Monday, February 28, 2011

Plan A

I'm Type A, so planning is pretty much coded somewhere deep within my double-helixes. Unfortunately, I'm not always so detailed, so my plans go something like this:

Sell brilliant novel (I haven't written) to Agent (I don't know) and go on Ellen to promote it, while insisting she play Cee Lo's "F*ck You" so we can all karaoke and dance together!

You see the problem.

However. While still deeply in mourning for my Gigantic Beloved Canine (we get his ashes this week, sweet baby Jesus help me - there's something else to plan) I developed a plan to eventually have another dog we might love.

But not without totally fucking things up first.

Last week I saw a rescue French Mastiff (aka the Dogue de Bourdeaux) online. Turner and Hooch? Well this was the Hooch. His story was SO SAD and I thought, well, just maybe we could rescue him. Maybe this had aligned so we'd have a dog and not one that looked like Apollo.

The Man had told me for years about wanting a Dogue de Bordeax. I thought it might work. Long story short, the foster lady suggested a "sleep over" so we could try things out.

He was cute. He was mellow. He was not housebroken. He shat upon our carpet multiple times. He lifted his leg on the marble inlay and carpet by our fireplace and emptied his bladder. He ate Casanova's prized Handy Manny crane. He scattered recycle-ables all over the kitchen. Our darling Obese House Cat refused to come downstairs after being chased through the dining room several times. He hid in the laundry room because the kids were a bit too much for him.

We called the nice foster lady Sunday and declared the sleepover a bit of a failure. I made sure he wouldn't be given back to the shelter and she assured me that he'd find a good home. Back he went.

Trying to adopt a mere week after your best friend died? Good intentions = Epic Fail.

So. I came up with a new plan.

Months from now, when this February of Misery is officially cold and dead in our collective memories, when we can talk about our big loving dog without bursting into tears (that's pretty much, um, just me) then well....this is my plan.

Our dog had a birth certificate. I plan on finding the breeder (please, no lectures about rescues, I'll get to that in a sec) and getting a different colored English Mastiff - hopefully one that's related to Apollo. I might name him something from the Greek or Roman family, as tribute. Then, we'll train him to NOT eat our house, nor frighten our obese housecat with attempts to eat him. He won't be Apollo, but he'll be a good friend.

As an aside, I am 100% PRO-rescues, shelters, etc. My resume, you ask? Why certainly! I tallied it up, and while in college alone, with a little help from mah friendses, I rescued nine cats and two dogs. On one cat rescue alone, I lay in a freezing drainage ditch for over an hour until the terrified orange kitten agreed to come out and accept a ride to a nice warm house. I also collected over a thousand signatures on a petition to make animal cruelty a felony in our state. Me, why, I'm a friend to fuzzy people everywhere.

I'd never had a pure-bred dog. I met The Man, and Apollo was already HMFIC of the canine world. Breeding is a funny thing. I'd always thought it was dickish to have a purebred dog when there were so many facing the doggy gas chamber. *BUT*.

When you have a dog that is 200 pounds and could literally eat your face off, it sort of pays to know the temperament and history. And English Mastiffs are an ancient breed. They are called gentle giants for a reason.

After 11 years with one, I don't know that I'd want another breed. I know that the average English would rather bite himself than bite my kids. They're just such amazing dogs. I don't want to worry that somewhere in a large dog's DNA there's something coding for violence. I have too many stories of kids being bitten and hurt by dogs that were big and of different breeds.

Apollo put up with some SHIT, yo. He had his doggy junk pulled by inquisitive babies. He was jumped on, sat upon, thumped in the head with kid toys as both my kids turned into crazy roving toddlers. He was run into with walkers, then later, run into with ride-on toys. And finally, he was loved aggressively by Casanova; even as he lay dying of a cancer we knew nothing about, he endured it.

And I'm a bloody damned convert, despite my best intentions.

Someday, when we're ready, we'll get another mastiff; I don't want anything else.

And maybe, I'll detail some of my other plans in the meantime.

Comments, questions, what's your plan?