I’m a horrible pet person. I don’t remember my pets birthdays or when they arrived. I don’t buy them Christmas presents or dress them in cute outfits. Occasionally I throw embarrassing reindeer antlers on the dogs. As you can see Bixby is not amused.
This is where he spends his days – right next to my desk, snoozing. It’s hard to believe this is his second Christmas (even harder to believe it’s Zander’s third). I was looking at photos from last year and he was pretty big then, even though he was only 6 months old. But nothing like now. He’s almost 160 lbs, and 35″ at his shoulders. His head is pretty much as big as he was at 8 weeks when I picked him up.
He was standing next to me the other day and I reached my hand down to pet him and wondered why anyone would have a “regular” sized dog. I guess I’m just a Giant Breed kinda person.
Between snow storms we had a nice play date at our friends’ property. It was bittersweet because they just lost their dog and Bixby would periodically go to the backdoor and look for him.
Bixby is an awesome dog, but not an easy dog. He never eats cat food (even though it is easily accessible), never takes food off the counters, he’s been good about the chewing – other than a few pairs of flip-flops – and is pretty good with boundaries. He LOVES people, he adores his cats and still cannot understand why they are indifferent to him (after all he is an AWESOME dog) and is pretty good with other dogs.
But Bixby is also a very alpha dog. Every day begins anew, I remind him he is the low rung on the ladder in the household and he gives me the “maybe” look. And many times during the day I must remind him that he is not in charge. I should have known within thirty minutes after I picked him up that he was going to be a challenge. He made it clear he was not one to be bossed, even then.
It’s constant and sometimes exhausting, but I swear to you I would not have it any other way. He has such a big spirit, such joy. He makes me laugh, even when he’s turned his big body into granite so I can’t move him and he won’t listen to anything. He does test my patience when he decides to drag me down the street to see some new friend.
In general, though, I couldn’t ask for a sweeter dog. He goes out of his way to greet people and not overwhelm them. Unless you are three of my friends, who, we believe since they have been around since day one-ish, he treats like litter mates. They are not safe from the enthusiasm of the big Beast. And I’m fairly certain they love it.
He has become very protective of me, in a non-aggressive way – he very clearly puts himself between me and whatever unknown he perceives and waits until I tell him it’s okay. And hugs, this dog gives the best hugs. He is smart, assertive and full of love. And he has my heart.
Speaking of puppy love, my niece, who loves Bixby:
Got herself an early Christmas present yesterday:
Definitely not a Great Dane. LOL. But still, it’s love:
That’s if for now. I have to finish the prep for tonight’s Christmas Eve party. Menu is pretty simple: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Sauteed Zucchini, Marinated Mushrooms, Garlic Bread, Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundaes, Spinach-Raspberry-Walnut salad and appetizers.
I hope you have a holiday full of peace and joy. Thanks for always stopping by, even when I’m a little light on the posts. Merry Christmas – TaMara