It was Oct. 16, 2005, my birthday. Cathi had been talking all week about getting a Maltoodle puppy. Since we had our hands full with 1½-year-old Beagle brothers, I didn’t think it was a good idea. She eventually agreed with me. So imagine my horror when I step out of the bathroom and hear Cathi on the phone saying, “Yeah, we’re going to get the puppy. When can we pick her up?”
I never let her forget that she got herself a present on my birthday. Rafi the Maltoodle is now a beloved family member.
Fast forward to December 2013 and Cathi suggests I look for a new dog after our last Beagle brother, Theo, died in November. We’re dog people and dog people need pooches, no matter how much we swear them off after the pain of losing one.
Cathi knows I prefer large working dogs. I like a substantial dog that has bass in his bark and when you hug him, he can hug you back. I’m a big guy. I can’t walk around with a little yappy Paris Hilton dog. I want a German Shepherd, Rottie, Great Dane, pit bull or my fantasy dog, Presa Canario.
Sure there have been exceptions such as Missy, a tiny, timid mutt I got for free from the old Theissen’s pet store back in 1985. But since the Beagle brothers were a compromise between the toy dogs Cathi likes and the He-Man dogs I prefer (and she’d gotten Rafi), the next dog was my choice.
Cathi started looking online at animal shelters all over Northern California and on Craigslist. She showed me various dogs available and wanted to go take a look at one litter of puppies in particular. A litter of Poodle/Shih Tzu puppies: Poo Tzus. Now those aren’t big dogs, but when we’d looked at dogs before finding the Beagle brothers, we looked at a wide variety of dogs. So I agreed to go look at them. Humor her.
There were four males and one female. A black-and-white one seemed attracted to us immediately. But Cathi was also drawn to the feisty little crème-colored female whom the owners identified as the leader and hellion of the pack.
As we sat in the car outside the puppy house, Cathi told me it was up to me whether we get one of the puppies or not. Ooh. Nefarious.
She had me hold the adorable little puppies, tails wagging, sweet seductive puppy breath filling my nostrils, with puppy love playing my heartstrings like an instrument. But I wasn’t falling for Cathi’s Jedi mind tricks. This wasn’t going to be a repeat of the 2005 doggie selection. I wanted a big dog. A huge dog. Clifford the Big Red Dog.
I told Cathi that it was too soon, would be too expensive and too exhausting dealing with a new puppy. She came to my way of thinking and we politely declined the puppy and left. I didn’t want to rub it in, but it felt good not falling prey to Cathi’s little plan to influence me into getting a little hamster of a dog. A big dawg like me wants a big dog and that’s the end of it.
So we’ve had the cute little female Poo-Tzu puppy for three weeks now and little Mazy (because she’s amazing) sleeps with me every night. Darn it. Next time, it’s going to be a big dog. Peace.
Kelvin Wade is the author of “Morsels” Vols. I and II and lives in Fairfield. Email him at [email protected]