This story requires a little background set-up, especially for my international readers. Unlike many or even most men, I could really care less about sports. I have nothing against them, I've just never been very interested. I've been to some baseball and hockey games, but have found football (American football, not what we call soccer) uninteresting. Whether it's college or professional teams, I've never gotten caught up in all of the hoopla surrounding these games.
One of the major college teams in the southeastern US is the University of Tennessee Volunteers (or "Vols" for short). I received my Master's Degree there, but still never considered myself a big supporter. I don't hate them, I'm just rather ambivalent. However, there are many people who fairly obsess over them, including one of my techs. The other vet I work with is also from Tennessee and went to vet school at UT. So we have some Tennessee fans there. Until today, I didn't realize that at least one of my patients shares the same sentiment. And yes, I mean "patient", not "client".
Today I saw a basset hound named Copper for his routine annual vaccinations. He was wearing a Tennessee Volunteers collar and leash, which had already stirred some excitement with the rest of the staff. When I went into to see him, I commented to the owners that we had several UT fans here. "However, I'll admit that I'm not exactly a fan," I said conversationally. As soon as I finished the sentence there was a great big "woof" from Copper. The timing was extraordinary, as it completely seemed as if he was taking offense to my comment. We all shared a laugh at the coincidental timing, and I proceeded with my exam.
Once I was done and had put him back on the floor, I spoke to the clients some more. When it came time for him to leave, I crouched down and gave him a little more attention. He was a very sweet boy, and other than the one bark earlier, he had been quiet and well behaved. I gave him another rub behind the ears, gave him a thumbs-up sign, and said "Go Vols!" Immediately he gave a hearty "Woof, woof, woof!"
I swear, it seemed like he had been trained, or somehow comprehended what I was saying. The timing of both barks was uncanny. Apparently the owners weren't the Tennessee fans...Copper was!