Mrs Michael Gove on the importance of housebreaking your husband
As a Nobel prize winner once wrote, ‘Don’t speak too soon for the wheel’s still in spin / There’s no telling who it is naming.’
So it was for columnist Sarah Vine a few months ago, when it looked as if her hubby Michael Gove might become Prime Minister, in the chaotic fallout of the EU referendum. Vine tried to press the wheel in her favour, advising Gove to play hardball with his rival Boris Johnson.
But alas, it wasn’t to be, and our would-be first lady has moved on to bigger and better things: she’s become a dog-whisperer.
In today’s Daily Mail, Vine ‘learns to talk dog’ with a pet psychologist, the better to communicate with her dogs, Muffin and Snowy. Her piece begins with a typical pearl of wisdom:
“The thing about dogs is that however much we, their devoted owners, love to talk about them as if they were human, at the end of the day, they are always dogs.”
You don’t say. The confusion appears to be widespread, however, as the one-time political kingmaker continues:
“It took me years to grasp the truth about owning a dog: they are hard work.
Rather like husbands, if you don’t put your foot down early, unacceptable behaviour can develop. Boundaries must be established early.“
Whoever could she mean? Things get a bit eerie when Vine says of her rescue dog Snowy:
“I can now, for example, get Snowy to heel simply by changing the tone of my voice, a technique Karen [the dog psychologist] taught me.
I can also express my intention via sound and body language and the dogs instinctively know when I mean business.”
Fascinating. Later on, we read:
“The amount of detail is astonishing. Did you know, for example, that when a dog wags its tail more to the right, it’s a sign of happiness, while a left-leaning wag indicates anxiety?”
How curious. For societies, it’s the exact opposite.
Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.