Ramblings from the Warrior's Den
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Mostly Harmless...

All things considered, I'm far from the type to engage in dogblogging (to be honest, I'm more a cat person myself, and even then, I've got a limit of 1, maybe 2 if the house was big enough. And I've concluded that I would have to be roughly half-insane in order to consider getting a dog at any point in time. That said, why the heck do I find myself dogblogging? It's a long story.

Alpine, a 9 month-old Beagle (pictured to the left) belongs to my sister and brother-in-law, and is basically a Grandpuppy, which means that she gets to come over and get spoiled, then (usually) goes home at night. Sure, like any puppy would, she occasionally chews up stuff (in my observation, owning a puppy is better than a garage sale for telling you that you need to get rid of some stuff. Fortunately, Alpine is starting to gro out of the "chew everything/everyone in sight" tendency common to Beagle puppies, and is actually starting to be fairly well-behaved. In spite of this, throughout the course of watching Alpine grow up, I've gained a newfound respect for the profession of animal photography. You wouldn't believe how many tries it can take to get a good picture of a dog. Invariably, 9 tries out of ten you end up with some unrecognizable tan and black blur, or the picture has something in the dog's mouth. After going torhough this for about the bazillionth time, you finally give up, photochop something and call it good. I suspect the use of those ultra-slo-mo high speed cameras might help somewhat, but modern technology can only do so much to keep up with a rambunctious puppy. Apparently I'm not the only one.

Now that she's mellowed out (some) I actually don't mind having Alpine around the house every once in a while.Of course, just when I was starting to get used to the idea, my sister now suddenly decides tha they need another one of the blasted things. I will admit that I've often questioned the sanity of those people who own multiple dogs. In fact, I've been known to use the term "Disturbing Per Person" (abbreviated as DPP)to describe this type of person. Most often I apply the term to people who people who own three or more dogs and no children, but it can be also applied in cases where inordinate attention is placed on one's dogs. The fact that a lot of these people I've known have a tendency to be baby boomers who delude themselves into thinking that the Sixties never ended adds to the whole personality of the DPP. In particular, I find the term "pet parent" which has sprung up in pet store advertising as of late especially ridiculous. I don't care what the bumper sticker on the back of your eco-friendly hybrid econobox says, your dogs are NOT people. Stop trying to pretend they are. (Are you done yet? -ed. Probably, just don't get me started on Crazy Cat Ladies...)

Nonetheless, in spite of the fact that I question the sanity of my sister for having two Beagle puppies (in an apartment, no less) I hesitate to apply the label of DPP, mostly because she occasionally exhibits signs of sanity. This isn't one of those times. It is through A Set of Circumstances I Have Yet to Fully Comprehend(Copyright 2004 warriorsden.blogspot.com, all rights reserved) that we have now ended up in charge of taking care of this roughly eight week-old puppy for most of this week, while my sister and brother-in-law travel somewhere. I suppose that on one hand, it is one of the miracles of Nature that a creature this young and this tiny can manage to bark loud enough to quite possibly drown out the smoke alarm for hours at a time, usually while I'm trying to sleep (Note to ABC News: Duuuuuuuuuh.) But given some further consideration, my pro/con list for dog ownership looks something like this:


  • The thing is dang cute.
  • It might stop chewing on everything in sight at some undisclosed point in time.
  • Readily identifies items that you probably no longer need, and promptly mangles them beyond recognition to make sure.

  • It might not stop chewing on everything in sight (including your fingers) at some undisclosed point in time.
  • It makes messes in rather inconvenient places and at rather inconvenient times.
  • It seems to make a hobby out of sleep deprivation.

Needless to say, the choices aren't exactly tipping in Fido's favor. Yet somehow, we manage to end up with dogs anyway, some of us more willingly than others. I just have to keep telling myself that the puppy (who, by the way, remains unnamed currently, although Nero is starting to sound appropriate) will go home in a couple of days. And that it'll eventually grow up, hopefully without any glaring psychological issues. And that if I'm lucky, no permanent scarring will result from my newfound employment as a convenient chew toy. I just have to keep telling myself that...

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