We made the mistake once of getting a dog that was a great dane / doberman mix. The problem was, instead of being a great dane in the body of a doberman, he turned out to be a doberman in the body of a great dane.
The difference is not subtle.
Readers with a fondness for dobermans, good for you then. Something about mixing the brain cavity of the great dane with the brain size of the doberman is not advisable. Lots of jostling can take place. As a result, the animal develops the brain power and decision making abilities of a baby hamster.
I remember the day Basie snapped at George's face, in the kitchen, nearly missing his nose, at eye level (because all humans were eye level to this dog when slightly hunched over). I was pregnant. I had already tossed vegetarianism and dropped my PETA membership. In short, I chose life.
After that day, the dog went to live with George's mother, a fitting match, and I won't tell you who won. Hint: not him.
Imagine my surprise to see the living incarnation of Basie in the backyard of our formerly-pig-owning neighbors. Yes, the ones I called the EPA and Code Enforcement on after a year of manure toleration.
Everything about him is our old dog. His blind eagerness to run in all directions at once out of fear/bewilderment/terror/instinct all at the same time. As I watch him trot around their yard continuously with distinct but unknown purpose, I am reminded of Basie today.
I am reminded of his fear of water--including anything dripping within ten miles of him; his inability to function for more than ten minutes at a time without shivering in terror despite his four-foot long frame. I am reminded of his brain's inability to keep up with his instincts, none of which in his best interest in the first place.
In our old pig-owning neighbor's back yard is the kind of high-strung, purposeless animal you know is destined to die by its own hand. I realize this moment may be sooner than later, as I see that they have tied him now, to keep hiim from running up and down the three stories of decks, which he does every minute of every hour of every day.
And I see him get tangled in a small tree, which he manages to break free of by pulling it down with him. At which point he is so glad to be free that he jumps at the next tree, obviously remembering that split second of freedom more than he remembers the danger of being tangled.
The bottom line is, don't breed a dog like this on purpose.
And don't ever bring one home.
I miss the pig.