Contemplations about canines

We’re getting a dog. I used to know shit about breeds of dogs. I called all dogs German Shepherds or Lassies, after that vintage TV show about a super-smart Collie. Now, I can differentiate between at least six breeds. It’s a start. I have a few stipulations as to the sort of dog we’ll be getting. Shedding is top; I’m not into constant vacuuming carpets, sofas, shirts, pants. And, if it sheds, then it should be trained to clean up after itself. Never mind bringing me the paper. As much as I’d like a large dog, like a Doberman, the kids want something small and medium, one that won’t run around like Taz, the Tasmanian Devil, wrecking all in its path, tearing up floors, scratching hardwood, shitting burritos. A small dog, if trained properly, won’t bark incessantly, shake uncontrollably, or try to bite your face off with those tiny, pointy fangs.

Picking up dog excrement was a big deal for me. The mere thought of the putrid smell of dog shit brings my bowels a little closer to my throat. I gag. Recently, we had a chance to dogsit a friend’s little Pomchi, a mix between a Pomeranian and a Chihuahua, and that small dog left small craps. The first few times I took it for a walk and it left a surprise for me I nearly threw up. I barely managed to put a bag over my hand and reach down to wrap my bagged fingers around that warm turd. After a few days, a few walks, and a few filled bags, the gagging stopped. Between the shedding and the shitting, if I can get past all that nastiness, I figured, I can have a dog in the house.

We could spend months deciding on a breed, with a few factors involved — size, shedding, lifespan, health, but it all comes down to one thing: naches. It comes down to that moment when we first see that dog and that instant warmth. Contemplation done.

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