By Christel Kasselmann
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Extra info for Aquarium plants, 1st Edition
I had seen him rolling on his back in his kennel and leaping towards my hand as I said my unbearable goodbye; now here he was at work, causing these men to win or lose real money. Dog children are quite common. They like the greyhounds and they like the finite statistics of the racecards. I used to compile these, so familiar was I with the complement of dogs at White City and Harringay, and can remember my father muttering: ‘That’s not a bad race’ when I presented him with one. A certain type of child is fascinated by the minutiae that goes into making up a race: the one dog gets out of the trap 33 THE DOGS but the three dog is fast up to the first bend and likes to get to the rails so might knock the one and two out of it which could leave the four clear but the six finishes strongest of the lot of them but the five dog is the class dog.
It seems impelled by a wilful desire to prove that one can laugh in the face of life’s cruelty; a desire to prove one’s toughness; a desire to make oneself less vulnerable by denying one’s vulnerability, by refusing identification with victims and by engaging with, even enjoying, the harshness of life, by wearing its rough realities 53 THE DOGS over one’s soft flesh like a battered leather skin coat. In fact, because it takes one out of one’s watchful self, and because its object is to produce victors and victims, all sport can make one cruel, callous and careless with one’s feelings.
He was the sort of dog that makes me feel that he would know me still if he were alive today. I feel now that he forged a partnership with my father, whom I can still see casually fondling the sensitive brindle ears. They understood one another. Throughout his life, Commutering did the right thing by my father: he tried and he won and he loved. He went to stud and threw some good dogs in the short time before he got cancer. That was what all the phone calls were about. Normally that sort of sympathy would not be extended for the loss of a racing greyhound, but real dog people love their dogs and they were sorry for my parents, who were deemed to have lost their boy.