Monday, April 10, 2006

The Beast

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." ~ Groucho Marx

This is my dog, Beast. He is a pug. Actually, Beast is my son's dog, but not so anyone could tell. When he wants to go out, he comes to me. When he is hungry, he comes to me. When he is thirsty, he comes to me.

We got him several years ago shortly after the movie, "Men in Black" hit video stores. John saw a pug in that movie named Frank, and decided he wanted a dog just like him. At the time, I was still married and my wife still loved her kids. And she spoiled them. So, when John said he wanted a Pug, she went looking for one she could afford. We tried several pet shops but they were all too expensive. Then we came across a newspaper ad advertising Pug puppies for $200.00. And that's how we came across Beast.

Usually when you find a puppy that cheap it has some kind of flaw. We previously had a Basset Hound, named Morty, that I had found cheap from a breeder. He was cheap because he had quite a bit longer hair than ordinary Basset Hounds. And he had apparently been abused, because he was as skittish as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs. If a stranger came around he would immediately Demonstrate his nervousness by making a nice little puddle wherever he happened to be cowering at the time. But nevertheless he was a great dog, and I loved him. When we lost our house, and had to move into public housing, we had to give him up. I was heart broken.

Back to Beast. Beast has no such flaw that we can see, except he doesn't have AKC papers. The breeder we got him from said he has papers, but she couldn't find them right away. She said she would send them when she found them. I guess she's still looking.

It doesn't matter to me if he is registered or not. He is a great dog. He is very smart. I get a kick out of him while walking him about the neighborhood. One of the many things he does that I find perplexing is his habit of burying his nose in a clump of grass and keeping it right there until I pull him away, or until he dies, whichever comes first. He also hates walking in snow, or in water, or even in wet grass. He will go to extreme measures to avoid getting his feet wet. I've been toying with the idea of getting him some doggie galoshes.

He rarely barks except when someone rings our doorbell and my son takes great pleasure from going out the front door and standing there ringing the bell so he can laugh when Beast barks. Speaking of barking when a doorbell rings, I hate the Domino's Pizza commercials. Whenever that doorbell rings in that commercial Beast just about goes insane. The funny thing about that is, other than the Domino's commercial, he shows absolutely no interest in anything else on TV. It's as if he doesn't see or hear it at all. Oh, except for the show, "Who's Line Is It, Anyway?" There's a doorbell sound in that one, too.

He loves kids. Any kid. It is amazing how much this dog loves kids. Whenever he sees kids in the neighborhood, he stops everything he's doing (except for the burying his nose in clumps of grass) to make a beeline for that kid. Often the child is afraid of him. He is, after all, rather fierce looking. NOT!

Our daily walks, which we do 3 times a day minimum, consists of walking him over to the post office, where there is a very nice vacant lot with tall grass immediately next door, so to speak. On the way over there we have to go past the local volunteer fire department building. On most days, the firefighters are sitting there in the open door, talking. Beast has allowed himself to be adopted by the firefighters. He is now their unofficial mascot. When he sees anyone sitting there he simply has to make a point to go to each one of them in turn and allow them to scratch his head and his back. Then, he repeats the process.

I have a theory based solely on watching Beast in his habits. I think dogs have different food gathering techniques inbred into them. For instance, Some are fierce hunters. Some are predators. Some are scavengers. Beast is a scavenger. I cannot leave a full can of trash unattended. He will ravage it, scattering garbage all over my apartment.

He also loves any kind of food. As long as it isn't dog food. I have actually run completely out of dog food, and he doesn't have anything all day, and when I come home with a bag of dogfood, he acts all excited. But as soon as I pour it into his dish, he smells it, and then walks away. No matter how hungry he is. He does eventually eat it, although very grudgingly, as he realizes that's all I will let him have.

But he will eat anything else. His favorite is popcorn. Our favorite popcorn is zesty butter popcorn. It is spicy and he loves it. I have seen him eat carrots, green beans, tomatoes, and literally anything that a person will eat and some things they won't.

Most dogs don't like it when you cover their heads with blankets and things. They will immediately fight as if it is a life threatening situation to get out from under blankets as fast as they can. In fact, Dog IQ tests are conducted by covering their heads and then timing how fast they get out. Beast actually burrows under blankets headfirst. Once under it, he goes to sleep. He also prefers to sleep on anything that me or my son has worn and discarded somewhere other than the hamper.

OK, that's it for today. More perhaps, later. I have to get ready to go to work now.

15 comments:

Erudite Redneck said...

He bears a striking resemblance to the man in the small picture to the left! :-)

One of my favorite "book" quotes, by the way.

TECH said...

He's a cute dog. I like pugs. And that's one of my favorite Groucho quotes.

Tom said...

Great dog, except for the garbage can bit. I had a mongrel that would go out into the woods, dig up wild onions, eat them, & come back to breath in your face. UGH!!! Worst doggie breath ever!!

Gayle said...

What a nice post, Mark, and funny. I thoroughly enjoyed it! But I'm a dog lover. He's really cute. I can see where he would intimidate someone... (just kidding).

It is extremely unusual for a dog to burrow under the covers like that. I've had many dogs over the years and never have had one that actually liked to be covered up.

Etchen said...

I love it- a post about your dog and such a handsome one at that! Pugs make such geat pets--they have such an amazing personality and are just great with people.

Lone Ranger said...

I'm planning on getting a dog -- as soon as they improve the robotics technology.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Mark,

Post of the day. Thank you.

Goat said...

Great Gramma had a bunch of them pugs, friendly little dogs, I just prefer big working class dogs. Critter posts are fun and pet lovers have lots of tails to tell.

Goat said...

Ps: The Bible Study is back up and running.

Dan Trabue said...

Mark, you do choose some great quotes.

My favorite Marx-ian.

Erudite Redneck said...

Do all pugs look so sad? Makes me want to hug him.

Mark said...

ER, Only if you force them to stand still on a corner while you take their picture.

Trader Rick said...

My Parson Russell Terrier, Patrick ,loves to burrow under blankets and go to sleep. I don't know how he breathes, but he does.He likes to be totally covered up. He is an earthdog, so maybe he thinks he's down a gopher hole! His favorite food is popcorn, but we do Act III Butter Lovers. A note about garbage: Onions and chocolate are toxic to many dogs, and it doesn't take much to make a small dog sick...

Mark said...

Trader Rick, I had no idea there was another dog in existence that burrowed! Chocolate and onions, eh? Well, no worries there. Neither I or my son like onions so there are never any in this house. As for chocolate; One look at me and you would know that chocolate never gets thrown away in this house!

Erudite Redneck said...

Ha!