A new dog or not?

It feels like when I’m not eating or sleeping or sitting at the computer with a nebulizer, I’m buying something or thinking about buying something. Truth be told, I do buy stuff when I have a neb in my mouth, which makes sleep and meals the times I don’t? I can’t even guarantee that. Curse you, consumeristic country I live in. My value as a human can only be measured by how much I buy.

I digress.

As you may know, I spent over two months searching for a used car. Now the big decision is getting a new dog. I want one.

We have a lab and a rescued mutt. The grateful mutt is a chow mix and has some serious guard dog, bite your ass and never let it go, in him. I like that. Problem is, he’s around 14-years old and the gas and growl are going out of his tank. He can’t hear anymore, which downgrades his guard dog status to “if you step on me at night, I’ll notice.”

So, I want a dog with some physical clout – the looks and size to make anyone back away. And the ears to hear intruders coming a mile away. Oh, and the internal drive to remove their flesh should they try to harm my family while I’m lounging in a hospital room on the other side of the city getting my daily rub down. Or, if a brick falls from the sky and takes me out for good, I’d like to know my family is in good paws when I’m gone.

I’m thinking German Shepherd.

They're cute when they're 30 pounds

Although I’ve had dogs my entire life and believe myself to be a capable trainer, as is my wife, I’m not sure I have the energy to raise and train one of these powerhouse dogs capable of delivering serious hurt. I’ve had one bad dog bite in my life when I crossed through a neighbor’s yard and couldn’t outrun their dog. Yes, it was a German Shepherd and yes it did bite me in the ass, tearing away the entire backside of my white short-short tennis shorts. I have a healthy respect for these dogs after the embarrassment and hurt the one that chased me down delivered.

Labs are easy. Run them in the morning, give them a few carrots and feed them at night and bingo, bango bongo, they do what you say and love you. A German Shepherd is different. They are finely tuned with instincts to protect. You have to be careful not to send them the wrong signals lest you want to bury your neighbor in your backyard late one night because your new dog Fritzkrieg ripped open his throat when he held up a pair garden shears to wave hello. Oops, bad dog. You can kill a 200-pound man with your teeth, but you can’t handle a shovel? What good are you?

The discussion continues in my house. Any bets on how long it will take to make this decision?

8 thoughts on “A new dog or not?

  1. Whoa! I’ve been bitten by two dogs in my lifetime…one was a German Sheppard and the other was a Chow Chow. The Chow was named Zeus and he was EVIL. He got a hold of my leg and wouldn’t let go… The next week after he got out of quarantine for biting me, he got hit by an ice cream truck and died. Karma in the animal kingdom??? Horrible nightmares were had for years. I think I might have to unsubscribe iF you get another Chow and start posting picks 😉 The Sheppard bit was less traumatic…that one’s got my vote.

    • Stacy,

      Holy cow, I hope I never piss you off. I’ll be crossing the street fearful a truck is going to run me down. Heaven help me if I hear the bell of an ice cream truck – I’ll wet my pants.

      Chows have crazy jaws. The mix we have would grab a tennis ball and not give it back. I’d wedge a broom stick in his mouth to try and pry it out. No luck. I hope he never bites me. I’ll end on in the ER with him still attached to my leg.


  2. I can relate to your post because we too have a Lab, and I am perpetually lobbying for a German Shepherd, to no avail. My wife can’t seem to get past the time my family’s German Shepherd, Rocky — OK, probably not the best choice of name — lunged at her as if he was going to bite her in the face. I always point out he was playing, obviously, because if he really wanted to bite her in the face he would have done so. Plus, the lunging as if I’m going to bite you in the face thing is his schtick. I mean, he did the same thing with my ex-girlfriend, and the neighbor down the street, my sister’s best friend, the mailman, etc. It’s like his way of saying hey, nice to meet you.
    Despite the lunging tendency and other foibles, to his family, he was the kindest, gentlest, strongest, most loyal dog you can imagine. We would wrestle with him, tease him, push him around, blow on his fur, and he never fought back, ever. And he was like having an instant bodyguard. We could walk through the sketchier parts of the neighborhood with him, and people would literally cross the street to keep their distance.
    But if you get one, make sure you keep him or her inside on the Fourth of July. Or have a very tall fence. Trust me on that one.

    a/k/a Lizi’s husband

    • S, husband of L,

      Cool that you’ve visited and left a comment. I hope L is doing better with her cold.

      Your comment is timely because my wife is pushing back against the shepherd. She doesn’t want the stress of worrying about a dog like that. I agree with you that they’re excellent family dogs. That’s the point. But my wife worries about the dog with strangers and controlling it on walks. Who needs to walk it? I just want to tie it up in front yard of our mobile home and let it bark at strangers and kids who sell chocolate for six bucks a stick.

      Re your comment about people crossing the street, that’s the perfect situation. Exactly. Go away, people, I’m walking a 80 pounds of fur, teeth and muscle that can kill you.

      We may end up getting a male black lab. It’s amazing how people are afraid of large black dogs. He may have enough physical presence to keep bad guys at bay.

      Thanks for the visit. Give L my best.


      • I know what you’re thinking, UC, and the answer is yes, reading your blog HAS become our friday night activity.

      • Okay, clearly, I’m going to have to send you a list of better activities for a Friday night. Clipping each other’s toenails, watching House Hunters International, cleaning the frig. I can think of a ton.

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