So meanwhile, as a sort of placeholder, please peruse the following humor piece I wrote many years ago. To demonstrate how many years ago, it references Older Daughter going to summer camp (that was in 2010).
It's also guaranteed to tick off a bunch of small dog owners, so I apologize in advance. Satire, folks – remember, it's satire.
I like Big Dogs.
Great big dogs. The bigger the better. Show me a Lab and I'll want a Malamute. Show me a Malamute and I'll want a Newfoundland. Show me a Newfoundland and I'll want an Irish Wolfhound. Show me a Wolfhound and I'll want an English Mastiff. I'm not sure there's a breed bigger than a Mastiff, is there? But if there was, I'd be interested.
Now doubtless some psychology types would have a hey-day with this bit of information. Likes Big Dogs, does she? Oh, she's just compensating for being short (or something like that).
Yes, I'm short. But no, I'm not trying to "compensate" for anything. I just like Big Dogs. Oh, and hairy too. Big and hairy, that's how I like 'em.
If there was a dog breed the size of a rat, I'm sure it would be more popular than chocolate. And some of these Small Dog lovers have even been known to dress up their Little Dogs like ballerinas or Darth Vader or dolls. Gack.
I call these rat-like creatures Blender Dogs (more on this later).
See, to me a dog must have substance. Dignity. Presence. Purpose. Of what use are those tiny little yappy things except to offer temptation to boot them across the yard? (Not that I ever would – please don't misunderstand – but it's just so tempting.) Yeah sure they can climb onto your lap, but then so does my Big Dog. I just can't breathe when she does it.
And above all, you'd never find a Bull Mastiff or a Newfoundland dressed up to look like a ballerina or Darth Vader or anything. Why? Because to do so would be an impingement on their dignity. Besides, they're usually bigger than you and can convince you that your attempt to fit them into a Darth Vader costume really isn't in your best interest.
I realize this penchant for Big Dogs has a lot do to with living in the country. After all, it's hard to have a Great Dane in the city unless you plan your life carefully around his needs. A Dane would take up most of the floor space in your average New York City apartment, and if you were to train him to pee on a newspaper, you'd have a yellow swimming pool on your floor. (On the other hand, walking your Dane down the street would be an outstanding deterrent against muggers, n'est-ce pas?)
So yes, Big Dogs are more suited to the wider spaces of country living. Let's face it, a Yorkie would be bobcat bait if left out in a rural yard for any length of time. We have owls who would snap up Chihuahuas for appetizers. And it's my suspicion that a coyote would jump the fence and snack on a Pomeranian or Pekingese just to shut it up.
Because little dogs yap. Oh my goodness, they yap. They yap and yap and yap. They never shut up, in fact. We know some people with a Pomeranian and they actually have to squirt him with water to shut him up enough so we can hold a conversation.
We own a Great Pyrenees, a dog with dignity, presence, and purpose. My Pyrenees doesn't yap. She barks, thank you very much. Loudly. Deeply. A gruff, dignified bark. She barks and barks and barks. But see, she barks for a reason. She's barking with dignity, with presence, and with purpose. She is defending her flock (us) from those evil awful turkeys that occasionally strut down the driveway. Or she is protecting us against the wind. Or robins. Or fluttering leaves. See? Dignity. Presence. Purpose. All the difference in the world.
Great Pyrenees, for those unfamiliar with the breed, are livestock guard dogs. But in our case, we are the livestock and she guards us. If I walk into the kitchen, she follows and collapses under the kitchen table, guarding me. If I walk into the living room and sit down, she wanders over and collapses at my feet, guarding me. If I go into the laundry room (where we also keep the dog food), she follows and guards me as she sniffs around for crumbs of dog food that fell to the floor. (Okay, her purpose in this room might be a touch mercenary.)
And if, heaven forbid, we leave the house ... well, she is inconsolable. Her flock has escaped! She has failed in her purpose to guard us! It is most distressing to her.
But let us come home or even get out of bed in the morning and she is incandescently happy. She will jump up and down in delight. She will caper around the room. She will attempt to climb into our laps in ecstasy. Her flock is complete! Her mission is accomplished! Her purpose in life is fulfilled!
But if one of us is gone ... she is worried. There are wrinkles of concern on her forehead. This week, for example, our older daughter is away at summer camp. This means our Pyrenees is upset. A lamb is missing! She is failing at her mission! She keeps putting her nose under our hand, seeking comfort in her distress. She feels responsible and at fault because one of her flock has strayed. It's like she's trying to apologize for letting our older daughter escape from her watchful guardianship.
See? Big Dogs. Purpose. Dignity. Presence.
Whereas Little Dogs do nothing but get underfoot and yap in a voice shrill enough to shatter glass. Don't you just want to boot them across the room? I know I do.
And Little Dogs can be vicious monsters. Perhaps because of their size, no one ever attempts to train Little Dogs, and so Little Dogs grow up thinking they're Big Dogs. They snarl and snap and growl and bite. They think they're the biggest, baddest canine on the planet (which is why it's always amusing to watch a Chihuahua meet a Rottweiler). And most owners don't attempt to rein in this little terror because, gosh darn, they're so cute when they act fierce.
So this is why I call these canine brats "blender dogs." Why blender dogs? It's quite simple.
Any dog that can fit in a blender, should.
So here's what I propose. Since Big Dogs have a "purpose," I propose to teach them a new trick: To press the buttons on a blender.
Just a thought.