The Yorkshire Vet, Julian finds out dogs can look just like their owners

I’ve touched on the fascinating topic of “dogs who look like people” before.
Julian is back meeting audiences again - and selling booksJulian is back meeting audiences again - and selling books
Julian is back meeting audiences again - and selling books

The last time, it was with reference to a dog who looked just like, and was named after, a character in a film. The mop-headed poodle-cross was called Bhodi, after the surf-dude character played by the late and great Patrick Swayze in the film Point Break. The similarity was striking.

I don’t usually re-visit topics in this column, as there is always a plentiful supply of stories from the veterinary and animal world, but a recent evening event reminded me of this amusing subject, so I thought I could break my habit – just this once.

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I was at the excellent Arts Centre in Pocklington, sitting on a chair on stage, in conversation with my friend Adam.

This was one of the first of these events I’d done for some time, as the pandemic had put a stop to evenings at the theatre. Now, as life finally opened back up to a semblance of normality,

I lugged a box of my books into the foyer, hoping I’d sell a few at the interval.

I’d optimistically purchased a mountain of books pre-Covid, and most of them were still sitting, stoically, in boxes piled high in the spare bedroom, gathering dust. Their presence acted as an irksome reminder of my, often misplaced, optimism.

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Two years ago, I optimistically predicted this new virus would be a flash in the pan and over by summer. I was very wrong. Nonetheless, if the audience was a reasonable size, I hoped I stood a chance of getting rid of a few dozen in Pocklington.

The venue was impressive, situated in the centre of the high street in ‘Pock’. I’d arrived in good time and found a convenient place to park right outside. I met Adam, who lived just down the road, and we lurked in the green room beforehand.

As we ran through some last-minute ideas for topics to talk about, I glanced at the pictures of previous performers in this lovely little venue.

John Bishop had sold out on two consecutive nights. Ade Edmonson, from The Young Ones, and Phil Jupitus were there too. All available wall space was covered in posters. It sent my stomach into knots, this is still uncomfortable territory for me. Toyah Willcox was coming soon too

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The first half went well and we reconvened during the interval to chat about the next part, which would mainly consist of questions from the audience, some collected in advance.

Adam usually keeps these questions to himself but gave me advanced warning of one in particular. “Is it true that owners very often look exactly like their dogs?”

The topic was discussed in some detail during the second half. I concurred that it was a thing, related the story of Bhodi and described the often-seen pairing of a bodybuilder with a bulldog.

After other examples, I rounded off the discussion by alluding to the classic owner/dog look-a-like combo that I had not yet encountered; that of a beautiful blonde owning an Afghan Hound, with matching flowing golden locks.

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Later that week, an email arrived at my practice, from a lady who had been a member of the audience on that evening.

She was too shy to put up her hand on the night, but attached to the email was a photograph.

“This is a photo of my dog groomer and her hound,” it said. “I hope you like it!”

*Julian will be on stage with Harry Gration, Christine Talbot and others at York Theatre Royal on April 11 in A Grand Yorkshire Night Out. Tickets available now.