(You can read about our relationship counselling session here.)
So you can imagine my distress when a woman, unknown to us both, judged me for giving my dog a non-human name.
‘Oh, he’s lovely,’ she said, so innocuously, lulling me into thinking all I was in for was inane dog-park small talk. ‘What kind is he?’
Again, entirely predictable. Most people think he’s a poodle of some kind.
‘He’s what’s called a Lagotto,’ I said, ‘He’s an Italian truffle digger.’ Most people look at me like I’m a dickhead when I say that. But she didn’t, and that should have given me a clue about what was to come. She was clearly a dog person, one who knows all about the exotic breeds. I glanced at her pooch — an Afghan hound. Groomed like a Kardashian at Elton John’s post Oscar party.
‘What’s his name?’
‘Tiger,’ I said.
‘What kind of a name is that for such a beautiful boy?’ she asked.
‘Well,’ I stammered, ‘He looked like the dog on the Brady Bunch. It was called Tiger too.’