Spyro

A REAL Dog

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.

*silence*

“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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