Skim Milk as Cream
In the wonderful libretto of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore, there is a pretty good line:
Isn't that the truth!
Things are seldom what they seem,
skim milk masquerades as cream,
Highlows pass as patent leathers;
Jackdaws strut in peacock's feathers.
Am I alone in noting that a lot of people who claim to know a great deal about dogs never seem to actually take their dogs out into the field? Their dogs are always too young or too old, and -- oh! -- their aching back just went out as well.
For these folks, the "too cold" season rolls into the "too wet" season, and then "baby season" followed by "had to go to a dog show," followed by "too hot" and "the ground is too hard," followed by "too wet" and then "too cold" again.
For some of these characters, year after year goes by and there is never a report or picture of an actual dig in the field. Lots of dog shows, of course. Lot of puppies. Lots of talk about pedigrees, and structure, and "movement," and theories of breeding, but apparently no actual digging in the field. Some of these folks can conjugate canine pedigrees as if they were reading out of the "begats" sections of the Bible, but don't ask them for a picture or date of their last dig!
Which would be no big deal, if these folks simply stopped insisting they had workings dogs and were "protecting" a working breed. They do not, and they are not!
And no, work is NOT killing a rat on the breezeway or a possum out by the carport.
Of course skim milk masquerading as cream is not unique to terrier work, is it? I am told there are whole tribes of hawkers who parade their birds around on their first, but have never flown a bird free from its creance.
There are expert sailors that have never left the bar stool, lawyers that have never tried a case in court, architects that have never put up 20 sheets of drywall, and race car drivers that cannot change the oil on their own cars.
Priests and nuns seem to have no compunction at all about lecturing the world about sex and birth control, while politicians who send their own kids to private school seem to be certified experts on how much money it takes to run a public version of the same.
And, in truth, sometimes it makes no difference. A cubic zirconium ring is no worse than a real diamond, as far as I can tell.
Ditto for an expensive-looking bottle of wine that remains uncorked.
Only when something is used, does its true nature reveal itself.