I want a dog.

I can’t have one, because my dog would be neurotic enough to chew the feet off a bronze statue of Mussolini. Dogs need packs, and while I’m as much of a pack as any man, I’m just not home enough to provide Angus a stable, traditional family unit. Yes, my dog will be named Angus.

Someday, when I’m home to throw balls and pick up dog poop, things will be different. But it still won’t be happy puppy time right away. I’ll have the problem of deciding what kind of dog Angus will be. Well, that’s a lie. I’ll have the problem of negotiating with my wife on what kind of dog Angus will be. She grew up with a giant dog, the kind that eats trees. When her Great Pyrenees was a puppy, it ate a couch. Seriously. It dragged the cushions outside and scattered bits of them across the backyard. When my wife’s mom got home, the puppy had dragged the couch to the laundry room and was trying to shove it through the dog door.

This is the kind of dog my wife wants. She doesn’t know why small dogs exist. If she wants a pet that weighs 15 pounds, that’s what cats are for.

The dog I grew up with weighed less than the daily drool production of my wife’s dog. This dog didn’t belong to me. My mom spotted the Toy Poodle in the pet store one day and fell in love when it nestled into her hands. From then on it was my mom’s dog. It then proceeded to destroy dog myths. All dogs can swim? Untrue, as it proved by falling into the pool, sinking, and sitting on the bottom like it was sitting on the kitchen floor, waiting to be picked up. Dogs are cute, or maybe smart, or at least loyal, right? No, this one was dim, vengeful, and lazy. The zenith of its wit was gathering its turds from the yard and lining them up at the back door when it was angry with us. And cute? Once grown, its closest approach to cute was sprawling on the front seat between my mom and dad for thousands of miles of road trips, snoring and farting all the way.

Okay, I’m pretty certain this is not the kind of dog you can name Angus.

It’ll have to be a compromise. We can each list the qualities most important to us in a dog, and then we’ll find the dog that does the best job of making us both happy. I want a dog that’s good natured, not stupid, can swim, and doesn’t have its own gravity well. My wife wants a dog that’s big enough to hug and can bite a moose in half.

I guess we need to discuss it a little more, perhaps over drinks. A martini or two, maybe a White Russian, a daiquiri, some Wild Turkey shots, and a round of Jägermeister. We can finish off with some punch I used to make by mixing Everclear and cherry Kool-Aid in a dirty ice chest. If my wife wants a huge, grunting, drooling creature that flops all over the bed and whines all night, then booze and I can oblige her.

What kind of dog do you think Angus should be? And what’s your perfect dog?

Hugging today. Biting moose in half tomorrow.

Photo of a person who is *not* my wife courtesy of Hoobly.com.

27 thoughts on “Wouldn’t It Be Easier to Buy 20 Hamsters and Take the Rest of the Money to Vegas?

  1. I remember the glorious Great Pyrenees dog you speak of. She was beautiful, and big, and stable… but yes, a drool factory. I remember one time she was walking around with what I thought was a string or a branch from a tree – it turned out to be a long strand of amazingly sturdy drool, carrying oak leaves along with it.

  2. A Great Pyrenees would die a thousand heat related deaths here in Texas. I think the best dogs are the ones that find you. Viola camped on our front porch a year and a half ago and she’s a wonderful dog.

    One caveat, most abandoned dogs aren’t the kind that will sit quietly and fetch slippers. They’re around four months old and require time and discipline. Time, training and patience will make a scared frightened puppy into a great dog.

    • Interestingly, my wife and her dog grew up near Houston. But I’m sure that 24 hour access to air conditioning (a dog door) and an occasional mid-summer shearing helped. They never worried about someone using the dog door to rob them. Who wants to rob the house of a dog that needs that big a door?

      • Not really we have Great Pyrs and they are used as guard dogs and have never been inside air conditioning and we live in west Tx (Lubbock area). They do just fine in the heat. Their double coat actually prevents the sun from reaching the skin and overheating them. Wonderful working dogs.

  3. Carol Seastrunk says:

    Oh Pyrs are great dogs, (yet another reason I love your wife!) my husband wants a Pyr, but he has to live with me and the 5 Aussies. I had a dog named Angus once, stubborn little devil he was. I hope you find the time and the agreement on breed … many out there need a home!

    Keep up the writing!

    • Thanks Carol! Oddly, the dog’s also one of the reasons I love my wife. We’ll certainly look for a rescue or go to the animal shelter when it’s time, so I’m that concerned about breed really. Size, on the other hand…

  4. Scottish Deerhound. With a name like Angus, it’s got to be scottish, and because Kathleen likes the big dogs terriers are right out. This guy’s bigger than a greyhound, smaller than the Irish Wolfhound. Sight hounds don’t tend to drool so much (certainly less than a Great Pyrenese).
    Although they do like to run, they tend to be major couch potatoes when inside.


  5. I saw and played with first Prys in Bilboa Spain. They roam free in all the Basque regions of Spain. OMG they come to the parks to seduce men to play with them via an empty water bottle or stick in the woods. They retrieve once and then expect you to get a second fetch, ha ha ha . Here are smelly but so proud dogs. You fall in love with the breed at once. Now I own my own “Lucy” and she makes it known who serves who. They are not typical dogs. You have to own one to know one!

    • I only met my wife’s childhood Pyr a couple of times before she passed, It was impossible not to fall in love with her at once. Unlike my wife and me, who couldn’t stand one another when we first met.

  6. Whatever dog we have has to get along with the cat. We have a Corgi/Daschund now. My husband wants a larger dog next but I keep reminding him we may downsize later and I don’t know that a Lab/Sheperd,etc would do well in a mobile home.

    • The cats–holy crap, yes! We have 5 cats, soon to have 6 when we foster one at the end of the month. How’s the Corgi/Dachshund working out with the cats? I had a Chow/Newfoundland once that thought the cats were his best friends, and they loved him too. I can’t count on that much luck every time, though.

      • He gets along great although when he was small my one cat beat him up and she was smaller than he was. We I only have one cat and him now. I had a kidney transplant in 07 so we’ve narrowed our animals down to two.

    • Ah, I understand. My mom-in-law received a new liver a number of years ago. It was a howling success, but even so it was a lot of work afterwards. Congratulations on your renal victory!

  7. i like big dogs, but im too young to have one.right now the NE humane society has two st bernards and i want them both !!! maybe the feeling of rescuing a dog would trump the ‘i want this kind of dog’ feeling and youll both find one you love:)

    • Two St. Bernards–it would be like the Mississippi River of drool. I hear what you’re saying about rescuing, though. All of my cats and dogs have been adopted or rescued, and they were better than any other animals that have ever lived. Including fictional ones like Lassie and Puff and that overrated bitch Black Beauty.

  8. Berni Wimberly says:

    Perhaps you should consider an Alaskan Husky. They’re a great in-between size, beautiful, long haired and very smart. And they don’t drool!!

  9. Just came across this hilarious post. Well done! We had a Pyrenees named Thumper. BEST DOG EVER. Died of bone cancer three years ago. Getting a baby Pyr next weekend. So excited. It’s a girl so she’ll be less of a gigantic love-bucket. By the way our Pyr didn’t drool.

    Hope you found your perfect Angus!

    • Thanks for the kind words! So sorry about your departed dog, but NEW PUPPY! OH MY GOD, NEW PUPPY! RE: the drooling situation, you must have had one of the specimens that have been bred for turned-in lips to reduce drool. Good for you–my wife’s Pyr had drool like shoelaces.

  10. Oh Bill…it gets even better. We’ll be adding the baby bucket o’ drool (oh god, I really hope not) to an existing canine pack. She’ll be joining a happy-go-lucky 130 lb. Leonberger and a slightly cranky older “Heinz 57” shelter boy. Figured what’s one more addition to Crazy Town?

  11. This large dog was Elijah from Idaho. I purchased 2 pups from his final litter. I lovely named them Kendall & Jackson, after an area that I love; Sonoma County, CA.

    ;Elijah passed this past Spring, at the tender age of 8…

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