Doggy Style!

Today I venture away from humans and far from wine to one of my other loves, dogs! Yes, that four legged, tail wagging, chewing, pooping machine. They always give more than they take. Have you ever been around the proud owner of a dog opining about the virtues of their dog and especially the breed? It could be Paris and her pug or Martha and her chows. Maybe you have a Marley type or Underdog himself. If you’re a dog person, the breed matters little. It’s the return that sets the dog apart.

I’ve been  asked what’s it like living with big dogs. Would I recommend them for families with small children, do they chew, do they drool and so on. First my answer is I love big dogs. Hell, I named Ambullneo after the breed. In a day when both parents work, you come home and the kids are pissed at you, the wife is pissed at you but the dog always loves you. So he got top billing! I’m simple enough, I give credit where credit is due, and I have been pissed at the dog several times but he’s never been pissed at me.

Can we say the same for our kids and spouses? I think not!  Big dogs eat more, poop bigger, drool some, and destroy more. But on the other side they are as gracious and giving a creature as you would ever want in your life. They protect without the training, in that they just have to show up to alarm a stranger. If the kids are playing outside and someone comes to the gate, who do you think is the first there? Yes that person delivering a package, delivering the mail or if he’s there to do harm, they all take a step back when 160 pounds of grunting black thunder comes a calling. But that’s the magic he’s as friendly as the grand parents coming to see the kids, but he or she doesn’t have a clue. It’s enough to give any sane person pause.

It takes a little more work to train a big dog just because of their strength but they train very easily if time is spent doing so! We have three Ambullneo Mastiffs and can’t imagine not always having at least one. I don’t breed them but the man who started the breed does, Dr. Mark Riesinger and he’s the one to see if interested. We have another dog ( yes, four dogs),  an English Bulldog we bought from a breeder in Belgium. Now that’s an interesting creature. As you may or may not know English Bulldogs are a cross between the Old English Bulldoggie and a Pug. They can have all kinds of health issues so selecting a great breeder is a must. Some problems include, palates, skin, eyes, digestive tracks and more. What should you expect from a breed that can’t deliver naturally. Yes the pups are all taken surgically for fear of the puppies dying in the birth canal from being to wide. And in the end you have something closer to Chet from Weird Science, then a dog. They fart a lot, they make all kinds of almost human sounds in what can only be described as pathetic when they want something. They’re as stubborn as can be not moving very quickly unless they decide it’s in their interest. They have a fold in front of there face that needs constant cleaning or he will smell like some badly aged cheese.

Sold yet? But here’s the thing, if you love dogs you will never be without one. These are the funniest dogs in the world, the clown in the circus. They are so ugly they’re cute, sort of like me! It would take an hour of writing to even attempt to articulate their abilities to make you laugh but be assured all the other stuff matters little.

Dog lovers are people I trust. I am always leery of those that don’t like them. I understand if someone had a traumatic experience, like getting bit or knocked to the ground. But some people just hate animals… the Michael Vicks of the world who take pleasure in hurting dogs for little or no reason. I have little in the way of tolerance for such folks. In the end I do have great respect for people who like dogs but choose not to have one because they just can’t take care of the animal. That is a smart decision and a compassionate one. Taking care of a dog, like a child, is a huge responsibility and if you’re not ready then the human thing to do is pass. Come to think of it many should pass on child rearing, but that’s another story.

Hug your dog and you will get an unbelievable reward,

Greg!

www.greglinnwines.com
www.ambullneovineyards.com

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