Monday, August 27, 2012
One of the Family
Dexter was 9-years old, which is pretty old for a Mastiff. He came to us from Texas when he was 8-weeks old, a clumsy pup who already weighed in at 40 pounds! That first year, he got most of his height and then he started filling in - and boy, did he fill in! In his prime, Dexter weighed 210 lbs. Even at the end, he was still 185 lbs. with a beautiful fawn coat, although his black mask was full of gray and his eyesight and hearing were fading fast.
Dexter was not our first Mastiff; he was our fourth. What can I say? My husband loves big dogs. I wasn't a dog person at all when I met my husband. I had cats, but my husband is allergic to cats (so he claims!). But it's easy to fall in love with a Mastiff. They're called "gentle giants" because they're so laid back. They're great watchdogs though because they have an enormous bark, and of course, they're huge. Their favorite thing to do (besides eating and sleeping) is to lean against you. If you stand next to a Mastiff, chances are he'll lean against your leg or put his paw on top of your foot - ouch! (That's our big boy below at about 200 lbs.)
Having a Mastiff in the house is sort of like keeping a small horse indoors. I'm pretty sure our house smelled like dog most of the time, and we had to sweep up the family room floor daily where Dexter had his bed and where we hooked him up on a long leash. He was NOT allowed the run of the house, since that would be akin to letting loose a bull in a china shop. And they drool. Mastiffs have large heads and jowls - and really big teeth.
We all cried for a good two days (I thought my 16-year old son's heart would break), and then my husband's way of dealing with his grief is...get another Mastiff. Apparently, that's my older son's M.O. too because he keeps asking when we're going to get another puppy. My husband is already in contact with a breeder, and her dog just had 13 puppies! (That's Dexter below at 8 or 9 weeks - honestly, who could resist that puppy face?)
I'm ready to take a dog break and give myself time to get over the loss of Dexter. While cleaning off the last bit of drool from the blinds above Dexter's bed the other week, I have to admit I thought..."I'd take all the drool back if Dexter could just be part of our family again." :( Of course, he'll always be a part of our family because that's what pets do - they love us and make us laugh and bring our families closer together and stay in our hearts forever.
Do you have a pet that's one of the family? Are you a dog person, a cat person, or something more exotic? Leave a comment today for a chance to win one of my Guardians of Coral Cove books: Obsession, Eyewitness, or Intuition.
Where Romance Flirts With Danger