Monday, March 22, 2010

Manic Monday

Well, it's that time again. It's Manic Monday, the one day when I can just think about what I want. Things I want to have, things I want to achieve, places I might want to go.

This week ... This week I really want a dog. I want the waiting to hurry up and be over so that Fiance can head off to training, I want that time to pass quickly so that we are able to be married and head for Army life ... I want to hurry up and get into post housing. I want next years income tax refund so that I can FINALLY after all this time go get a dog.

I grew up with dogs, so it's been hard for me to not have a cuddly creature to pet when I'm sad, one to walk when I want to go out, one to play with when I'm bored. Someone to wag ecstatically just because I walk in the door, someone to bark and warn the scary things in the night away from me and my children. Someone who trusts me totally and never complains or seems to get angry at me. There are so many great things about having a dog ... But I don't just want any dog. I want a big dog. I've been researching what kind of dog is big enough for me while still being "safe" enough for military housing, and this has been a somewhat disappointing search. I found out that my favorite dogs are forbidden ... My first pet was a rottweiler. His name was Major, and he was my dog when I was a toddler. I could poke him, lean on him, lay right on top of him, or just pet him. He was a great dog ... but these sweet loyal dogs have been given a terrible reputation because of their size and strength. People have taken advantage of the size of these dogs and have turned them vicious often enough to have turned the world away from the entire breed. They are known these days as violent dogs, animals that are to be feared and never trusted. So that meant I couldn't have one.

Next I looked at German Shepherds. My father also had one of these when I was very young, she was well-behaved and obedient. Intelligent, well-trained, and quick to obey my father's commands. But this is not the dog for me. I love the German Shepherds loyalty, it's intelligence, it's personality. But it is, in my opinion, a medium dog. I want a BIG dog. One that I can walk down that street with in the middle of the night and no one would dare approach me out of caution for the sheer size of this dog.

And I found one that is not forbidden. Actually I found several. There is the Great Pyrenees, and they are lovely animals. Quite large, loyal to the family unit and a natural guard dog. This dog is typically gentle with children (in my experience) and very protective of his family. However, they are year-round shedders and they have a long thick coat which means lots of sweeping and vacuuming dog hair. It also means making time to brush this dog often, and I'm not sure I will have that kind of time with two busy kids on my hands.

Several other breeds were suggested ... English Bulldogs (yuck, drooly! Not to mention ugly), Boxers (too small and much too hyper), and Mastiffs (again, drooly) of different origins. But I think I'm settled. I've found a dog breed that is not forbidden by the armed forces, who is strong and loyal, a guard dog who will have the natural instinct to guard and protect myself and my children. He is a massive breed, but beautiful and hard-working. He will be energetic and playful, but also calm and intelligent, obedient once well-trained, and snuggly. I have chosen the Anatolian Shepherd. I have even looked for breeders all over the country, since we don't know where we will end up. I have pretty thoroughly researched this breed, have decided that I want a male (because the are bigger naturally, and because they will generally have a stronger instinct to protect the family than a female), and I have narrowed down to about three names that we will choose from when we pick out our pup. They are beautiful, simply beautiful.

So this week on Manic Monday, maybe I want to lose weight, maybe I want more peace in my household, and maybe I wish we had more money to do fun things. Maybe I wish we had some investments to be excited about, maybe I wish a lot of things. But this Manic Monday, what my heart really really longs for, is a dog. A loyal little guy to play with and teach, to love and grow, to pet when I'm sad and enjoy when I'm happy. To guard and protect when I'm alone, and watch my family quietly when we are together. I really miss having a dog.