Tuesday, August 24

more dog shit

John Wayne's dog in BIG JAKE was named Dog.

And yeah, Malamutes are protective, and can be very dog-aggressive; fortunately for us (and for Aias) we knew that going in, and so Aias has been spending his evenings at various dog-parks since he was twelve weeks old. He's now three and a half, and is the cuddliest, most friendly teddy-bear of a 135-pound timber-wolf-loooking beast you can imagine.

Except for the time I was attacked by an enormous (85-pound) pit bull whose name was, curiously enough, Caine. Aias landed on him like a fucking meteor strike, and when the pit bull bit him instead of submitting, Aias decided he had to die. I had to tackle him and pry his jaws off the pit bull's throat, at which point the pit bull decided he'd had enough and ran like hell.

Aias favors the wolf-blood side, though he's 100% Malamute. Mals seem to come in two flavors: ones that favor the mastiff side (big square heads and dewlaps) and ones who, through a trick of atavism, look exactly like wolves. The only visible differences between Aias and a timber wolf is that Aias is a little shorter and more powerfully built, and instead of a light tail with a dark tip, Aias has a dark tail with a white tip.

And he's very independent-minded; he's not obedient, just cooperative. He's like a bright eight-year-old; he's got plenty of opinions and he expects me to listen to them -- but then he abides by what I decide. He reminds me a lot of Graegduz, from the Barra & Co. books. He's not tame, just respectful.

You get the impression I love my dog?


26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I get that impression. Aias sounds like a kickass dog and companion. (Perfect name, too.)

Our dog was a cocker spaniel, but she was a tough little maniac. She was never intimidated by bigger dogs, even after a German Shepherd attacked her when she was a puppy. It just made her tougher. Like Aias, she was independent-minded. She died earlier this year. She was 14. I miss her.

--Mahesh

Anonymous said...

I wish I could say that my dog is brave and big and strong. I can't though, as she's hardly bigger than fox. She'll bark at you as you walk up to the house as if you're satan coming to corrupt us all, but as soon as you're inside the house she's all wagging tail and sniffing your pants, and her new favorite trick is to jump up and hit your crotch.

I'm afraid to say that she's afraid of her own farts, and of course the vibrations that come with thunderstorms. She just won't stop shaking.

She was a stray, and we're sure she was beat as a puppy. If you pick up a large stick and hold it up in the air she'll run from you and hide. It makes me want to cry. I'm going to miss her in college.

-Capriccio

Anonymous said...

I wish I could say that my dog is brave and big and strong. I can't though, as she's hardly bigger than fox. She'll bark at you as you walk up to the house as if you're satan coming to corrupt us all, but as soon as you're inside the house she's all wagging tail and sniffing your pants, and her new favorite trick is to jump up and hit your crotch.

I'm afraid to say that she's afraid of her own farts, and of course the vibrations that come with thunderstorms. She just won't stop shaking.

She was a stray, and we're sure she was beat as a puppy. If you pick up a large stick and hold it up in the air she'll run from you and hide. It makes me want to cry. I'm going to miss her in college.

-Capriccio

Anonymous said...

Yeah, my dog died late last year, and he was only 9. Tiny (compared to a malamute at least) at about 60 pounds, but still the bravest literal son of a bitch I've ever met.

Incidentally, how do you pronounce that?
And the fact that the dog was called Cain...

--HalfaPrayer

Anonymous said...

Yeah, my dog died late last year, and he was only 9. Tiny (compared to a malamute at least) at about 60 pounds, but still the bravest literal son of a bitch I've ever met.

Incidentally, how do you pronounce that?
And the fact that the dog was called Cain...

--HalfaPrayer

Anonymous said...

Yeah, my dog died late last year, and he was only 9. Tiny (compared to a malamute at least) at about 60 pounds, but still the bravest literal son of a bitch I've ever met.

Incidentally, how do you pronounce that?
And the fact that the dog was called Cain...

--HalfaPrayer

Mastadge said...

Actually, my dog's name is Caleb. It just means Dog.

We've been socializing him as well. His problem now is he's *too* friendly; he doesn't realize that he's crowding the other dog until it gets upset with him.

My last dog, Schnug, had been the runt of his litter but grew big for his breed. He wasn't the barrel-shaped breeder standard, but the more wolf-shaped variety of Pyrenees. He was also the sweetest dog I've ever met, except once, when, at the dog club at the park near our house, a Husky decided to do the alpha male thing and mounted him. Schnug nearly took his head off.

Schnug's two best dog pals were a shih-tzu that had his exact coloration but was about 1/15 his size, and a dog named Timber that was, I believe, half timberwolf and half german shepard. Beautiful, beautiful white dog with yellowish eyes, very calm but also very clearly capable of kicking the ass of any dog that messed with him.

Having grown up around big dogs, I have no fear of dogs whatsoever, which has gotten me bitten a time or two when around aggressive dogs, but has also kept other people from getting bitten a lot more frequently.

Our first Pyrenees, Fresca, we adopted when she was seven, she's related to Caleb and started going insane a couple years after we got her. Very friendly dog, though.

We had one other Pyrenees, named Jane, but we had to give her back to the breeder because in the month or so we had her, she got out of the yard something like 25 times. We built the fence higher, she still found a way out. Tried everything we could think of. The local car dealership loved her, the local schools loved her, the neighbours loved her . . . but they were all getting sick of having to hold onto her until we could come pick her up and bring her home. Too bad, because aside from the whole running away thing she was great.

Before Pyrenees the only dogs I had were, I believe, German Shepards and Golden Retrievers.

Mastadge said...

HalfaPrayer, I just pronounce it Ajax.

Speaking of protective animals . . . my cat. Wow. She's pretty small, but she's stayed alive while other cats have come and gone. She's survived outbreaks of FIV, she's survived aggressive animals. She's got an attitude, but she also knows who feeds her. Ever since some construction started in our neighborhood, there've been foxes all over the place, and little as they are, they're twice her size. But ever night she's out there, chasing them off. Whenever I catch one out there (or a raccoon, possum, whatever), I go out and chase it off, but more often than not it's her responsibility, and she hasn't failed at it yet.

Anonymous said...

Since we're on the topic of independent, stubborn but loving dogs/pets. I've got a few to yap about.

The first was Nikki, she was a runt sized german shepherd with an attitude that made her six times her normal size. That dog would let nothing touch me, yet would roll over and be the cutest dog that ever was when we were playing. I had her for 13 years and was able to watch her go from a hyper aggressive dog who had once been abused to a loving, protective guardian that I could depend on for anything.

Then there was Mitzi. The 28 lb pitch black cat that Nikki raised from kitten-hood and had thinking that she was part dog. She frequently brough home mice and stuck them in with my toys when I was younger in order to give me a treat. Mitzi wasn't fat, she was HUGE. I swear she was part main coon, but I'll never honestly know since she was a farm cat that I got for Easter when I was 7.

Those two raised the dog that I have now, Brandy (I wanted to name her Chaos, it would have fit better :P) She's independent, vocal, stubborn and 105lbs bone dry. She's also a German Shepherd and I've had her since she was 7 weeks old. She's a big baby who thinks she can crawl in my lap, and I have to protect her, but in exchange she watches out for me and the house. She keeps us safe from pretty much anything up here. People, fox, coyotes, bear, racoons, and definately squirrels.

Then there's the seven pound black cat named Loki who thinks that she can dominate the world and anything in it. That cat has NO fears. At all.

Overall my critters are blessings. They are extremely vocal about their opinions, but no one in my family is any different. :) It makes for an interesting life, and I wouldn't want to be without any of them, even though I only have two left.

Jenn

barb said...

I was a dog person growing up, but got a cat because I've never lived anyplace that allows dogs. Now I love both, and I still want a dog. But it would have to be at least 15 pounds or my cat Angelo would terrorize it, speaking of tough cats.

--Barb

HAWKi102 said...

I feel so little in such a big world. I've only had one dog in my sixteen years of living and he was a Cairn Terrier named Rambo.

He was always brave and alert, but still gentle and only bit me a few times. He had the worst allergies and had to be given steroids to relieve him of itching, and consequently the steriods balooned him up to twenty-six pounds or so. Near the end we managed to get him to about twenty pounds, eighteen pounds being an opitmum weight, but then he developed a spinal tumor and we were forced to put him asleep at eleven years old. That was in May of this year.

I won't forget how Rambo came into our lives, though, that's for sure. I was about six, it was nearing Christmas time, and we walked into a pet store just to browse around. The minute I laid eyes on my puppy I they filled with tears and I cried for over an hour straight, wanting the dog so badly. He was one of the only ones left in there, as I recall, and who knows where'd he be if we hadn't taken him home. Well, a crying six year old can be hella trouble so my parents did, of course, give in, and that was the start of a glorious reign...The Reign of Rambo.

Anonymous said...

Bloody hell! I even refreshed the page and it still said i hadn't posted ONCE, let alone three times...

A cat named Loki? My friend named her recent cat Loki despite my best efforts to name it Drizzt (hey, it's a kind member of a usually chaotic evil race, black, and vicious when necessary). I made fun of it, because she didn't understand the mythology behind Loki and just thinks Matt Damon is cute...

Then I met a guy named Loki...his parents must rock.

Ben said...

I wish I had a good dog story, but I've only had one dog a few years ago. She was a mixed collie that I called Sprinkles after that Simpsons episode with when Bart got a collie. My family isn't used to having pets so she'd run out of the house every time someone opened the door. It doesn't help that we live next to a busy highway either because one day my mom opened the door, Sprinkles ran out, and was hit by a cop car. The cop was really nice though and drove her to the vet, but it was too late.

Anonymous said...

Dammit, I'm going to miss Ally (my malamute) when she dies. Imagine your dog being 13 years old and being unable to run. Barely able to walk for that matter. It makes it even worse because of how energetic she used to be. We'll probably end up putting her to sleep once she finally loses the ability to walk. I'll dread that phone call while I'm in NYC for college.

Interbang said...

I've wanted a dog for ages, but we're up to three cats and an about-to-be-born first kid, so *sniff* still no dog..

The three cats are all reacting differently to their impending doom (read: life with a newborn). Elric, 14 years old and mean as hell, meows in my face all night long. She definitely knows I'm pregnant. I think she's screaming "How could you do this to me?!"

Purrkitty, 1, who likes to nurse (runt of the litter, never really grew up), wants to snuggle up to my chest all the time. Has no clue that his life is about to end. Sigh.

Chuck, 1, Purrkitty's litter mate, used to be Mr. Independent, but the lure of a large, warm flesh pillow (my belly), has turned him, inexplicably, into a lap cat. Yes, he finds that two or three inches of lap and makes good use of it.

So now, wherever I go, I lead a parade of cats. One screaming, one sucking, one snoozing. There's a loopy song in this somewhere...

Oh, and Elric is a badass. She did the "Lassie" thing once and woke me up when some drugged out chick had snuck into my bathroom. And she did it *silently*. Head bopped me until I was awake, then turned her body in the direction of my bathroom and raised her body up, almost pointed like an arrow. I immediately knew what she meant. I snuck up on the girl (who was enjoying my bathtub), and was able to scare her so badly that she ran out of the house on her own.

Anonymous said...

Matt's dog is bigger than me. That's a nice feeling.

Which is why I thank the got I have a cat. His mum was a farm cat and he's a mixed breed between a tabby and (I'm guessing) a Main Coon or a Norwegian Forest Cat, since he's a bit bigger than normal tabbies and has pretty long, cream-colored fur with only slight reddish stripe marks. By now he's about 10 years old and pretty fat and lazy, but occaisonally he goes into those odd feline moods where he'll stampede around the house sliding around the tile and nearly slamming into furniture for now reason. (Those are fun times.) He also has a tendency, when hungry, to go into the kitchen and start opening and slamming shut cabinet doors until someone comes in and feeds him. He usually lays claim to my bed during the day, but when I'm on the computer he'll often waddle over and start rubbing up against my legs, flopping down onto his back and arcing his big thickly-furred gut in my direction. He knows how to get what he wants.

And Loki is just an awesome name, both for a human and (especially) for a cat.

--creatvelapse542

barb said...

Hey, MWS.

That was you I saw this morning in Blend III-IV-V, wasn't it?

--Barb

MWS said...

If you mean the big red-haired white guy getting tossed around by the 98-pound Filipina, that would be me.

Stopped in on a whim, but my wife and I both should be morning regulars starting next week or the week after.

Next time say hi.

barb said...

Will do. I was the short Filipina in the class after yours.

I've started going to the Blend II extra effort class, and this Sunday I'm going to my first kali class. I'm looking forward to meeting you and your wife.

And, I did notice that Lucilla was kicking your ass. :p

Anonymous said...

all these dog stories are making me misty-eyed.

i had a dog in high school that was the best dog i'd ever had. half-sheperd, half-doberman, looked like a red wolf, probably weighed about 90 lbs, all muscle. could do serious damage to a room just wagging his tail (which he did all the time whenever his family came home). his whole body shook when he wagged, almost spinning him around with each wave.

he was also a protective, mean SOB. everyone who lived in the house was a demigod, everyone else was just dinner waiting to be chased down, bitten and eaten.

he could drag any of us in order to chase someone, and the only leash he could break was a short (7ft) lunge line that we used for the horses. came in handy when you had to angle for a tree to give yourself more leverage against his sheer strength.

one time, my brother made some toast, forgot about it and left the house to go outside and play. when i got home from school, the smoke alarm was blaring and the house was full of smoke. i searched thru the thick smoke looking for my brother, but couldn't find him, even going where the smoke was the thickest feeling around the floors for him. when i went outside to get some air, i remembered Rusty. i found him in the living room just outside the kitchen, barely moving, and i dragged him outside and chained him to the tree with the lunge line, then called the fire department, telling them that i couldn't find my brother.

long story short, there was no fire just a house full of thick smoke, my brother sheepishly came home when he heard the sirens, and when the dog had gotten enough fresh air he revived and tried to break his leash and eat the nice firemen. but where i'd found Rusty turned out to have been only a few feet from where the burning toast was found.

mom made dad get rid of the dog because he was too dangerous to everyone else. he was taken away while we were at school, and only just saw dad driving away with him in the back of the pickup, so we at least got a few minutes to say goodbye.

damn. i still miss that dog, and it's been over 20 years.

DesertJo

Anonymous said...

dammit.

make that "the only leash he COULDN'T break was a short (7ft) lunge line that we used for the horses."

make better use of preview in the future, silly girl.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Stover, ugh I feel so stupid doing this, but there's no other official venue that will answer me.

People are all up in an uproar over this rumor concerning Yoda and something he does in Episode III: he farts while riding on chewie's back.

Seriously, do we have to deal with toilet humor again in this upcoming prequel movie???? Please say no.

And sorry for posting it as a comment to your update -- I haven't been able to find a contact email for you (which is probably a good thing for you!) And I've exhausted all other venues.

MWS said...

DJo --

Rusty sounds great. My sympathies.

I'm working on a story that turns on that kind of loss (though with a horse, not with a dog) -- I hope there's some way I can manage to express what people are missing, who have never had so intense a relationship with an individual of another species . . .

Mastadge said...

Well, I think Robin Hobb managed that pretty well in . . . either the first or second book of her most recent trilogy. Then again, I've never to my recollection *not* had such a relationship, so I could be entirely wrong.

Anonymous said...

Loki decided on her own name and goes by the nickname Oy-oy or Bean most often. (oy oy being the nickname I gave her and Bean being the one that Scott gave her). Until those two nicknames were discovered she would only answer to Loki. Silly cat.

She and Brandy have a good ole time playing together. Seeing how Loki's about the size of Brandy's head and thinks that she can control the Dog. (yes, capital D)

And the name aptly describes that bundle of mischief. Because she is. Currently she's working out how to turn door handles so she can let herself in and out of rooms.

As far as watching your best friend die in front of you. I've done that twice now, and lost a fair share of others before their time. Nikki had hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and finally cancer before I had her put down. Mitzi suffered from steadily worsening diabetes before I couldn't stand it anymore. Nikki was on her way to being 14 when she died (having been with us for 13 1/2 years, approving of my boyfriend whom you all know as Scott Lynch-she hated men with a passion but was a push over for him). Mitzi was 17 going on 18 when she died.

I had to carry Nikki outside to go to the bathroom, hold her, and bring her back in. She didn't die because she was old, but because I could no longer stand the humiliation in her eyes whenever she looked at me, or the broken spirit of the dog who would face any fear with a head held high and the ability to keep me safe. That dog wandered through the streets at night with me. She was the bestest friend a girl could have growing up by herself and being a latchkey only child.

I dread the day I have to do the same thing with Brandy who has had hip dysplasia since she was 6 months old as well as a degenerative knee. She has a happy life, and like Nikki has basically made lies of all the predictions that the veterinarians have made concerning her quality of life and her quantity of years. I'm proud of her.

Loki is the same way. The cat only has half a working kidney to grace her small rambunctious body.

But hopefully I still have years to go before I have to face any more death of those I love. There has been too much of it lately.

ciao!
jenn

Alaska Wild Rose said...

If you ever want to see pack instinct in person, spend time with sled dogs.
We live in Alaska and have over 100 sprint dogs in our yard. Two years ago we had a terrifying demonstration of what can happen to sweet, well trained animals. These animals are so well trained that even in large numbers and in public places they can be "dropped" without being chained to the truck.
We were running a team of yearlings, littermates. At the end of a good run Yupik slipped on a patch of ice, hurting his ankle. In surprise and pain he let out a yelp. Within seconds every dog pounced on him, trying to rip him to pieces.
Arleigh and Donna waded in to try to save Yupik but were unable to get them off. You must understand that Arleigh is a full grown and very strong man who has been doing this for many many many years. Both Donna and Arleigh were hurt in the proccess, but Arleigh managed to get him over the fence. Once Yupik was gone the other yearlings returned to their loveable selves.
Even with surgury and the constant presence of a vet, Yupik barely pulled through.
Somehow this seemed like an incident that would be of interest to you.