Ask anyone who has visited my home whether in the US or in Honduras about their first impression of their visit, and invariably, their first response is concerning The Dog. He’s a classic black and tan German shepherd, uncommonly large but not fat, weighing 100 pounds or over.
Not to brag, but he’s quite a stand-out. Just a few days ago, I stopped for gas with the dog in the backseat. As I parked, two ladies walking from inside the store approached, began to speak excitedly, noting what a beautiful dog he is. A man in a pick-up paused momentarily, flashing a smile filled with gold teeth, nodding his agreement to the assessment that the ladies pronounced over my canine.
Earlier that same day, I stopped for breakfast, driving through a take-out window at a local fast-food joint. The woman at the window exclaimed at The Dog reclining on the backseat, and she held up the serving line by calling other employees to view the marvel in my car. I sometimes tire of the accolades he receives because it’s largely due to genetics and good kibble.
He’s more than big and showy.
The Dog is uncommonly loud.
When he guarded my residence in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, he barked with such a tenor that a brass fellow on a shelf inside the house regularly lost his horn due to the bark of this massive dog. Grown men, even men with guns who guarded the neighborhood, reluctantly approached my home with multiple reassurances that The Dog was out of harm’s way. When I moved to Louisiana, a woman who lived on the next street complained that his early morning reveille bounced sound waves off her house.
Once, since moving to the US, he opened the door (he can open levered doors) to the laundry room where he was being held, and he ambled into the kitchen to say hello to my sister. My nearly sixty-year-old sister leaped four feet onto a high stool in one quick move, then climbed onto the countertop, showing her prowess in yoga as well respect for The Dog. She does have osteoporosis, so I am concerned about future leaps.
Do I love The Dog? Of course, I do. Is he the best dog on the street? No, he is not. His temperament is tricky. Although he’s never bitten anyone, he’s had scarce opportunity to do so since his bark (as well as the occasional lunge) first attracts then repels people or animals. He has to be restrained for the sake of peace when in public.
Thus said, I wouldn’t vote for The Donald. His temperament is tricky.