Our Elmo is a 40 kilogram wuss. He’s half Boxer, half Cane Corso. He’s quicker than a Labrador, nearly as quick as a Vizsla. He can clear my head from a standing jump. His bark at the front door is very Hound of the Baskervilles. His breeder gave him to Battersea Dogs Home as the only people who wanted him were dog fighters.
The popular view of the type of people who would own him would have me wearing a string vest, sporting tattoos and drinking Wife Beater from early morning. Leaving the accuracy of that stereotype to one side, we didn’t want Elmo ostracised. We don’t want people crossing the street to avoid him. We wanted to reassure people. Indeed we wanted people to approach him and us.
He sports a fluorescent green collar with emblazoned with “FRIENDLY”. Having now had him nearly 18 months, not a day goes by without someone commenting “isn’t that a good idea!”
Elmo sits proudly when being adored. His collar and lead have undoubtedly contributed to his sense of pride and well being. And mine.
The manufacturer makes a variety of collars, suitable for different temperaments and roles. Without it we’d be shunned. With it he’s popular. It’s a shame I can’t find one to suit me.