The Trouble with Big Dogs – In Memory of Franco
The trouble with big dogs is that they are big. Large. Huge, enormous, and perhaps even gigantic. They take up a great deal of space wherever they are, naturally; whether that be lounging in the middle of the floor, dominating a couch–their couch, of course–in the most spread-out way imaginable, or nosing their way to the door to greet a visitor who probably should have been let in already (where are your manners, slowpoke?).
Big dogs have big appetites, and often find their big noses on the table sniffing out food they certainly shouldn’t be eating. This, of course, does not prevent some of that food from occasionally finding its way to the appropriate dog dishes.
Big dogs have a capacity for big naps, often accompanied by big snores and big dreams. The biggest, most-accommodating couch or bed will invariably be taken up by such a large dog, leaving little space for much else. This is the new order of things, and should be accepted as an unwritten contract. Whatever recliner, sofa, or small segment of bed is left should be more than luxurious for any humans.
The trouble with big dogs is that they have proportionally big barks. The sound reverberates from every surface, filling the air like a sonic boom. This is the big dog’s way of showing it is protecting its home, and its family, even if it may be somewhat inconvenient when those barks are directed at a stationary object outside at the early hours of the morning. They will have arguments with passing motorcycles, conversations with dogs being walked by their home, and occasionally take issue with a nearby squirrel. This is all just as well. Squirrels are inherently untrustable creatures.
The trouble with big dogs is that they produce big messes. They leave big, rolling tumbleweeds of shed fur, unleash large clouds of noxious gas at times, and leave large…well, it’s safe to simply say they make cleaning up the yard a safari adventure. They leave lakes of spittle near their water dishes, and trails of dog food that lead curious paths with no rhyme nor reason throughout the house.
The real trouble with big dogs, however, is the big, positively enormous, empty space they leave when it’s finally their time to go (as all dogs eventually must). The big, claimed spot on their couch is left empty. The big, loud singalongs with fire whistles gone quiet. The big, barked greeting upon returning home from work painfully absent. Big clumps of hair that require lint rollers for extrication are missed, and there is no salve known to man to remedy the absence of a well-timed, calculated flurry of dog-kisses.
What is most noteworthy about big dogs, however, is their big capacity to bring warmth to a room, fill their home with love and protection, and the colossal, huge, gargantuan, and–yes, of course–big imprint they leave on those who spent time with them.