When I was a kid we always had a dog. But my parent always opted for terriers or other small lap dogs.

We longed for a REAL dog. You know. Something big. Something we could play with. Not something that would hide under the couch during a thunder storm.

When our terrier-crossed-with-god-knows-what died, we begged and pleaded to our parents.

“Please, please please, can we get a real dog now??”

A German Shepherd. A Border Collie. Anything that couldn’t be used as a dust mop if you suck a stick up it’s ass.

Then the day came when dad announced he was going to get us a new dog from the pound. A. Real. Dog.

OMG. We were over the moon. Finally!!

We sat by the door waiting and waiting (none to patiently) for him to come home with our new REAL dog.

Dad finally came in and we crowded around him to see what he had brought home.


“What the hell is that thing?!”

There in my dad’s hand (it literally fit into his palm) was a shivering rat. Except that’s an insult to rats.

My dad had brought home a chihuahua crossed with a wire hair terrier. What little hair she had stuck up everywhere. She was ugly. And? Dad had a really funny idea of what a real dog was.

We contented ourselves with giving her mohawks and dressing her in my doll clothes, while still waiting for the day we would get a REAL dog.

It was a long wait.

I was in my late 20’s before I finally decided to get a dog of my own.

There was no doubt about what I was going to get.

It was going to be BIG.

Something no one could question was a dog.

And no one can question the fact that my big black hell hound, Spyro, is all dog.

Spyro A REAL Dog

He’s big, he’s loud, he looks like a wolf.

When he smiles at you, he’s all teeth.

I’ve had guys wearing gang colors cross to the other side of the street when I’ve been out walking him in the city (which might have made me laugh out loud).

When he was younger, my brother walked into my house without knocking.  I was upstairs with the dog.  Spyro heard the door and went flying down the stairs and launched himself, half way down, aiming for my brother’s jugular.  Luckily my brother had the presence of mind to say “Hey, Spyro, it’s just me!”.  As soon as Spyro recognized my brother’s voice, he spun, mid leap, to land at my brother’s feet.  Needless to say, my brother knocks before coming in now.

As I laid down in bed last night, Spyro curled up on the floor next to my side of the bed.  I realized that just his presence made me feel safer.

It’s not that he’s some big, bad, attack dog.  But, rather, the fact he looks like he is.  And the fact he can be if he really, really needs to be.

In this case, I’m OK if people judge a book by it’s cover.

Just as long as they don’t see him with his teddy bear.

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6 Responses to A REAL Dog

  • Chibi Jeebs says:

    What a gorgeous dog! <3

    We're fans of "real" dogs, too. We, uh, *might* call lap dogs "punters." NOT that we've ever DONE that, though… ;)

    Chebbar has an Australian Shepherd that doesn't even try to pretend to look mean. However, that friendly, unassuming dog will knock you on your ASS just by leaning into you – he's built like a brick wall. I can't wait until we're in a house so Chebbar can have his dog back with him (I bought the condo before meeting Chebbar: when I met him, he was living w/roommates who didn't want pets, so the dog has been with Chebbar's dad for 3 years. *sad panda*).

  • jen says:

    i always wanted a real dog too.
    so i got a chocolate lab after stella (6 y/o) was born. funny. she is an absolute teddy bear. with the kids.
    but she has been known to stand by me protectively or growl under her breath when she wasn’t fond of people that we passed. i trust that she is there to protect me too. and that makes life with a pilot husband better

  • Angi says:

    We have two real dogs and one little dog that thinks he’s a real dog. Mike has boxers. A male and a female. Two things that people have said about boxers are that they’re either a) too high energy or b)mean. The male boxer gets so excited when people come in the house he can’t walk straight…he literally curls up into a C shape and wiggles his way to them. (assuming they were invited in)They are the sweetest dogs. The female is actually afraid of strangers.
    As for activity level, I can’t get them up off their pillows at night to go to bed. Lazy dogs. :) But, I know without a doubt that these dogs look mean, sound mean and would NOT like some unknown person in their house without asking…and that is comfort.

  • Melissa Palmer says:

    I hear you! We had a real dog when I was a kid, but when the divorce happened and everyone was split, Dad gave her away. It broke my heart.

    I now have my first real dog as an adult. I walk with Roper every night after Grace goes to bed; I don’t worry about anyone or anything because a) This is High River, and b) he would rip the neck open of anyone that thought they wanted to harm me. He is a joy to watch with Grace and he helps us all remain calm as he shivers when our voices are raised.

    I LOVE my Real Dog and already cannot imagine life without him.

    It’s great to be grown up isn’t it?

  • laura says:

    What a gorgeous dog. I love “real” dogs. My dog had a german shephard/rotwieller mix that stood 6 ft on his hind legs, but he was such a baby. Now he has a queensland heeler/bullmastif mix that is HUGE and solid, and again, a big baby. The bigger the better, and yes, they are both lap dogs, at least they like to think they are. lol.

  • Beautiful dog! I love the description of the dog from the pound, so funny!

    I am a fan of big dogs too. My kids want a smaller dog next, but it’s not going to happen. LOL

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