Thursday, January 14, 2010


Growing up, we had a dog named Glory.  She was a mutt.  She came into our family before I was born, so my memories of her are from when she was very old.  We had to put her to sleep right before my 13th birthday, after battling cancer and an abnormally large tumor under her front leg.  I think she was 14, and for a medium sized dog, that's a pretty good life.  Glory was an odd dog.  She pushed big rocks around with her nose, barked at them, carried them around in her mouth, and buried them.  As a result she had a very flat nose.  Here is a picture of me and Glory, right after she had been, um, playing with rocks.  

Glory was a true mutt:  Matted hair, disporportionate body, hair growing over her eyes, odd behaviors.  Have you ever heard of a dog that was bred to hunt rocks?  What kind of trait is that?  I can only think that was a result of some cross-breeding gone awry.  But we loved her.  She was sweet, albeit weird.

I've been referring to our puppies as "Great Dane" for a while now.  We adopted them in July when they were about 4 months old, so we believe they are coming up on one year.  I'm not sure what I was smoking the day I agreed to bring home, what we were then told could possibly be two purebred Great Danes with potential to grow to 150lbs each.  But I'm glad we did.  Since these dogs were found roaming, nobody really knew where they came from, but Great Dane was one breed they felt certain about.  I love them to death, but am increasingly grateful that, so far, they have not grown to a full Dane size. Knock on wood.  Leading us to believe that they are likely mixed with something or several other things, which is hard to tell since even the two of them differ in size and coloring.  I think we have two mutts on our hands.  Handsome mutts, but mutts nonetheless. 

They are striking dogs, especially together with their opposite coloring. She's the yin to his yang.  

We've had several people weight in on what type of mix Tux and Belle might be based on looks and behavior.  Boxer...Pointer...Spaniel...Mastiff...Horse...Pony... 

One guy pulled his car over on the road one day when I was walking them to ask me if Tux was a "Swiss."  I think of a Swiss Mountain dog as intelligent and regal. 

I pointed at Tux and responded, "You mean this doofus?"  The hundred pound dog who stands at the top of the stairs and whines because he is scared to go in the basement by himself?  The dog the size of ME who tries to crawl in my lap without my noticing?  I swear Tux whistles non-chalantly avoiding eye contact with me while he plops his big clumsy paws up on my legs and inches his entire body up in my lap while I'm sitting on the couch.  If it is possible to be non-chalant and clumsy at the same time, Tux has mastered it. Maybe that's a traits of Swiss Mountain dogs and I just don't know it. 

And then there was the day the three neighbor girls knocked on our door to ask if they could ride our horse.
Kidding.  That didn't happen. But they do frequently ask if they can walk the dogs. And we let them.  Reluctantly.  And cross our fingers the girls don't return covered in dust and scrapes from being dragged on the gravel road for a half a mile.  So far, so good.

We were told these dogs would grow until they are about two years old.  But for the past several months they're growth has been fairly stagnant  Although I think Tux may surpass me in weight very soon.  We don't have a scale in our house, so this theory was tested by Aaron picking us both up and determining that I still have him by a few pounds.  But then Tux and I had an arm wrestling match. He won.  We thought about getting a harness and hanging them from the scale in the chicken coop that we use to weigh grapes.  That image in my head makes me giggle. 

Whatever these strikingly beautiful, completely goofy, giant lap dog, mystery mutts...who cares?  We love 'em.

Hey, watcha doin'? Blogging?

Sniffing me to try and distract me from the fact that he's really trying to get in my lap.

And a little closer...
This was the closest I got before he was in my lap and my lens doesn't get THAT close.