Man’s Best Friend?

Several thousand years ago primitive man invited primitive wolf into his primitive cave to share the remains of a Woolly Mammoth and things haven’t been the same since. Of course, everybody knows that the modern dog is a direct ancestor of the wolf. I should say a real dog is the direct ancestor of the wolf. I’m talking about a man’s dog like a Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Siberian Husky, and St. Bernard — not a woman’s dog. You all know the woman’s dogs. The French Poodle, The Bichon Frise, The Lhasa Apso. This does not even take into account the dogs which have no classification, such as the Shih-tzu, the Mexican Chihuahua, and that dog with the long blonde hair that from behind looks like a really ugly woman. These dogs have been bred with things that they shouldn’t have.

The Shih-tzu (which is pronounced “Shid-zoo” by the way; not the way that you’ve been saying it so it sounds like a really bad word) has obviously been bred with a mop head. The Chihuahua had to have been bred with a really small, but highly irritating rodent which in turn produced a really small, but highly irritating dog. I’m not even sure that the rodents were particularly pleased with the results of that one. And the Datschund. The Datschund is the dog that we playfully refer to as the “hot dog” or “wiener dog.” What the hell happened to this dog? Dogs were not meant to be animals that can fit into your purses, ladies. Dogs were once proud animals that would go around sniffing each others private parts, lick their own private parts, then attempt to lick you on the face. They would sleep and eat and defecate. That’s all. The problem was that while primitive man was domesticating the wolf, primitive woman was breeding these wolves with various insects, vegetables, etc. to create a friend for themselves.

Even if you know nothing about dogs, you will notice that the majority of the small rodent-like dogs came from the Orient. I suspect that they were breeding these small dogs because they were easier to catch, fought back less, and made a more tender stew (probably because they could fit into the pot). The larger dogs tended to rip the face off the person who was trying to stuff them into hot water, which frequently resulted in an immediate loss of appetite, and easy access to various bodily organs.

Our family has had several animals since my wife and I got married, and they have all been defective in one way or another. We had a beautiful Golden Retriever, (Halley) who would only go to the bathroom inside the house, and she was entirely made up of animal dander. This caused us to not be able to breathe for weeks at a time so we had to give her away. We had a rugged Doberman Pinscher (Thor) who was a little too rough with children. Although he only ate three or four neighborhood children, he had to be given away. We also had two cats (Gizmo and Smudgie) which served absolutely no purpose whatsoever, other than to scratch me and make me bleed. If you were to take a very sharp knife and carefully cut a cat into two equal sections, you would notice that it is made up of muscles, fur and razor-sharp claws and teeth — and that’s all. I do not, however, suggest that you actually do this.

We have also had a variety of hamsters (Mr. Furry, Mr. Furball, Mickey & Sammy — which were obviously named by the children) and fish (George, Comet & Zebra), which would often self-destruct within hours after we got them home. You can probably start to appreciate the fact that I was not particularly excited by the idea of getting another animal. However, my wife really wanted a dog as did both children. If this wasn’t bad enough, we had our choice of about five different breeds of dogs due to my wife and I having extreme allergic reactions to anything that has fur, hair, feathers, scales, shells, skin, bones, blood, sap or an exoskeleton. These dogs included The Bichon Frise, The Poodle, the Yorkshire Terrier, The Lhasa Apso and the Shih-tzu. (If you were paying any attention to what you just read in the first paragraph, you probably noticed that these are the woman’s dogs.) You will also notice that they are all purse-sized dogs.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I think of the word “dog”, it conjures up an image of a large slobbering, loyal animal. I, like most men do not like “cute” dogs. As a matter of fact, there are very few things that I have that I like to have referred to as cute. A neighbor once referred to my Toyota Pickup truck as “cute.” (I later found out that “Toyota” is actually Japanese for “cute truck.”) I took great offense to this. The truth of the matter was that I think it is a great truck except for the horn. It has a really wimpy horn. The first time I pushed the horn button and heard the pathetic little nasal “beep” that it produced, I got out and kicked it good. But anyway, men do not like “cute” dogs. And this isn’t a “macho” thing either.

Now it isn’t just the type of dog that bothers me — it’s the cost. The price of a Yorkshire Terrier or Bichon Frise was about the same as the down payment on our home. We went to an animal shelter and looked around, and even called several rescue leagues to “place our order,” much like you would at a restaurant. I’m serious. One of the volunteers, a woman named Nancy actually asked us what our dream dog was. If she heard of one that met our criteria, she would call us, and we would rush down and frown at it for awhile so we wouldn’t get too attached to it, and then we would both violently sneeze at it an leave. Actually, Nancy was a tremendous help. She told us of a Shih-tzu/Schipperke cross and we went to see him.

His name was “Gizmo” which immediately got changed to “Moose” while we were there. There was no way on God’s green earth that I was going to call this dog by a cutsie name like Gizmo. (It was also, coincidentally, the name of one of our cats, who took it personally that I named her Gizmo and repeatedly injured me for it.) Even if we didn’t end up adopting him, I would have insisted that his name be changed. Even the name “Shih-tzu” means something about lions which makes this dog sound more masculine than it looks. Without a doubt, if you go to a bookstore and find a book on dogs (or small irritating creatures), you will find a picture of a Shih-tzu. I will make you this guarantee: if you can look at this dog and say — without laughing — that it looks really masculine, I will let you go directly to the dog store and buy a Shih-tzu with your own money. Sound fair? These dogs are supposedly “show” dogs and always — without fail — have long hair which makes them resemble miniature yaks.

The good thing about this dog is that it is a house dog, which means very few people will see you with him, which is a definite plus. Another good thing is that he is small enough so our children can walk him, or if you are walking him, and you do see someone you know, you can quickly scoop him up and put him in your pocket. There are actually many uses for a dog like this — “bait” comes to mind immediately. Just kidding! I would never do something like that. As a matter of fact, Moose does have a little lion in him. When big, strange dogs come into the yard and don’t even notice little Moose, he will start barking like an idiot to frighten off these huge animals. Most of them look at him like they would look at a little meat-loaf, and he just keeps barking away. Eventually, the other dogs feel bad for his pathetic attempts at being fierce and go away whimpering with laughter.

Moose can do tricks. Unfortunately, some of them need to be cleaned up with a good strong detergent and some paper towels. But he can “dance” and “beg.” Now that I think of it, he only has one trick. He can stand on his hind legs and beg for food. His “dancing” is just a variation of “begging,” and he usually does the dancing to get your attention when he wants food.

Moose is small, has an irritating bark, and is really jumpy sometimes. He can’t catch a Frisbee without killing himself, and if he is not leashed, he will run away. He is different than any other animal we’ve owned, and the worst thing is I’m starting to really like him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *