I like big dogs. I cannot lie.

Actually, big dogs isn’t quite accurate. I like huge dogs, as well as medium, large, small, and smedium dogs. Case in point: Our basset hound (Jack Reacher) is actually a big dog– he weighs seventy pounds. But he has a low clearance, so we think of him as small, or small-ish.

There’s a particular method to having a giant dog live in your house. You begin by assuming that any and all couches are going to be destroyed. Let’s consider our Great Dane Bernadette, who loved with us for six glorious years and three couches. Great Danes are as big or bigger than a human, but with claws. Ergo, your couches are toast. Your bed is toast. Your chairs are toast. Bernie weighed just over two hundred pounds (not a bit of fat) and enjoyed, shall we say, a life of luxury.

By luxury, I mean naps.

But “big” is a relative term when compared to Bernie. Take our Great Pyrenees, Mabel, who is one hundred pounds. That’s a big dog, and yet she’s half the size of Bernie. Mabel, too, has the ability to kill couches. She also does so with a massive floof bomb of white fur that makes pollen season look like a charming joke. There are few animals on the planet who can produce more floof than a Great Pyrenees. It’s science.

But, Terry, you’re thinking– what if you lose your mind and purchase a light colored couch? Won’t that eradicate the issue of white fur?

Allow me to introduce you to Michael Dean Carr Maggert. Big Mike is a Newfoundland, also known as a Nuclear Chocolate Floofinator, capable of producing five bales of brown floof in two days. Once again, please don’t argue. It’s science.

You may be wondering, “But Terry, what about the drool?”

I’m glad you asked. Oddly, all of our big dogs have produced some drool, but not the gulley washer of saliva one might expect from a beast their size. Still, I am always living with the assumption that every article of clothing I have on will show the following signs:

  1. Hair. Short, long, light dark. Hair. Hair like every day is the early 1970s and you’re hairing it up at a production of Hair with someone named Hairy McHairison.
  2. “Geeze”, or the shiny, dried streaks from dog drool that are almost always on the front of your best item of clothing.
  3. Random tears/rips. “Hey dad, pay attention to me.”  RIP.
  4. Hair

The lint catcher in our dryer could supply an Irish fishing village with enough hair to keep them in sweaters for a century.

Also, one should prepare for giant dog tails breaking things– sort of like four legged Godzillas who are REALLY happy to see you every time you leave the room and come back. But without the nuclear firebreath.

So. Let’s see those big dog pics– whatcha got? Danes? Pyrs? Newfies? Wolfies? We love them all.

Cheers,

Terry

WE LOVE TO BARK.

We have five dogs of various breeds. All love to bark. Barking is their favorite thing, other than sleeping, but barking has to take place in strategically placed time zones in order to maximize its effectiveness.

To wit: Barking before 7:00AM? Enthusiastic. Unending. Varying tones, pitches, and reasons. Early morning barking is, in some ways, a medical miracle. Consider the following– our basset hound, Jack Reacher, can go from a snoring, drooling sleep to fully awake and on the verge of insanity, but only if conditions are just so.

These conditions may include, but are not limited to:

Cars driving by.

Trucks driving by.

People walking by, with or without their own dog.

Clouds.

Squirrels.

A change in barometric pressure.

Ghosts.

Among the five dogs in our herd, Jack is consistently the loudest, but not at all times. That honor goes to Michael Dean, also known as Big Mike. He’s a Newfoundland, and his array of barks are topped by what we ominously call his Big Boy Voice, which is reserved for such existential threats as the UPS driver and/or roaming frozen meat salespeople. Generally, one of his window-rattling booms is enough to convince the people selling small, convenient pre-packaged meat that we’re good for this year, and maybe check back never.

Meet Big Mike: 

I write this because it’s Sunday, the traditional day of rest, and yet I’ve been up with the dogs for some time. You see, dog are true biological wonders; they can average fifteen hours of sleep per day, but very little of their rest is actually when we sleep. Rather, dogs prefer to lay on me while I try to write during the day, then rouse their chorus of howls at any time from 11:00Pm to whenever the sky begins to turn that subtle gray that lets them know their human has quite enough rest, thank you very much, and isn’t it time we started letting the neighborhood know that the squirrels are not only still alive, but threatening the very fabric of all that is American.

It’s their job, right?