the park dogs love either the river or the lade.  To me water is for drinking or at a push in the summer when it is hot to paddle in to cool my paws.  In the winter what a thought, immersing my body in all that cold water.

There is another thing I particularly like about Gem and that is, like me, she does not look for treats.  I don’t think I know any other park dog which has this disdain for these little indulgences.  Surely if you get a good meal of suitable dog food, dry biscuits and chicken for me, not sure what Gem’s favourite is, you will not need to be constantly grazing on treats.

You see, Gem is a working dog.  One of those very clever canines who is chosen for special training and work.  She is a Canine Partner to her human.  She chose him!  At the training centre all the trained dogs and humans who are to be paired with a partner would meet in a room.

She tells me she immediately spotted the human she wanted to be a partner to, went to him to show that she wanted to choose him and now nothing will part her from him.  I hope he feels the same about her but I truly think he does, you can see this in the way they look at each other.