bertie plays the blues
It seems apparent to me that McCall Smith clearly has or has had a dog in his life. He's so fantastic at observing and portraying human nature, and canine as well.
"Some dogs may enjoy snow, but (Cyril) was not one of them, and he had a tendency to blame Angus for the uncomfortable white disaster that snow represented for him.
'Not my fault, Cyril,' Angus would say under Cyril's reproachful gaze. 'I can do nothing about the weather, I'm afraid. We must bear it with as much patience as we can muster.'
That, unfortunately, was no answer. Cyril regarded Angus as omnipotent, the author and controller of his life, and by natural extension, of the conditions under which it was lived. Angus was, in fact, God to Cyril: a simple metaphor that has not escaped the attentions of some theologians who see the man/dog relationship as a helpful cipher for our own relationship with a creator. But whereas the human notion of god allows the creator freedom to order the world in a way which we may not find to our taste - acts of God, it must be remembered, include typhoons, lightning, and pestilence, at least as far as the interpretation of insurance contracts is concerned - in Cyril's theology there was no room for such discretion. Snow was uncomfortable and should not be there: Why had Angus allowed it and what was he proposing to do about it?"
I can't tell you how many times it's snowed for the first time each winter and I've looked down at my dog and wondered whether they believe I have any control over the weather.
And these are the moments for which I love McCall Smith.
Also, I agree with Cyril: Snow is uncomfortable and should not be here.