In Which I Make a Surprising Discovery

For this post to make sense I should probably mention that I’ve been afraid of big dogs since my teens.  I was babysitting on a dark northern BC December night and the family Dalmatian bit me.  I thought maybe I was getting over it, when a Great Dane jumped up on me and knocked me to the ground about 5 years ago.    I used to say I “wasn’t a dog person” or “dogs are stupid, cats are so much smarter” and while I think those things, I was purposefully avoiding the truth: big dogs make my skin shrink a size and my navel pucker.  Small dogs are annoying.  Big dogs are terrifying.

We have, in our tight-knit community, a google group in which we can communicate amongst ourselves.  Often the posts are things like, “Anyone need an ugly, yet still working, lamp?  It’s on my porch.” or “Does anyone know a good . . .” pediatric dentist, hairdresser, sushi place, etc.  But the most frequent posts are “can anyone help us with . . .”  posts.  One such e-mail was sent out early last week asking if anyone was willing to dog sit (and feed two bunnies) for two days.  I felt no guilt at all in hitting “delete,” confident that in a community with 40 families and 32 dogs, there would be a dog person willing to take up the call.

Much later in the week, the e-mail came again, this time with a slightly desperate tone – turns out there’s only ten or so families staying here over the weekend of the 4th, and I suspect most of them are doing triple dog sitting duty.  I hit “reply” and offered that “we” would walk the dog in question, and feed the bunnies.  My plan was that Jonathan would walk the dog, while the children and I fed the bunnies.  Plus, I reasoned, it’s an 800 sq. ft. apartment.  How big could the dog be?

Large dog with Mackerdoodle for scale comparison

Turns out, she’s a Mastiff who weighs almost as much as I do, and both of my children could ride her like a pony.

I must admit that I just about said, “No.  I’m sorry.  She’s a freakishly large dog and she makes me want to curl up in a fetal position.”  Only, she didn’t really.  She didn’t bark.  She didn’t jump up.  She just stood there, solidly, looking around.  So I got my instructions on how often to walk her, and how to attach her Gentle Leader
and what makes her skittish, and bravely told the owners to enjoy their weekend with family.

Well, I haven’t seen the bunnies.  Jonathan and the children have cared for the bunnies, because I am, inexplicably, taken with this enormous dog!  She is gentle and a little cowardly and there is something surprisingly delightful about her.  The only down side is that she poops, so I’m learning the poop scoop tricks, which bring me back to the harsh light of reality about owning a dog of any size.

I still have no ambition to own a poodle, pug or cocker spaniel, and the thought of a Great Dane continues to threaten loss of bladder control.  I am not a secret dog person who has just discovered a passion for canine care.  I am, however, prepared to admit that this one dog has proven a marked exception to my personal anti-dog policy.  In fact, when her people get back, I may just find a reason, once in a while, to drop by and take her for a stroll; and I am telling her humans that I would be willing to be her guardian in their stead any time.

Oh.  And Jonathan and the children will feed the bunnies.

A picture to prove to my sister that I did walk a dog, and smiled while doing so.


About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

7 responses to “In Which I Make a Surprising Discovery

  • suzanne

    She IS a great dog, you’re right! Did you know there’s a great dane who lives across the street from us in the lower U? She’s also a wonderful dog and maybe, if you watch her from afar, you might slowly regain your bladder control when thinking about large dogs 😉 (P.S. I LOVE your writing!)

  • melissa

    Oh, I love the mastiff! And I’m very proud of you for taking such good care of her, and for changing your pants before the picture was taken! You are a very brave girl!

    Oh, and by the way, I happen to have a small Jug-type dog laying on my lap as I type, and I did notice that they didn’t make the list of dogs you will never own – but oh, my, what a wonderful dog he is…

    poop and all.

  • Pati Allen

    YAY!! I’m sooo proud of you, the dog looks adorable=)
    BTW when you own a dog, the poop thing becomes a little like your children’s poo…you know… your children’s poo doesn’t smell as bad as other children’s …lol

  • Wendi

    As a dog lover, I found this post charming.

    Looking forward to working with you in the future!

  • Lily

    Good for you Coralie, I hadn’t realised you had a bad encounter with dogs. I also had a run in with two Great Dane’s once but also have met some lovely ones. You should try to ‘meet’ the one near you when it is safely on it’s owners leash or contained so you feel safe. Keep up your friendship with the Mastiff. Love you.

  • Becky

    Your place of residence will have you warming up to all kinds of dogs in no time! This post was delightful and, once again, you caused me to laugh outloud in the quiet of my own home!!

  • Thelma

    A wonderful post! I love those experiences in life where we discover exceptions to fears!

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