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