November 24, 2003

Overheard, in the sense that the first comment was directed at me and indirectly at my dog, Mildred, the world’s greatest English bulldog, last night:

Twentysomething Guy: “Dude, that is, like, totally, like, the coolest dog I have ever seen, like, in my life. Seriously, dude. Like, ever.

Me: Hey, thanks.

Sure beats the more commonly expressed sentiment from the proverbial -- and actual -- person on the street, which goes sort of like this: “Man, your dog is really fat.”

My response to this particular observation -- which we get a lot -- varies greatly. Sometimes I’m polite. Sometimes I’m not.

One time, a time when I wasn’t polite, I thought I was going to get my head bashed in. But let me say, again, and this time just for the record, the guy’s girlfriend was no Kate Moss. And while I hate to stoop that low, he had it coming, and I guess she, in her silence, kind of did too.

[Post-publication addendum ( November 26): As I understand it, Mildred was bred at a time, or just after a time, when the larger English bulldogs were winning most of the prizes at the major dog shows. The result: breeders sought to produce larger bulldogs to satisfy the demand of the show crowd. (Mildred, by the way, is ineligible for American Kennel Club shows because she is not “intact.” See spaying, infra.) Now, Mildred is, I admit, a little overweight, but she’s also just plain big. She is taller and longer than any female bulldog I’ve ever seen, and taller and longer than most male bulldogs I’ve encountered as well. She weighs more, and may even be larger than, her most famous peer, Uga VI, the University of Georgia mascot, though I’m certain her head is significantly smaller than his, which is normally the case with the girls. More recently, however, I was told that Mildred’s large stature and persistently ample weight may have resulted from my having had her spayed too early, though I was only following the veterinarian’s orders. I suppose that’s a subject for some future research, or maybe just a quick Google search, but it’s late (actually, it’s early: nearly 3:00 a.m.), and I just don’t feel like doing that right now. And so the mystery continues.]


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