The Love That Dared Wag Its Tail

Like many dog lovers, my father was a reluctant master who let his pets have the upper hand and turned a blind eye to their faults.

This arrangement suited his favourite dog, Chester, a magnificent golden retriever. Chester was friendly and curious, with a keen zest for life, but he also had a dominant streak, which meant he could be disobedient and aggressive with other dogs.

From my father’s perspective, though, his best friend could do no wrong. I once overheard him telling his cousin Geoff, a retired CEO, “Audrey and the children think Chester’s disobedient, but he’s not. He comes when you call him – most of the time.”

“I see,” said Geoff.

“It’s not that he tries to be captain of the ship. He just is.”

“A born leader.”

“That’s right,” my father replied without a trace of irony.

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