Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Last Friday, I was talking to my friend, Sally, and she started going on about this dog that her physical therapist has. "It's so cute!" She kept saying. It's a breed that died out years ago. The last litter was born in like 1949 or something. So these two women decided that they would bring it back. They've been doing all this breeding and are trying to get all the qualities of the original dogs back into the breed. They can only be sold in The Netherlands and are not to be sold outside of The Netherlands because they are keeping a tight control on each dog throughout its life. There are tons of rules, like you have to agree to breed it at least once. And at a year and a half, they are assessed to see if they have the qualities that the breeders would like to live on.

I've never been a dog person. We had one when I as growing up, a big German Shepard named Blaze. When I would sit on the stoop in NYC, drinking my coffee and talking to neighbors, people would pass by with their dogs. Most dog owners in NYC are so used to people fawning over and petting their dogs that they will generally let the dog walk up to the person sitting on the stoop so that the person can give the dog a pat or do some fawning.

My reaction was generally to look at the dog and say, "Hi. Aren't you pretty? I'm not really a dog person." Usually the person took the cue and yanked the mutt back.

That said, Fred and I have now applied for a Hollanse Smoushond. There's an estimated year and half wait for a dog, so that will give us some time to think about it. (The pictures here are example pictures. But they are good pictures of pretty dogs.)

I know it may sound sort of nuts to some people that I now want a dog. But I think it's sort of like (although I don't know this first hand) the "other people's kids" thing. If it's my dog then I'll pet it and bathe it and do all of those things that go with having a dog. (read: picking up poop.) I don't really like petting other people's cats either, but I had a cat in NYC (Katie, may she rest in peace) and we used to curl up on the couch regularly for naps and I pet her and had her in my lap for hours on end.

There's also the thing I have about buying a purebred dog. I'm more of a "there's dogs in the pound that need homes!" sort of person. (I'm also like that about the surrogacy vs. adoption question with children.) But here I am signed up for a quasi-purebred dog. The thing is that these are dogs that they're trying to bring back, so they are sort of like dogs that need homes. It's like the perfect dog for me. They (supposedly) don't shed. They have this two-layer coat and they get plucked twice a year. They're smart and trainable, so we can have well behaved dog and not some yelping thing that jumps on everything and everyone. And it's a smaller dog and "excellent for apartment living."

Again, it will be a year and a half, so there's plenty of time to think about it. However, all I can do is think how nice it will be to have a little dog around. And Fred's got it into his head that he'd like to take it to the office every day. (He works alone.) It'll be good for us to have a pet. Make us responsible for something other than ourselves. (Isn't that what they say about kids getting pets?)

I did just see some photos of some Jack Russell Terrier puppies that a woman in my knitting group just...well, her dog just had them. They are totally cute, as I guess all puppies are. Jack Russell Terriers were on my list of dogs I would like (if all the dog pounds closed and you could only get pure bred dogs. That could happen, right?) Fred said, "No. Every gay couple who gets a dog gets one of those." Yeah? Who can blame them?

Oh. And Fred's already picked out a name. He wants to name it Bob. His criteria was that it was a once syllable name. And if our friend, Butch/Bob, is offended by that, the fall back name is Nick, or maybe Nik to be really Dutch. If it's a girl...well, I wouldn't be opposed to Bob or Nik for a girl. I'm a liberal.


Kyle William said...

I love this puppy - what a cutie! I wish you all the best of luck - take lots of photos for us - :)

Eric & Tony said...

The Hollanse Smoushond is really cute! A year and a half would be a hard wait, but I guess you'll know for sure by then.

Doh! I missed Coming Out Day again. Though my Tony would say that every day is Coming Out Day for me so . . . maybe next year.

Tim said...

I hope it works out well. Once you know when you're getting the puppy, find out about dog training classes and go sit in on at least one class for any dog trainer you think you will use.

Also, look for "puppy socialization" classes that you can take Bob/Nik before he/she has all his/her shots.