All my life I wanted a big dog, and when my mom said, NO!” I did what any child would do, I asked Dad. But he also said no. The, “But I will take care of it, “ only works once and I already messed that one up over a pet hamster. There’s gotta be something unsettling about hearing, “Mom, I can’t find my hamster, but he was in the kitchen a second ago. He might have gone into the cabinets. Can you find him for me? ALL THAT is coming on Nickelodeon. K thanks, bye.”
Then when I got married, I thought maybe I could charm my husband into the idea. He also said no. That conversation happened years ago and it went like this:
Me: Dan, I really want to get a dog, a big one.
Dan: No, no big dogs. You can get something the size of a cocker spaniel.
Me: But I really want a rhodesian ridgeback. They are really cool dogs. They used to be bred to hunt lions. Here look, here’s a picture.
Me: Fine, look at this one. It’s cute.
Me: But I want a guard dog for when you’re traveling.
Dan: I’ll get you a gun. We’re not getting that dog.
Because we were in an apartment at the time, it wasn’t even a dream I could really fulfill. But he made it pretty clear, we would never get a big dog. I think it had something to do with a childhood incident of him taunting a large dog through a screen door when the dog tore through the screen and it “tried to end his life,” as he says.
Fast forward to a few months ago when this conversation happened…
Dan: Hey, I’m thinking about getting a puppy.
Me: What? Why? We have two rescue dogs.
Dan: Yeah I know, they are just moochers, I want a dog that actually does something. There is this breed of dog called Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
Me: Um, yeah I know that breed.
Dan: They used to hunt lions.
Me: Are you joking?
Dan: No, they are good guard dogs. It will be good when I’m away.
Me: THIS WAS MY EXACT IDEA 4 YEARS AGO!
Dan: Calm down, here look at a picture..they are so cute!
Apparently he had zero recollection of our previous conversation and thinks the only logical explanation is that I pulled some inception magic on him. We actually tried to buy a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy online, but we became very skeptical of the very specific money order they wanted as payment. There was also the heavy Nigerian accent.
After that fell through I began to question if I really wanted a puppy. I mean, I am usually like, “GIVE ME ALLLLL THE PUPPIES.” But I started thinking about how much work they are, waking up in the night, potty training them etc. But Dan really wanted one and started looking at other breeds and found the Great Pyrenees, otherwise known as, “Giant Polar bear.” They were bred to be livestock guardian dogs used by shepherds in France to guard their sheep and protect them from wolves. We knew this breed would work well for us since we already have chickens and plans to get some goats. Plus our rescue dogs also need some protection, especially Chase because he might be the slowest dog I’ve ever seen. This new dog would be an outside dog once he was full grown which was a huge plus because I cannot keep up with the dog hair as it is. They are nocturnal too, so the thought of a giant polar bear guarding the house would put my irrational fears of someone trying to kidnap me to rest. I was still unsure about the idea though, especially in the winter. Standing out in the cold waiting for the puppy to do it’s business when really it just wants to chew the fur from my slippers.
Dan found a breeder about an hour and a half away and we went, “Just to look.” I fell for it, just like the, “I’ll take care of it,” line. The breeder brought us to her barn and after the 110lb father Atlas, greeted us and nearly knocked me over just by leaning on me, I saw them. The clouds parted, the sun shown down and I heard hallelujah chorus as eight, six week old great pyrenees puppies lined up behind a fence standing on their hind legs wagging their tails at us. And even though they had been raised in a barn, covered in dirt, and smelled like cows, I was still like…
I singled one out of the bunch and he happened to be the only male not spoken for yet. He charmed me and I knew were weren’t there to “just look,” anymore. But don’t think I didn’t slightly second guess myself when he threw up on me on the car ride home. We named him Boss at the suggestion of my younger brother, and it won’t take long for him to grow into that name considering he is 12 weeks old and already over 30lbs. Mostly Dan and I just look at him with heart eyes like, “Gosh isn’t he just the sweetest thing ever?” But then sometimes he throws up dinner, eats that as #seconddinner before I can get to him, and then throws that up on my rug and I have to stop him before he has #thirddinner. And then I am reminded that while he is the cutest puppy ever, I do not want him to lick my face.