Saturday, September 19, 2009

You Decide 2009: Amanda's Best Friend

For years I've been saying I want a Great Dane. He's going to be black and I'm going to name him Achilles (or Snake Eyes, or Vader, or Gambit). But most of the time, it's Achilles.

I've only seen these giant dogs in person a few times, and each time I have experienced an uncontrollable urge to jump on them and hug them and cuddle them. (Admittedly, I have this urge with almost every dog, but nevertheless I feel it more strongly with the Great Dane). Thankfully each time I was able to control the uncontrollable urge, and save myself a bit of embarassment. But the truth still stands, these dogs make me weak. And so I must have one.

Until the other day...

I was out for my run when I came upon a Bernese Mountain Dog--big, beautiful, big. And out of nowhere I felt that uncontrollable urge creep up from within. I had to concentrate very hard on keeping my hand at a ninety-degree angle as I passed the perfect companion and try not to look directy into its eyes--for I knew I would be smitten. All the following day at work, I thought of little else. My mind took me back to that fateful run...and even more so, it took me to the time when I played with a Berner pup in a pet store. Yes, it scratched my arms to pieces, yes it ran around the cubicle like a medicated child, but I looked past all that when comparing the restless pup to the wonderful adult that he was destined to become.

And so now, dear readers, I have a great life conundrum.

Shall I get my Great Dane, Achilles? Or my Bernese Mountain Dog, name yet to be disclosed/decided?

I have ample time to decide--one year, maybe two. But do you realize how difficult it is to look forward to something when you're quite unsure as to what that something exactly is?


  1. Ok, My vote goes for "Fly" from Babe (even though thats a border collie. ) Fly or "Shadow" would fit the Bernese Mountain Dog. That dog fits you great. Or you could have a Scooby-Doo/ Achilles. I say Go for the Bernese Mountain Dog. there both great dogs but you want a giant or a fun dog? I VOTE BERNESE Mountain Dog because it captured your heart a second time and your first love has been back in your mind forever.

    Its like asking if you should marry Mr. Darcy or Rochester.....I say the BMD

  2. not to be painfully practical, but.....

    i would research the recurrent medical problems with both breeds and decide which you can live with.

    I know that great danes can have a lot of heart problems (read: sudden heart attacks) because their heart is too large for their body. (or vice versa - can't remember)

    Don't know what the problems are with purebred bernese mountains, but you might want to check.

    On a less practical note - go with the bernese - great dane tails are like whips, and being at mid-thigh, leave serious welts when they get excited. But they shed less than the bernese would...

    Decisions, decisions. I don't envy you at all.

    Gambit would make a perfectly fine name for the bernese. Or odysseus. Then you can get a great dane (achilles) later to be his friend.

    Wow - this was long. sorry


  3. Beth,
    I know that the bernese dogs die at about 7 years of age....I fear that this will in turn cause me to die prematurely of a broken heart (remember Padme?).

    Danes live longer, but struggle with something I can't remember at the moment...maybe hip stuff. maybe cancer.

    This makes me lean toward the Dane. Oh, and I am excellent at absent-mindedly guiding a wild dog tail. After all, I had a black lab at one point.

    And yet...the sooner my first dog dies, the sooner I can get my second dog...

  4. ever the pragmatist...