Monday, June 1, 2009

The Definition of Dog: A Bit of Trivia for the Enthusiast

A recent visit to was cause for a light bulb moment. I never made the connection between one of the definitions of the word dog and the meaning of the command, "heel."

According to this site, "dog", as a verb, means "To follow closely or persistently." A synonym was listed as the verb "heel," which is a much used command in the dog world and generally asks the dog to follow closely at the owners side, without proceeding in front of the owner.

I had to wonder if the word dog was a coincidence or if the one meaning took its place after the name began being used in human applications. For example, "The police officer doggedly kept pace with the suspect."

I don't know why curiosities like this are fascinating to me. Perhaps because they seem so unsolicited. I am glad that Tanner heeds the heel command so well. It is an asset at our Agility classes. While we are a long way from being ready to compete, one of our strengths is that Tanner sticks to me fairly well. Do you think he could have read this definition?:

Tanner: Dog: To follow closely or persistently: heel. Hmm!

Source: Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition by the Editors of the American Heritage® Dictionary.Copyright © 2003, 1995. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.


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