Sunday, December 3, 2006

Dog Songs

Throughout my life I’ve been known to spontaneously break into song when a phrase or gesture or image triggers the memory of the music. Long ago, a teammate of mine would use this little idiosyncrasy to help us relax in the locker room before a big game. She’d throw out a word or a phrase and I’d come up with a song that matched whatever she said.

With Belle – one look at her eager face has me singing Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl”. What is it about her eyes that just shine with her intelligence? Her good nature? Her love? According to the American Kennel Clubs Breed Standard champion eyes have the following qualities…

“Eyes -- friendly and intelligent in expression, medium large with dark, close-fitting rims, set well apart and reasonably deep in sockets. Color preferably dark brown; medium brown acceptable. Slant eyes and narrow, triangular eyes detract from correct expression and are to be faulted. No white or haw visible when looking straight ahead. Dogs showing evidence of functional abnormality of eyelids or eyelashes (such as, but not limited to, trichiasis, entropion, ectropion, or distichiasis) are to be excused from the ring.”

Let’s see, friendly, intelligent, medium large, well set – she’s got all that. I can’t see any “functional abnormalities” either. But then, these wonderful features are in all of our dogs. When I see Helping Paws new logo, depicted in blue and white, I’m reminded most of all of the strength and power in that brown-eyed gaze. Belle, I’m so glad “You’re my brown-eyed girl”!

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