posted by David S on August 12th, 2011

When my wife said that she wanted to get the family a dog, my mind flashed on a brown and white, long haired collie. I wanted to get Lassie.

Lassie was a dog that a man could love in a healthy manly way. Lassie lived with manly Forest Rangers. Lassie knew how to rescue people from life threatening situations. Lassie would bring you your pipe and slippers when you came home after a long day fighting fires in the woods. Hell, Lassie could probably cook dinner if she had opposable thumbs. She was faithful, loyal, smart and happy just to be in your presence.

The days of pipes and slippers are long past. But when my wife commanded that we get a dog, I still wanted Lassie. Then I was informed that we couldn’t get a dog like Lassie because we had to get a hypoallergenic dog.  I always thought hypoallergenic was a type of soap, but apparently you can get that in a dog as well. My son and my wife have allergies; so our choices were limited. My wife suggested a poodle because they have hair instead of fur. But visions of bouffant hairdo dogs hanging out at the stylist filled my mind. I couldn’t see a coiffed frou frou poodle rescuing anybody from an abandoned well.

My wife reassured me that we were not getting a miniature poodle, but a standard poodle, which is a very big dog, and therefore, much more manly. That was kind of her to say, but in the end I knew that it was a token remark. I had no choice. I’m married. My vote doesn’t count, if there even is a vote. So we got a dandy for a dog.

But he’s still a dog right? He may look like a big puffball, but he’s still going to be faithful, loyal and happy just to be in my presence. Just like Lassie, right? Wrong. He’s not, because, my dog is a dandy. He’s indifferent, even when it comes to mealtime. Most dogs will wolf down anything put in front of them. Not this dandy dog. He will sniff his food and then dismissingly walk away, like some big finicky furry cat-dog mutation.

And because he’s a member of the canine family, he loves to go for long walks in the woods with his master, right?  Wrong. Not my dog, because my dog is a dandy. I’m lucky if I can get him around the block. This dandy dog will just sit down in the middle of the trail and dig in his heels like a pissed off poofy donkey.

And what about that classic scene of the hard working man coming home at the end of his long day fighting fires at work, with his faithful dog coming to the door and wagging his tail in uncontrollable excitement? Not my dog, because my dog is a dandy. He can’t be bothered to lift his head off of the floor to greet me. And the tail? Forget it, it was bobbed.

But the truth be told, my wife and son love our dog. Probably more than they love me at this point. But at least I’m not a dandy.

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