In so many ways, Elliott is the dog I’d love to have – as my companion, as my confidant, as my critic. I think he’d be so much fun.
He’s a mutt, of course, part Australian Shepherd and a mix of other breeds. There’s possibly some Border Collie in there too I guess, because he’s always so focussed and in the moment. His character is both invention and a mashup of some of the wonderful dogs who have shared their life with me.
Elliott is one of life’s observers. Aware of everything that’s happening, and even of some things that are not so visible to most of us.
He’s a bit of a sceptic too. Elliott probably gets that from me. At the same time, he’s an enthusiast in that when he’s given a challenge, he’ll do his best to be brilliant at whatever it is.
Compared to his former life as Barney with Ian, and the tight-lipped Hilary in country New South Wales, Elliott enjoys the stimulation and demands of his new life. Why? Not only because it pleases Jamie, Penny, Adriana and Paul, but because it gives him a sense of self-worth.
In the process of working alongside Elliott, I’ve come to understand that dogs need and deserve our respect and to have their own sense of dignity too.
Elliott’s not afraid to make fun of himself, like his “gangsta” voice when he talks with Jason, the pugilstic Pug, his admirer from Killcare, who thinks Elliott is a Sydney Mobster identity called Mad-Dog.
Finally, I think it’s probably true that pet dogs today are attuned to our multi-media world and take in a lot from what’s on our screens, including dog TV shows. With technology now that allows us to observe and communicate with them remotely, I wonder if dogs like Elliott will learn to answer back, even when they can’t see us. Maybe I’ll delve into stuff like that at some later stage in Elliott’s stories. We both can have fun with that. Yikes!
Last word: I believe a dog should be referred to as “who”, and not “that”.