The wife keeps reminding me that now is not the time to get a new puppy and I tend to agree with her, but it’s fun bouncing around on the internet investigating different dog breeds trying to find the one that I like. So far she’s mostly keeping a distance between herself and my activities in an effort to avoid encouraging me. But a few nights ago she slipped and mentioned in passing that I should find a puppy that fit my personality.
That was a new concept for me. Until that point I’d been focusing on generic characteristics such as intelligence, health problems and general cuteness. While that’s a reasonable way to search, Linda had a point. A new pup will be with us for ten to fifteen years and it makes sense that, if it was going to be my dog then it should be a good personal fit.
People change over the years and a dog that might have been a good fit when I was younger wouldn’t necessarily be a good fit now. As a teenager, I think a beagle would have been a perfect match. Beagles are cute, full of mischief, a little loud and single-minded in their pursuit of rabbits. My Mom said that I was cute, full of mischief and a little loud. If memory serves, I was also single-minded in my pursuit, although the target wasn’t rabbits; it was teenage girls.
At twenty-five a Golden Labrador might have been a good fit…fast, intelligent, strong, good-looking with boundless energy and an instinct get the job done, whatever it takes. Yeah, a Labrador would have worked then.
At forty, a different breed would have been my canine doppelganger. I’m thinking that a Malamute would step into that role. Strong, good-looking and capable, Malamutes pick the direction for the team by pulling from the head of the pack. They’re leaders who let the dogs behind carry the load. They save their efforts for when they’re needed to make that last long pull up the insurmountable hill and when strength and experience are the difference between winning and losing. Malamutes also have good hair. At forty, so did I.
These days, I’m at a different point in my life. Now I need a dog that’s strong, but mostly from sheer mass. He should be bright, but obstinance in moderation is alright. A sense of humor is a must, but it can be tempered by an appropriate amount of grouchiness and intolerance for stupidity. He should be adorably cute and cuddly in a round, wrinkled sort of way while still being able to strike fear into the eyes of his adversaries at a moment’s notice if needed. Under it all, he should be a benevolent dictator who understands the value of loyalty and that loyalty goes both directions.
After hours upon hours of research and searching…pouring over breed descriptions, reading blogs and forums and looking at photos…I think I’ve found my next dog and it’s almost a perfect match. Are you ready?
Wait for it.
Wait for it.
Wait for it.
An English Bulldog! Even the hair color is right. I think I’m going to call him Dalton.