Thursday, July 7, 2011


So the last couple of times that I talked to one of my friends she has made mention of wanting to get a bigger dog. Mind you MOST of the time throughout her years, she has owned smaller dogs. WAY smaller…….having owned and still owns a Chihuahua! Now let me explain to you a little more about my friend. She’s a lovely woman with a kind heart and has a beautiful home. She is elderly (69 – 70) but looks and acts more like a 59 – 60 year old. In fact she looks wonderful! Did I mention that she has a beautiful home? Oh yeah, I just did. Well this “youthful” looking 70ish year old woman is what I call a “Fuss Ass” meaning she is a fanatic in her home!

About two years ago my friend rescued a Chihuahua mixed female to come live with her and her husband and her purebred female Chihuahua. Life was wonderful when the new puppy arrived. Her other dog now had a companion and my friend had a new “baby” to love. It seems the purebred is more her husband’s dog than hers. So this “new kid on the block” would be hers to spoil and love on. She’d call me up to ask about advice about food and health questions. The puppy was extremely loving and extremely “puppy” in behavior.

So the cute, adorable love fest went on for awhile until the “puppy antics” showed its ugly little head a little more than my friend could or would tolerate. First of all the pup had the terrible, yucky habit of eating her stools. She tried everything that I suggested and the stools were still her puppy’s “treat of choice!” Take one point off for stool eating.

Next the little rascal starting eating her wallpaper off of her walls. Seems she had one favorite place for doing this. Take off another point for wall paper eating. Then there were the usual puppy leaks on the floor and carpet. Yup another point was taken off for puppy potty deposits in the house. I encouraged her to get a dog crate which she did and the puppy was fine with going into her “den.” But it was those times that she was out of the den that left “Mrs. Susie Homemaker’s” nerves stretched to its limits. Now mind you this is a woman that is a fanatic in her home. I’m sure she must walk around the house with a spray bottle of Lysol attached to her pants. Smudge marks, muddy paw prints, water on the floor, dog biscuit crumbs might just send her running to the medicine cabinet for another tranquilizer!

She bought a new mat to place in front of her back door. Seems like the little mixed breed thought it was her invitation to leave her “tinkles” on it. So now the last point was taken off! It looks as though the little dog ran out of points and second and third chances! So long story short, she just placed the “new kid on the block” on someone else’s block to live and they love her very much; especially the teenage daughter. So the youngster is doing fine, but now my friend is experiencing the “empty nest” syndrome!

So she gets this brainstorm that she must get a large dog. Her birthday is coming up soon and her husband asked her what would she like? Wrong question to ask a “determined to get what she wants” obsessed woman!!! Her husband is not in favor of a large dog mind you! So she runs this by me again yesterday. So I went down a whole list of reasons why she should not get a large dog. This is what I told her……..small dog = small problems. Large dog = large problems! Now I’m not saying that large dogs are necessarily problem dogs, but they are dogs after all and dogs do, well doggie things!

She says to me, “Well you have three large dogs.” Yeah and I say to her, I’m not a fanatic around the house either or I would have shot them a long time ago! I told her there is no guarantee about her new dog’s personality traits. I might have three dogs, but they are most certainly different in personality. My house dog is a great house dog. Her daughters are horrible house dogs. Yes, yes, I know a trained and obedient dog is a wonderful dog to live with. But therein lies the key……..personality traits also dictate the obedience time spent on training a dog. My housedog is very smart and willing to learn. Her nerves and concentration level is more steady. I believe her two daughters have “attention deficit disorder!” Oh they’re very smart too, but their concentration level is on another planet somewhere! And with my own health issues and my lack of physical endurance and strength, I must use caution when trying to train them. A younger me probably could have trained them properly, but the older me just can’t keep up with these two. So these are things my friend needs to think about as well. Does she have the strength and health to train a dog of this size? The little dog she can just pick up and put him back down again. Try doing that with a 60 – 90 pound dog!

Oh yeah, I also mentioned to her that she better get ready to change her home owners insurance now that she was getting a large “guard dog!” I told her depending upon where she lived, she might have a hard time getting insurance once she owned this type of breed. She didn’t think of that before.

Having owned German Shepherds for most of my adult life, I find them great dogs to live with, but there are those occasional few (like two of mine) that might make you rethink about owning them at all. They can be destructive. They are highly intelligent and they never miss a trick. Their noses are on everything because of their need to investigate anything new that might come into the house. They might communicate with you that they want to go outside by smudging their noses on your sliding glass door or scratching at the back door with their heavy paws. Be prepared to use your vacuum cleaner a heck of a lot more than you normally would. Hair and dander removal from rugs, floors, clothes, etc. is a normal part of your life now. Smudges and scratches and dog hair and dander are not for the fanatic housekeeping type. Before I get those private e-mails sent to me…………I AM NOT SAYING LARGE BREED DOG OWNERS ARE LOUSY HOUSEKEEPERS! I’m just saying that having a larger dog is more work than having a smaller dog. Oh yeah, lets not forget about cleaning up after them after they have done a “potty call!” It’s a whole lot different then picking up after a smaller dog!

So to my friend that is thinking of adding 70 or 80 more pounds of dog flesh and hair to your beautiful, “magazine picture perfect home,” do heed my advice. Your friends and family don’t want to see your face plastered on the front page of the National Enquirer announcing “Woman locked away for the rest of her life” because large dog squashed his nose against her windowpane for the hundredth time. Enjoy your little dog and the teeny tiny piddle that she may leave behind because it’s a heck of a lot easier to clean than a darn lake all over your antique Oriental rug!

My rating: Large dogs or small dogs: (4), Taking care of large dogs: (2), Taking care of small dogs: (3)

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