Sunday, 3 January 2010

Nomen canis olate themselves easily from their dogs...


It seems to be the season of quizzes. I wouldn't like Lydian Airs to be found wanting, so here we go:

What do (or did) Mark Twain, Alexander Pope, Bill Clinton, Christopher Marlowe, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lords Byron and Mandelson have in common?

Come on, come on, we haven't got all day.

Here's a clue: Woof woof. (Or if you prefer it in French, goodness knows why, Ouaf ouaf. )

Yes, you've got it. You're brilliant, every one of you.

They all had dogs whose names started with B.

But this is where the real test starts: now match the dog to its owner:

Bosun, Bobby, Bungey, Bimberl, Beelzebub, Buddy, Bounce.

Answers tomorrow, or some other day. No prizes, just immense kudos.

The photo above is of Bellamy's rear end, her front end being preoccupied with a sub-snow mole or mouse. She was the last dog we had. She died at 15½ about 7 years ago. We've been without a dog since, probably the longest period that I've ever gone dog-less.

I think people eventually find 'their' dog, the breed that suits them best , sometimes after some trial and error. I ended up with golden retrievers, despite them being entirely belly-driven, sybaritic and useless as guard dogs.

Bellamy was our second golden retriever. The first was originally called Haida, after a British Columbian water-goddess, or some such thing. She was given to me by a colleague (who had once been BBC Sports Personality of the Year) when this person emigrated. Tastefully or not, we changed her name to Snuff.

I don't know why I'm telling you all this. Here's Bellamy swimming in Lake Trasimene in Tuscany. Or is it Umbria?

13 comments:

Rog said...

Bill Clinton's dog was Buddy. I would never make a joke about Monica.

We all grow to look like our dogs as well. I'm the dead spit of Oz now.

Dave said...

Good Lord! Has Princess Anne emigrated? Why were we not told?

Vicus Scurra said...

Dave. Because of the restraining order, as you well know.

Cynthia said...

Your first Golden Retriever was named for the original people of the Pacific Norhwest Coast. Present-day Haida (HIGH-dah) live in southern Alaska and in British Columbia, Canada.

Twain/Bungey, Pope/Bounce, Clinton/Buddy, Marlowe/Beelzebub, Mozart/Bimberl, Byron/Boatswain (same as Bosun?), Mandelson/Bobby.

What, no prizes? Not even a punnet of your premium strawberries or a particularly pulchritudinous stone from your drystone wall?

I, Like The View said...

I had a godmother once who had a golden retriever, I can remember taking her for long walks on the South Downs at Beachy Head

(the dog, not the godmother)

we're cat people at the moment, altho ever since watching Fraiser my children have wanted an Eddie

Christopher said...

Rog: Yes, 1 out of 7. Owners resembling their dogs? Of course. I too am entirely belly-driven and sybaritic (don't think I'm alone) and when unknown people appear at the door I hide under the stairs.

Dave: 0 for 0. No, Princess Anne was never a colleague. Try earlier, but this person is now lost in obscurity. Now 9 for 1. Oh goodness.

Vicus - but I expect you'd prefer me not to interrupt a private conversation.

Cynthia! What an absolute delight!
5 out of 7, too. Sheer genius. Your prize is 2-star immense kudos, but please feel free to scrump our strawberries and help yourself to stones from our walls any time you'd like to ring the bell, and you won't find me hiding under the stairs. Come in any time. Always welcome!


I: Hi. Cats tomorrow, probably. Did you have many godmothers? One godmother with several golden retrievers? One golden retriever who went the rounds of your godmothers? And Beachy Head could be a bit OTT, no?

Z said...

I like mongrels that look like golden retrievers. I was dogless for 4 years and wouldn't want to do that again. I used to demand that dogs with muddy feet, however well behaved normally, jumped up at me because I felt so lost without a dog.

The Black Dog Of Bungay's name was Black Shuck, if that helps at all.

Christopher said...

Z: The Black Dog of Bungay! Tell me more...I thought black dog was the savage-tempered depression I suffer from sometimes. (Not very often, now.) If I address it man-to-dog as Black Shuck maybe that will soften the blow for those about me - yes, thank you very much, I think that will help a great deal!

Z said...

Although it was believed, when it rampaged round St Mary's church in a storm in 1577, to be a manifestation of the Devil, Bungay is proud of its Black Dog. But then we're odd.

I think that giving yours a name is a fine idea. By naming it, you will become its master.

zIggI said...

My dog was called Ziggi, spooky eh?

She was a Border Collie x Springer and MAD. She lived to 17.

My Granny had a Lab Retriever called Toastie.

Christopher said...

Zigs: Toastie. Now there's a name...

...in France they have this system of recommending - particularly for hunting or working dogs - that dogs should be given names starting with the letter assigned to the year they were born in. Like car registrations. If you can't think any up for yourself you can get prepared lists from the vet's. We're on F this year. So you'd have 20 years to wait for another Ziggi. Yes, it is spooky.

Everyone: W V has come up. I didn't ask for it, it just happened. I hope you get some really suggestive ones.

Christopher said...

Rog: When you say you never make a joke about Monica, you mean moniker, of course?

Sometimes I think quite deeply about these things.

I, Like The View said...

word ver: swaddled

(I'm hoping for a more suggestive one next time)