We used to have a Basset hound called Lizzie. This is a picture of her in her very comfortable bean bag, which belonged to a human until she took ownership of it.
I have been thinking about dogs recently, especially the matter of dog breeds. I walk our beagle every day in the woods and we often meet other dogs. Mostly, I am pretty well acquainted with dog breeds and can recognise many of them. I can tell a labrador from a retriever, a miniature schnauzer from a Border terrier; I can even name a Weimaraner or a Newfoundland.
But in the past few years, things have become blurred at the edges, when it comes to dog breed recognition. A naturally curious person, I often ask owners encountered in the woods what breed their dog is, if it is not instantly recognisable; most owners are delighted to talk about their dogs (I am no exception). The other day, my dog and I met a little white fluffy barking canine. I asked what make it was. "A cavapoo", was the reply. Cross between a Cavalier Kings Charles spaniel and a poodle. A few weeks ago, we met a "jug" in a walk round the edge of a local golf course. It took me a minute or two to work out the combination there (pug x Jack Russell). My mind has started to boggle slightly at what extraordinary names will appear. There are already "labradoodles" and "cockapoos". Now, if there's a cross between a Shih tzu and a poodle.... see what I mean? It'll end in tears.