News Garry Linnell: Never trust a man who doesn’t like dogs

Garry Linnell: Never trust a man who doesn’t like dogs

Garry Linnell says a president's attitude toward dogs tells us a lot about their character. Photo: TND/Getty
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I was in bed with my best mate last week when my wife walked in on us.

She didn’t seem very happy.

She often complains that I spend too much time with him and I guess the sight of us lying there in the marital bed, me gently stroking the whiskers on his chin, his head resting lovingly on the silver hairs of my chest, was the final straw.

My wife glared and pursed her lips.

My mate knew that look.

He reluctantly climbed out of bed. As he left, he glanced back at me and the sadness in his eyes broke my heart.

But my wife is tough.

She can also be unreasonable when it comes to my best mate.

I put it down to jealousy because she often finds us gazing into one another’s eyes and she wishes I would do the same with her.

“Enough is enough,” she said to me when my mate had gone.

“He spends every moment of the day with you and if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times. I don’t want that dog on our bed.”

There really is no point arguing with her when she gets in one of those moods.

So I mumbled an apology and when I could hear her in the kitchen making breakfast, I quietly opened the back door and let my best mate Archie back inside.

I’ve been Archie’s human for the past seven years.

As I write these words he is sitting on my lap.

You might call him my muse.

He is an intelligent Cavoodle and sometimes his paw reaches out and taps the keyboard and cvfhy#  %$4PO{ = %^&4DF@.

He follows me everywhere and even insists on coming into the bathroom with me.

He is a patient dog who never minds how long I take to read the newspaper.

My wife once said that he suffers from separation anxiety and needs medication.

Or maybe she was talking about me.


It was just another one of her lame attempts to get attention when she could clearly see I was focused on massaging Archie behind the ears while formulating plans for our afternoon walk.

Anyway, not long after she ordered Archie out of bed it became clear that Joe Biden would definitely be the next President of the United States.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris raise their hands in triumph amid the crowd’s cheers. Photo: AP

“This is the best news the world has had this year,” I said to Archie, who was underneath my desk with one paw resting on my foot.

He looked up at me a little guiltily.

When an unpleasant odour hit me I understood why.

But he was clearly sorry and I immediately forgave him because overlooking faults in others is what true love is all about.

“Biden might be old and confused and spent way too much time living in his basement,” I said.

“But he’s a dog guy.”

Archie understood immediately what that meant.

His English is somewhat patchy but our communication works at a higher, almost telepathic, level.

I told him Biden has two German Shepherds – Champ and Major.

Having a dog guy as the most powerful man on Earth was a relief because, as everyone knows, dog guys have a lot of empathy and compassion.

They know they are not the centre of the universe, but are merely small, insignificant objects in the orbit of their canine.

Their role is to nurture, support, protect and care.

Clearly, Donald Trump is not a dog guy.

Donald Trump at his first public outing since losing the election. Photo: Getty

He is the first president in more than a century to not have a pooch in the White House.

He also fails to show respect when using the word “dog”.

He spits it out like an obscenity.

He once claimed Republican Mitt Romney “choked like a dog” when he lost the 2012 election to Barack Obama.

He once gloated that a television news anchor who lost his job had been “fired like a dog”.

“Definitely not a dog guy,” I told Archie again.

“He’s so crude and such a narcissist I think he might even be one of those weird cat guys.”

Mr Trump’s most appalling reference to dogs came last year when he announced that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had died after being hunted down by American special forces in Syria.

It wasn’t the news about al-Baghdadi’s demise that was disturbing.

It was the way Trump crowed about the manner of his death.

“He died like a dog,” Mr Trump declared.

“He died like a coward. He was whimpering, screaming and crying.”

I knew then that Mr Trump knew nothing about mutts.

He had clearly never held a dying dog in his arms.

I have humbly served many dogs over the years.

I have carried several of them to the car when advanced years and cruel disease meant a one-way trip to the vet.

I have held them in my arms and whispered to them softly as the needle ended their suffering.

Not one of them died whimpering and crying.

They went with dignity and courage and when they sighed and expelled their last breath I continued to cling to them until their fur ran wet with my tears.

That’s what dog guys do.

They know how to love unconditionally.

They know how to be loyal and respectful.

Unlike Donald Trump, they also know their true worth.

They are only here to serve.

Walkley Award winner Garry Linnell is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected journalists and editors

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