I’m a dog person. Actually, I’m also a cat person and a horse person and a camel person and a hermit crab person and basically an animals-in-general person. But right now I’m talking about dogs. So: Dog Person. I am the person that goes to a party and while the kids are in the playroom, and the adults are in the kitchen, I am on the floor making out with their dog. I can’t help it. There has never been a time in my life when I didn’t have a dog. Everything from beagles to shih-tzus to boxers to labs to mutts. And I love them all. But it’s never been a secret that I hold a special place in my heart for golden retrievers.
I always thought they were great dogs, but it wasn’t until mr b and his golden, Cosmos, came into my life that they became the dog for me. The reasons I love goldens are many: they are intelligent & easily trained. They are friendly. They are loving. They are patient and gentle – even with high strung, noisy, tail-pulling children. They are not huge barking barkers (I get enough of that from The Barking Fucker next door). While not aggressive, they are good watchdogs. They are active. They are loyal. They are playful. They get along well with other dogs, cats, and pretty much any other living creature (even when they relentlessly pursue squirrels, they really only want to play with them).
After Cosmos died, we wanted to get another golden, but we didn’t for a couple reasons. For one, we didn’t have the kind of money to shell out for a purebred puppy. And we really wanted to help out a dog that already needed a home, rather than another breeder dog, anyway. So mr b came home one night with a little black lab mix (whose owner realized she couldn’t take care of him) who for 12 years both drove me absolutely insane and gave me much love and joy. He didn’t have the smarts of a golden, but he was a big love pig who pretty much wanted to wrap himself around my head like a turban and stay there forever. But despite the success we had with an adopted dog, when we decided to get a second dog, we knew it was time to get our version of the king of dogs – another golden retriever.
We found a reputable breeder, visited & chose him, brought him home & loved him through all his crazy puppy crying all night/pooping all over the place antics, and waited for the insane devil dog stage to pass so he could turn into the perfect dog that all goldens are.
Or so we thought.
All of those reasons we love goldens? Charley is pretty much not (most of) them. Seriously. Let’s see:
Easily trained: No – not even close. I mean, you can call him and call him and call him, but unless there is beef in your hand, he will sit there and look at you. Or ignore you completely. You remember Eddie Murphy talking about his childhood dog:
The dog don’t give a fuck cause he doesn’t know his name. The dog is three years old, don’t know his name. Watch this. Cocoa? Where the fuck is he going?
That is Charley.
Intelligent: HAHAHAHAHA. Bless his heart, but there is nothing going on in that head. True Story.
Friendly: Ok, if you mean friendly as in “doesn’t hate you and want to rip your face off,” then sure – Charley is the friendliest guy around. But if you mean friendly as in “actually gives a shit that you are here, or not here, or – in fact – even alive, then forget it.
Patient and gentle: OK – he is patient and gentle. We can do pretty much anything to him – pull his tail, put clothes on him, brush his teeth – you name it, he takes it. But this has less to do with his patience and gentleness and more to do with his COMPLETE APATHY. He is the honey badger of dogs, as far as the not-giving-a-shit goes.
Not huge barking barkers: This one is true. He only occasionally barks – when he sees squirrels, other dogs (sometimes), or my asshole neighbor (which pleases me). I think this is also related to the aforementioned apathy. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind hearing his voice a little more, since he is going through that awkward teenage voice-cracking stage and it’s pretty funny.
Loyal: I can’t really comment on this one. I mean, there haven’t really been any opportunities for his loyalty to be tested. But I am skeptical. I think if I was trapped in a well & the guy who put me there had beef, there would be no heartwarming Lassie moment for me.
Get along well with other dogs, cats, and pretty much any other living creature: Also true. Also may be related to apathy.
Playful: Sure, in a lazy kind of way. Meaning you have to do most of the work. Unless there is a laser pointer around, in which case he will completely lose his shit. Or cat toys. He gets super playful with those. And by super playful, I mean, acts like a dick and takes the cat’s toys from her.
Loving: Oh, man – this is the one that gets me in the heart. My dog is not lovable! Actually, he’s lovable in the sense that I love him, but he is not lovable in the way that every other dog that has been in my life was lovable. He does not want to sit on me. Or lay on the couch with me. He doesn’t shove his head under my hand so I will pet him. He doesn’t follow me around (unless I have beef). He doesn’t get in bed with me. He tolerates being loved on for a very short time and pulls away from hugs. He doesn’t shove his way into groups of little girls, no matter how loud they’re squee-ing over the “sweet puppy.” The only time he acts even remotely happy to see us is when we first come in the door, and even then it’s 2 minutes of a happy-ish tail wag before getting back to his nap.
Recently, I googled “My dog hates love” to see if anyone else had the same problem and guess what? No results came up! NONE! I assume because a dog hating love is absolute nonsense that HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. I am starting to suspect that he’s not a dog at all. He’s a cat in a dog suit.
Good thing I’m a cat person.