The Trouble with Big Dogs

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. Continue reading

Dear Franco

Today, far sooner than we’d have liked, my family had to say goodbye to our dog Franco. This is one of two posts I’m making on the subject. They’re largely selfish, as a way to cope and get this out of my system. In a small way, this is me working to say goodbye.

Dear Franco,

You weren’t always our dog, at least from the start, but you always felt like part of the family. Words fail me as I sit here, the dull hum of the ceiling fans we made sure to keep on for you the only company I have at the time, trying to fully process this morning. Bluntly: it sucks.

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All things considered, you could have been a very mean, temperamental, and unpleasant dog. The word ‘table’ was brandished at you like a weapon. Furniture was off-limits, of course. You still greeted people, tail wagging, with a lasting warmth.

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When we brought you home, there was a little apprehension. The adjustment period, where Mackenzie and Missy taught you that this was most certainly their house that you were moving into, had some interesting moments, but went smoothly. You seamlessly became another member of the family. The living room couch, covered with the dolphins-with-sunglasses blanket, quickly became shared property between you, Missy, and Mackenzie. 280779_669407042466_1444293402_o

There was a lot to love about you, Franco. The way you would only let some people pet you over the fence. How you greeted everyone at the door, often barking along the way as you readied to charge. The look you gave if someone happened to wake you up, and the grunt that would almost always follow.

In retrospect, your time with us feels both like it was gone in a flash but also like it lasted forever. Still, selfishly, I wish there were just a little more time. I will always wish there were just a little more time. Thank you for the years of howling along with sirens, going outside just to come back in for a treat, kisses, times you were waiting by the door when we got home, and so much more. My only hope now is that you are at peace, in a place where steak is regularly left unattended and well within your reach.