Have you ever heard that saying that owners look like their dog? I started thinking about this when I was walking my own hound (a labradoodle) this lunchtime and I am getting a little obsessed by the idea. Take the Queen and her corgis. Is she not small and neat like that breed? I can’t imagine her with a leggy wolfhound. There’s a kind of game readiness about her that fits with her pets. Then Kate and Will got themselves a cocker spaniel, Lupo, who has long dark ears that echo the Duchess of Cambridge’s most spectacular feature, her long flowing locks. Across the pond, Barack Obama and family have a cute Portuguese water dog whose coat has some resemblance to the great man’s own head covering – at least before the trials of office turned his hair more pepper and salt. A couple of the photographs of them running around the White House together seem to suggest they have the same loping bound, but that might just be clever camera work.
The rule seems to run into literature too. Hagrid’s dog, Fang, is as giant sized as he is. Bullseye, Bill Sykes dog in Oliver Twist, is a fighter like his owner. Snowy has the investigative courage of his owner, Tintin, and sticky-up ears that mirror his master’s quiff.
This kind of thinking has led to the phenomenon of memes. My favourite one is the otter/Benedict Cumberbatch series. Maybe we can all look like anything if enough picture research is done to match expressions, but it is amusing nonetheless. The human eye seeks out familiar expressions in other creatures.
So here is the million dollar question: what about me?