Looking Protected

His parentage unknown with saucer sized feet

All too soon the rest of him caught up
The chain-link fence was a chin rest.

His tail destroyed the lamps and knick-knacks
His weight made sofa cushions collapse
His ferocity toward the intruder saved their lives

This is a Cherita, named from the Malay word for story. It is a poem consisting of 3 stanzas. The first stanza is a single line. The second a couplet and the third line a tercet. The line lengths are at the poet’s discretion. It is untitled, centered on the page, and has no requirement to rhyme since it is modeled on the haiku/tanka.

A former coworker got a puppy from the animal shelter.  She and her family wanted a small to medium sized dog, something in the range of a cocker spaniel/border collie. All the puppies they had were “Heinz 57” variety. The adoption clerk informed them that the mother had been a sheltie and the father was unknown. Anyway, they selected a likely pup that appeared to be fluffy enough and friendly. After a couple weeks and a visit to their vet, it was determined that their 12 week old pet was really maybe 8 weeks old. The vet’s prediction was that their small to medium sized dog would be much bigger. Her prediction was spot on. When Fluffy went in to get his 16 week vaccinations, he was big. By the time he was 8 months he was the size of a very hairy Great Dane and he was still in the gangly adolescent phase. My coworker considered re-homing Fluffy but her kids were all very attached. Fluffy went to obedience classes and was really a star pupil. His only bad habit was getting on the furniture…

Anyway, his tail was a weapon. If he was happy to see you, you could expect bruises on your thighs from being beaten with that wagging tail. He redecorated her house by eliminating clutter, magazines, and glass figurines (really anything breakable at wag height).  She was at her wits end when he decided the new living room sofa was his bed. She shooed him off it but he would be back as soon as she turned her back. A year later he was a lean and muscular dog. She told me he weighed about 140 pounds! Her good sofa was sagging and the cushions a total loss and she decided that he had to go. A few days later as the family slept, two men broke into the house through the kitchen window. Perhaps they were looking for anything to sell for drug money, maybe they had more wicked plans. But Fluffy cornered them and set up such a racket that even the neighbors knew something was wrong. When the police came the intruders basically begged to be arrested! Fluffy obediently stood down and let the police do their job.

She was curious to know just what kind of dog he was . The results of the canine DNA test pointed to a mix of several big dogs – St. Bernard, Rottweiler, Great Dane, and Akita. Fluffy is now allowed to sleep on the sofa and the talk of him being sent away has ceased forever. Sparky wants a dog but not a really big one. He just might get his wish. The only catch is the backyard needs the fence repaired and we have to see if the dog in question likes Sparky as much as he likes her…

74 thoughts on “Looking Protected

  1. Nice poetry form Val.
    Well done Fluffy!! What a mix though. Maya is big, now 28 weeks old and was some 25.5 kilos at the vet last month. We’ll have to weigh her for her flea and worm treatments later this month which they have promised to send in the post this time. We can however expect her to hit 35 kilos by the time she’s a year old. Not that we’re worried. We’ve seen her Dad in action and he’s HUGE!!!!

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      1. Surprise!!!
        We were talking to a couple in town last week and they took in a rescue dog who is now 4. He was proud to show us photos, and this dog is beyond big! Leonbergers are big, but this dog was bigger and totally gorgeous. The picture showed the dog sitting on the guy’s lap (or trying to) and all you could see of the guy was his head poking round the side. Apparently a couple had got the dog as a pup and had no idea how big he’d grow. As they lived in a small flat, they rehomed him. It was a good move for both the dog and the couple because it was obvious he was loved to bits………. about 2000 pictures on his phone!!.

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        1. That’s wonderful! I’m guessing the owner was more than proud to share the photos! I do love a happy ending and it sounds like that really big dog found owners with more physical space as well as plenty of room in their hearts!

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          1. he said it was nice to meet people who were interested in seeing his photos of the dogs. They had a border collie too and we were shown a picture of her with the Big Boy. She was smaller than his tail! They loved Maya and as the collie is getting on now (she’s 15) they are thinking of getting a companion for him and would probably chose a shepherd because the woman had grown up with them.

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            1. Hehe! It is sad to think that they might lose their Border Collie – even sadder to know that the really big dogs rarely make it to 8 yrs old. I hope their hearts are not broken. I love seeing all the photos of dogs that people share. Sparky wants a dog so, so badly. Don’t tell anyone but June 19th is Father’s Day and he just might get his wish! Still working out the details….

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                1. She is a 4 years old Australian cattle dog mix. She belongs to a friend whose daughter had her at college but has graduated and now can’t have her in an apartment… She’s sweet but has some bad habits (she likes to get on the furniture) but at 30 pounds that isn’t as big an issue as it could be. She’s smart and we can probably retrain… It all comes down to whether she takes to Sparky. She has an issue of being fearful around men…

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                  1. Kizzy had an issue with anyone in white coats, which made me think a vet or butcher had hurt her at some stage. I asked the vet to take his coat off and she was fine.
                    I so hope things work out………….. when my parents visited the first time after I initially got her (she was 5) my Dad more or less ignored her but had his arm down by the side of the settee. After a while, she got closer, then closer still to sniff. She eventually got under his hand and he absentmindedly smoothed her, again ‘ignoring’ her as he did so. It took most of their visit, but by the time they left, she was putty in his hands. My Dad had a way with animals, especially dogs, and I seem to have inherited some of that. Looking forward to hearing some positive news. Does he already know/know of the dog?

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                    1. He’s never met her but I have. I’m hoping they click and we are able to take her in… She really is a pretty dog and has a sweet disposition!

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    1. Hehe! She is no stranger to big dogs – she had a mastiff before (in her smallish house). When he passed she swore off big dogs. But you know, he was so much better behaved than Fluffy. He never got on the furniture, never rearranged her décor, and of course he never confronted any intruders…

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      1. We had what was either a boxer/bullmastiff mix or a rottweiler/bullmastiff mix (I think she was the first one). She was a moose and scary to look at but as gentle with the family s could be. Our dogs own us. We bought a love seat so my coonhound would have a place to sleep.

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  2. a medal for Fluffy, please and a framed certificate, complete with foto of the intruders, to accompany him to his new home if he ever has to move. 🙂

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  3. PS got a book from the local library a couple of yrs ago, apparently non-fiction by US author ‘the world’s worst dog’ – sounds a bit like Fluffy? 🙂

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  4. “Fluffy”? hahaha… What a wonderful, protective and loyal dog! I love that he can declutter with a simple wag of his tail. I bet he could fling my laptop off the table with it.

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    1. Hehe! She was so angry about that sofa and was determined to send Fluffy to a farm but that all changed in an instant. I love happy endings and this one was very happy for everyone except the burglars!

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  5. Before even hearing the story I was grinning ear to ear. I’m so glad they kept him. I’m having watch Miss Kitty about curtains. She now likes to jump in the tub to hide and I hope the plastic curtain does not become the second victim.

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  6. I love this story. So does Polar Bear Yeti T. Dog. 🐾

    Maybe you remember the T-shirt company from the 80’s Big Dog that features a St. Bernard. I had a T-shirt that said, “Run with the Big Dogs.” I wore it to shreds. Teddy T. Dog is the smallest dog I’ve ever had. He’s 30 pounds.

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    1. I’m sure Bear can relate! I remember a t-shirt that said “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!” You must really like Teddy to not hold his size against him… I’m sure he has the heart of a bigger dog!

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      1. I had that t-shirt too! 🙂 I met a little poodle today named Toby. He was wonderful and so was his human. I came in with his smell on my hands and Bear and Teddy let me know that all dogs are the same size. When I do that with a neighbor dog, they no longer bark at him when he walks by.

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        1. Your dogs are so smart (and you too)! They accept the new dog into the pack since whoever you like they like! Sparky has a “Life is Good” shirt that says Lucky Dog with a dog with a 4 leaf clover in his mouth… it is almost ready for the scrap bag he’s worn it so much!

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                1. Hmmm. It is JUNE here and today we will have a high of 71. Right now it is 57. It is supposed to be summer in a couple weeks! I shouldn’t complain – still it should be warmer!

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    1. He really is a good dog. They are looking for a bigger house but the housing market is crazy here. Until then, Fluffy is secure with his family and they are secure knowing Fluffy is keeping watch!

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    1. Rottweilers are known to be protective! We have one down the street who is ferocious! Lucky for everyone he is well trained and always under control. Still the ruckus he makes when anyone walks past the house is enough to give you pause!

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    1. The shelter dogs seem to know that they were chosen and they are very grateful! Sounds like a great plan! (though it makes me very sad to think that Rex’s days are winding down) 😦

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    1. Thanks tons Mich! I’m always looking for new and different forms to keep my mind nimble. I’m glad you liked the story. I’m just glad Sparky didn’t beg to take in Fluffy – he still wants a dog badly…

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  7. Yay! I hope Sparky gets the perfect dog. The unadulterated joy that a dog expresses is contagious. If everyone had the love of a good dog, there would be no strife in the world, no war. We would all be content to come home to the wagging tails of our dogs, wave to our neighbors, and curl up next to them (the dog, not the neighbors) on the floor. I draw the line at dogs on the furniture.

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    1. I’ve got my fingers crossed. Friday late afternoon will be the “first contact” and I’m very hopeful that it will indeed be “love at first sight” (from the dog’s point of view!) as Sparky is already pretty in love with the idea of having another dog. He even has fixed the fence in the backyard, vacuumed the dog run, found a new carpet for the run, and cleaned up his “mess” in the basement!! I have my fingers crossed.

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  8. My two big dogs were very loyal, to the point of savagely baring teeth at anyone who gave us a hard time. The little one was loving and loyal, too, and though her nature was sweet, towards anyone who came to the door-coming THROUGH the door found her a bit more discerning.

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