Does anything say ‘Friday’ more than our Strictly Dog Dancing final? Doesn’t it just make you long for the weekend that little bit more? I know I do. Knowing I have to judge choreographed cainines later in the day, I often think it’s a minor miracle that I’m not rat arsed by lunch. When I see those little mutts in their sequins and ties, I begin to regret agreeing to what has been one of Judy’s dumbest ideas. Not that I had much of a say in the matter. Judy can be persistent and she gave me an ultimatum. It was either the dancing dogs or parrots that can yodel.
Dogs. I can’t stand the bloody things myself. And the owners are worse. I swear that if Britain didn’t have dogs to look after, the national musical instrument would be the banjo. Want kind of person wants to teach tap dancing to a terrier? Have they ever wondered if a dog wants to learn to tap dance and what advantages a tap dancing terrier might have over the rest of the animal kingdom? It’s hardly evolution. Can you imagine in a thousand years the possibility that all dogs can tap dance. Nature will have weeded out all dogs with weak ankles or a poor heel-toe. There’d even be films dedicated to them. Little doggy versions of Gene Kelly splashing through the puddles or doing Busby Berkely style spectacles. Some people probably love the idea. If it ever catches on, though, you know who came up with the idea.
Before I go and hit the tonic water, here are some doggy facts. Did you also know that medically all dogs are cross-eyed but they have learned to live with the condition? Did you also know that dogs carry more parasites than rats? In fact, some bigger dogs have been known to carry small rats. In some countries, small rat infested dogs have been found living in the fur of larger mammals and that the original Lassie had a rat living in its coat for the first three films. Did you also know that Mae West’s favourite animal was her pet Alsatian? On the animal’s death, she had skinned and made into a hat. Mae’s Alsatian hat caused a huge storm of protests in the 1960s but for a short period of time, it was the height of fashion to wear a dog skin hat. Bob Dylan wrote a song about the trend but later changed it to a Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat when music executives refused to allow him to sing about his Labrador’s Rib Cage Hat.