Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The second comment....

When I'm walking Bailey through the neighborhood or down at the shaded paths along the Swift River, we happen by puppy admirers. Their first comments are often "Oh, how cute," "His fur is so soft," "What a sweet little pup...." Their second comment is always either, "He's going to be huge" or "Look how big his feet are... he's going to be huge!"

Bernese Mountain Dogs do grow to be large. Bailey's sweet mom Maggie is 75 lbs and his dad is big, though I don't have a weight, I'm guessing from pictures that he's about 110 lbs. Because of their size and health issues, Berners, as they're called, live to be about 8 years old. Some grow older, others not so old. No matter how old, Berners live life richly. They have great personalities, lavish in their meals, and wag their tales with full hip and lower back action when they see a friend ... and these days, everyone's a friend.

Bailey is a happy pup, unless he lets loose on a rug by mistake and I catch him. He knows what's coming next as he galumphs into a corner and, with head bowing, folds himself into the floor. The Procedure that he knows all too well: First, a deodorant to destroy the smell; next, the rug cleaner; and finally, the worst of all, Bitter Apple is sprayed on the wet mark and then on a small piece of paper towel. That doused towel is then fed to Bailey. It's a bad taste--I tried it--and Bailey spits it out immediately. The stuff is supposed to remind him of his mistake. When he sees that little piece of paper towel coming toward his mouth, he doesn't have to be reminded. He curls his lips tight and clamps his jaws set like a two year old who has just learned the word "no." But, being the Alpha here, I always win and Bailey almost always gets a treat for spitting out the towel and to help cleanse that disgusting taste out of his mouth.

I know Bailey's going to be a big boy. He'll take up the back of my car when he reaches maturity and (sorry) his poops will be the size of my first car, a 1973 VW Bug. As I witnessed tonight, he's going to love to get down and dirty in various messes, and that's going to be a pain in my rugs and my precious Brazilian Red Cherry kitchen floor. But, that's OK. I waited 23 years to get a floor like this one, but more for this happy pup. Bailey's a gentle being who loves to give kisses, will roll over with a smile for a tummy rub, and celebrates every meal with grace... always sitting before I put down the bowl of food.

He's going to be a big boy and that's fine by me.

1 comment:

  1. Big dog = BIG love. They don't call them "gentle giants" for nothing. :-)