Part 2 of the Country Canine Companions Collection
Bess lives a few houses along our street. Four oversized paws on a growing body, she is one delightful wiggle. Even her sibilant name
is one long slinky of sound, stretching out into eternity, becoming a sigh in the wind that never quite dies out. One big wriggle.
Bess is a stag hound cross: as tall as Marmaduke in the comics of my childhood – though not as heavy – with coarse hair on her chest and smooth brindle strokes emanating from her spine down her flanks. Her brindle colouring is not tightly-stitched as it is in our dog, it’s more as if the painter who detailed our dog’s coat used Bess to wipe the paint brushes dry.
Bess came to live with Blue, a stocky heeler (and not a red one!). Blue has by now grown into his paws: I’ve watched him being walked since he was a floppy-eared puppy. You’ll read more about him in my next post.
As is the way with country neighbours, we stop for a chat when we pass each other. As is the way with country town neighbours, we know each others’ dogs’ names but not each others’ people’s names. Which means that this detail isn’t relevant, it doesn’t form the bond of human connection… or that we haven’t graduated yet to that level of intimacy? (Our dogs, of course, communicate in different ways and have no need of such ‘levels of friendship’.)
Whatever the social psychology is, I’m glad that Bess has moved in down the street. A fine dog our dog is glad to call her neighbour!