The VIEW from here

The real dog days of summer

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

A fter almost 20 years I’m a dog owner once again. It wasn’t a sudden decision based on a whim, but something we had been considering for quite some time. As a kid I grew up around dogs (contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t raised “with” dogs, just around them.

My family’s dog of choice when I was a kid was boxers. They were big dogs, lovable and each had its own unique personality. After our last boxer died, my father said if we wanted another dog, it needed to be something small. His suggestion was a type of dog he grew up with — a Boston Terrier.

So we found a little Boston Terrier puppy and brought home my favorite dog, Casey. He was my friend and remained a loyal companion for years until he grew older and died.

There was a brief attempt at having a dog while I was married, a cute (but evil) pug named Otis. But that didn’t work out very well and Otis wasn’t long for our household as he slipped into the haze of some sort of doggie mental illness when one minute he was happy and playful and the next he was a vicious biting menace.

So, for years after, I didn’t have a dog, with the exception of dogs who belonged to others I knew.

Anita and I made the decision to have a dog some time ago, but we weren’t sure what kind of dog we wanted. It had to be small, couldn’t require a lot of wide-open spaces and wasn’t a pet bad for allergies. We settled on a Yorkie and the opportunity came up to get one this past week.

We brought our new pet home this past weekend and I have had to undergo a crash refresher course on Dog Care 101.

My first requirement when buying this dog was to insist he not be allowed to ever (EVER) wear bows in his hair. He could also not be given a sissy name like “Sweet Toots” or “Pretty Boy.” He was immediately given a collar, which said “Bad to the Bone “ and we named him Gunnar — which in Icelandic means “brave warrior.” Honestly, I’m not really sure what to make of Gunnar. He’s tiny — eight weeks old and fits in my hand — and when he tries to run through grass, which has had a few days to grow, he has to bounce along like a rabbit.

His bark is more of a shrill yap and when you give him a bath he resembles a shivering wet rat. But, he’s all dog. I’m convinced he will make a fine guard dog some day, perhaps in warding off a gang of thug preschoolers, and he might have a chance at being a therapy pet for someone who needs a good laugh when I try to convince them Gunnar is really a dog.

It’s funny because I always swore I’d never own what I classify as a “yappy dog,” but I have to admit this dog is definitely one of a kind. He may not be big, nor is he tough but he has what’s called “hutzpah.” The key is Gunnar doesn’t know he’s tiny. And as long as he goes on thinking he’s one of the big dogs, he will be — at least as far as I’m concerned.

Welcome to the family Gunnar, we’re glad to have you here.

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