Know what makes a bad day better?

A dog show.

As I have mentioned before, the second word baby Delightfully Mediocre ever said was "Dog." I used to point at dogs whenever I saw one and say (apparently sort of loudly) "DOGDOGDOG!! DOGDOGDOGDOGDOG!!" I still do this on occasion. Never actually got a dog.

When we lived in Virginia (from 3rd-6th grade) there was a cocker spaniel named Sweet Pea who lived next door to us. Sweet Pea spent most of her time before I moved there in a half-open garage attached to an empty house with owners who were never home, so when I got there and gave her attention it must have blown her mind because she never left me alone. People in the neighborhood thought Sweet Pea was my dog. She was over at our house all the time. My mom did not feed her (understandably) but she followed me everywhere (the dog, not my mom). Eventually Sweet Pea went blind, but she could always tell when I was walking home from school and would come out to meet me and we'd hang out. Sweet Pea was the sassiest, bitchenest cocker spaniel ever. That was the closest I ever got to having a dog, and frankly, it was a pretty great arrangement. I got all the benefits of having a dog with none of the expense or cleanup.

I still want a dog. I really, really want a dog. Unfortunately at the moment my foggy future (and current apartment living situation) is not friendly to getting one, particularly the kind of dog I want. My favorite dog show groups are the Hound Group and the Working Group. This is mostly because all my favorite kinds of dogs are in these groups. Also because I just really like big dogs. The Herding Group is also good, since I wouldn't mind having a dog to help motivate me to go running and I hear hearding dogs like to run. It is my goal to one day own a dog that will be taller than the children I may or may not ever have for the first six years of their lives.



Every year at IrishFest in Milwaukee there is a dog parade. This parade is predictably full of Irish Setters and Wolfhounds. Imagine dozens, perhaps hundreds of 100+ pound dogs wandering around amidst thousands of people! It should be chaos, but it is not, because Irish Wolfhounds are the mellowest, sweetest, most awesome dogs I have ever met. (They were bred to hunt wolves! That's nuts! There was some breed in the hound group in the Westminster Kennel Club show that was bred to hunt bears. I was like, "Come again? Bear-hunting dog? That. Is. Sweet." You may also recall that I have a mild and only slightly irrational fear of being eaten by a bear while camping. Or picking plums in Manitoba.) I like to volunteer at IrishFest when I can and one year I was in a booth run by a woman who had a six month old Wolfhound puppy named Bailey. Bailey weighed more than I did. Bailey could easily walk up to the counter of the booth, about the height of a kitchen counter, and had to stoop slightly to rest her head on it. Bailey was just hanging out. Eventually Bailey decided to take a nap in the middle of our very small booth, and didn't mind in the slightest when someone accidentally stepped on her foot. Or that we were continually jumping over the napping dog to get to the stuff in the back of the booth. I want one. A pox on apartment rules regarding dog size (15 lbs?! The Former Roommate had a cat that was 19 lbs once! That's not a dog)!

Someday, I will have a big dog. It doesn't have to be anything specific, it doesn't even need to be a puppy. It could be a mutt. A great big mutt. It doesn't even have to be that big, just big-ish. My big or big-ish dog and I will go riding in my magically non-gas-guzzling Jeep to our favorite hiking spot where we will frolic around in the woods. Then we will camp in my tent, though I will have to purchase a bigger one to accommodate myself and a dog that weighs more than I do, and I will chuckle to myself and say, "This is a one-dog night!" And then the dog will groan at my terrible classic rock joke, we'll play some cribbage before bed, go hiking in the morning before going canoeing and then driving off in the magical Jeep, listening to Gillian Welch and the Kinks, back to my dog-friendly apartment complex. Those will be the days. Of course, I might have to live somewhere warmer because I refuse to be one of those people who puts booties on her dog so it doesn't freeze its feet.

It's almost Valentine's Day. I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be daydreaming about my future dog.

All puppies are cute, but I believe Mastiff puppies are the cutest puppies. Look at its giant feet! Its floppy ears! Its wrinkly forehead!! AGH. It wants me to hug it.

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