I have a little dog called Preferences, a kelpie-labrador cross, which means he tends to lie around a lot. As a general rule, he doesn’t like being exercised. He only gets out about once a year to the bum-sniffing competitions. There are three of them: the national competition, the state competition and local competition. So he doesn’t get much exercise, but as I said, he’s a pretty lazy dog. When we go out to one of the annual competitions there are normally two main events in two paddocks: the upper paddock and the lower paddock.
We normally do the lower paddock first. It’s pretty simple, Preferences runs round sniffing bums and at the end of the morning the most popular dog wins. The upper paddock competition is rather more complicated making it a cross between a dogfight, a bunfight and Friday night in Clancy’s saloon. There are all sorts of dogs running round: mad dogs, bad dogs and dogs that are dangerous to know.
Preferences normally goes in, sniffs a couple of bums, decides it’s all too hard, lies down and refuses to move. I can’t say I blame him. Apart from all the normal suspects, there is a group of dogs called Preference Deals. They are very hard to pick as they tend to blend into the background and move around really quickly, ducking and diving everywhere. Every now and then, there is a big group sniff off.
Preference Deals at work
I saw one once, and I must admit that it certainly knew which were the important bums to sniff. The trouble with the dogs called Preference Deals is they usually move so fast that the other dogs don’t get a chance to sniff them. So you don’t know what their influence is until the results have been announced and you find that some real dogs of candidates have got up.
So from now on, I’m going to exercise my little dog Preferences and make sure he gets round to sniff all the bums in the upper paddock.