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Puppy problems

Updated: 10/29/2013 @ 6:07pm

Halloween is coming. We’re not going to decorate at our house this year. We don’t need to. The place already looks like a House of Horrors.

We have a puppy.

“Puppy” is not the word that would occur to the casual observer.  Frances is roughly the size of a Volkswagen, weighs over 70 pounds, and she’s still growing. We’ve had Newfoundlands before, and I can fill in the blanks as to just how much growing there might be. We could be talking triple-digits by Christmas.

Ho, ho, ho.

As I said, we aren’t going to be decorating for Halloween. The pup drags whatever she can find up to the front steps and since she can drag just about anything, I’m getting tired of stepping over tree branches, garbage bags, and trespassing duck hunters. She found a bag of cloth diapers (clean ones) that were hanging in the rafters of the garage, and she strewed those all over the shrubs lining the driveway.


The cats are all limping around the yard, exasperated and covered in dog drool, and my wife’s dog sighs deeply every time she has to go outside to face the pup’s exuberant embrace.

That’s maybe the hardest part . . the exuberance. The dog means well, but she has legs about 10 feet long and still trips over the massive pink tongue hanging out of the side of her mouth. Her usual method of movement is a bound. She looks a little like Tigger in a Winnie the Pooh cartoon, if Tigger had long black hair, cockleburs, and a look of demented glee in his eyes.

I have her trained to not jump on me, at least not on purpose. Although, when a dog that big is leaping 4 feet in the air, she’ll sometimes impinge on my personal space purely by accident. And, even though she’s learned not to jump on me, that courtesy is not extended to the rest of the universe. I’m pretty impressed by the selection and training of UPS personnel. If were up to me, I’d just throw the packages out a half-open window as I drove through the yard, but those guys fight their way to the front step every time.

It’s not that she’s a bad dog. She’s a good dog. But she’s a really big dog, and a lot of her is fairly . . . gross.

OK, mainly just the tongue. That’s the gross part.

When she sits, the top of her head is 4 1/2 inches above my desktop, which is just the right height to grab the computer mouse.

This isn’t a guess on my part.

I have to write a letter to the Apple Corporation – I don’t know if part of the design parameters of their products is resistance to dog drool, but it certainly seems to be standing up pretty well.

The dog likes to sit under the desk and stare at my face from between my knees, panting in adoration. I have to point my elbows straight out to the side in order to reach around her to type. It can be a distraction.

I’m a little worried about Halloween. We don’t have that many small children in our neighborhood, and we really can’t spare any of the ones we have. I’m not saying she’d actually eat any of them, but I’d hate to come out in the morning to find a 4-year-old stashed in the shrubs next to the diapers.

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