Thursday, July 06, 2006


Every dog has at least one job. Some have not yet figured out their job. Retrievers must retrieve -- if only to "retrieve" and carry around a mankey tennis ball. (I see at least one lost tennis ball on each long daily walk.) Most terriers dig. Shepards are good at herding things, if only their person's children and other pets.

Me? My forebearers were bred down from Tibetan mastiffs to be compact companion dogs to monks. We are expected to sit quietly for hours on end while the monks meditate and study. We are expected to be bedwarmers and all-around companions for our people. We are not guard dogs or watchdogs per se because we are too small to attack much of anything. Instead, one of our key jobs is to use our ears and noses to make sure our people (who have not-so-good ears and noses) know when something needs to be investigated like a stranger coming to the door or a ringing telephone.

My people have discovered that I also can detect strokes and heart attacks in people before they can do so themselves. I can do lots of other things but they just haven't noticed yet.

Here I am doing one of my jobs: quietly keeping my person company while she is on a computer. Beats listening to the gongs and chanting of 100 monks. But, I could do without the odd noises computers make which people can't hear.