My dog Mimi has to be just about one of the most lovable creatures on earth. Now I realise that most people say that about their dogs, but I really mean it. Mimi is not conventionally beautiful - indeed, she may not even be unconventionally beautiful. She proves the dictum that any creature that is beautiful as a baby is destined to be ugly as an adult. Her fur is inclined to scruffiness, her eyes bulge, and her legs are longer and thinner than might be deemed necessary for her torso and head. But we love her, and her ego is such that she's convinced she is the most beautiful dog on the block. We are the classic modern parents, bringing up our child with an excess of self-regard that slips into unrealistic ideas of self.
In another life Mimi may well have become a circus dog - she is capable of extraordinary feats of balance and endurance, though strangely devoid of any accompanying physical grace or grandeur. She manages to look thoroughly clumsy even whilst performing feats of extraordinary dexterity.
She is very affectionate, and a little too ready with her tongue. She needs more discipline, I suppose, but it's far too late for that now. I suppose some might say she's been spoiled.
And yet I've never encountered a dog with such charm. Most people fall completely in love with her after knowing her for only 5 minutes. Strangers laugh at her in the street, and vets have been known to suggest we put her on TV, so peculiar is her appearance.
But we love her, completely and utterly. And she loves us, I have to believe.