If you’re a dog lover, as I am, you’re well aware of the companionship and unconditional love that is the DNA of the family pooch. But can a dog love too much?
Meet Pepper, our Newfoundland/black lab mix. We’ve had Pepper about a year and got her at 5 years old from the local pound. She’s a big girl—110 pounds. She sheds more than a steep-pitched roof in a monsoon storm and, no matter how often we brush her teeth and give her mint-flavored chew sticks, she has breath that reeks of week-old catfish.
Pepper has the grace of a runaway bull and not a bit of remorse about it. Basically, she’s a codependent canine trip hazard. She also has a chronic “licker” problem. And I am her object de paramour.
Is she smart? Well, I guess that depends on the interpretation. Case in point:
When we first got her, Pepper had a bad habit of pooping in the house. Quite a problem, especially for a dog this size. No matter how long the walk, I could not get this mutt to do her business outside.
Eventually, I discovered she was so attached to me that I had to basically grant her permission to leave my side to take care of things. The command is “Pepper, go poop!” She will then waddle off several feet and do the deed. I’m serious.
Another unique trait of this dog is she insists on sitting on my lap. OK, not exactly my lap, because she stretches from chest to knee, but you get the picture. Most of her weight rests on my bladder, so I’m forced to limit my liquid intake during the evening. I drew the line at sleeping on the bed, but she ends up right beside it… and snores like a seasoned trucker.
It could be worse. She doesn’t bark much. And she’s all mine.