Sunday, February 06, 2011

Big Joe

Bombaclaat has gotten all the attention for his antics, but my parents have another eccentric dog that I figured it was time for you all to meet.  Readers, this is Big Joe.

Big Joe is a four year old, 130 pound Doberman who thinks he is a Chihuahua. Big Joe looks intimidating that's for sure and he has a deep, booming woof that would scare any robber away, but the truth is that Big Joe is a big old wuss. An alpha-dog he is not. That title goes to his Mini-Me, the real boss Bombaclaat, who is all of ten pounds. I'm convinced that dogs just don't recognize their own size. You ever notice how tiny dogs always think they're huge and giant dogs always think they can fit on your lap? Our dogs are like that. Bombaclaat thinks he's the biggest, baddest dog on the block and Big Joe, who may well be the biggest (though not baddest) dog on the block, has no clue of his strength and heft.

We love Big Joe's sweet personality. He's more Labrador than Doberman. When you think of Dobies, the image that comes to most people's minds is a ruthless, attack machine who takes orders in German and can rip your arm off in any language.You don't think of a goofy, leaping doofus of a dog who likes to run on the beach, play fetch with rubber chickens and lean his butt against any stranger for a tail scratch. But that's our dog.

Lately, he's been a bit of an escape artist too and he's been giving us quite a few laughs.

First off, Big Joe has turned into a stealthy thief who premeditates his crimes. He's been stealing dog toys from the neighbor's yard.

Now my parents have a backyard that is pretty difficult to escape from, but somehow Big Joe has been getting out and we finally figured it out. It's actually pretty remarkable. They have an iron fence that is way too high for a dog to jump. Big Joe has never figured out how to dig under it and no one ever unlocks and leaves open the gate. The fence runs all the way to the dock. The dock is parallel to the house so when you look out the backdoor you see the canal. The dogs steer clear of the canal because they're scared of water. Our dock runs the length of our property and there's about a three to five foot gap between our dock and our neighbors' docks on both ends. To get out of the yard without scaling the fence, you'd have to jump from the end of our dock to the end of the neighbor's dock and hope you didn't end up in the water. It is important to note that Big Joe is terrified of water. He hates it so much that if people are in the pool he becomes frantic and runs around its perimeter barking because he thinks its an emergency.

But the allure of other dogs' toys was too much for him to bear and Big Joe has started jumping the dock to get into the neighbor's backyard because they don't have a fence. This allows him to run down the street to the other neighbor's house, go into their fenceless yard and steal the toys of a neurotic Bichon named Princess who has a bad case of hot spots and has to wear tee shirts. The neighbor even told us that Big Joe stands on their deck and looks in their sliding glass doors.

It took us a while to figure out where all these new, strange dog toys were coming from. One day he came home with a rubber chicken! Finally, I solved the mystery because I caught Big Joe in the act. I was over at my parents' and I let him out for a couple minutes. I looked in the backyard and he was gone, but shortly thereafter he reappeared with a stuffed mallard duck in his mouth. I had seen this duck before when we had stone crabs at our neighbor's house. Big Joe was busted.

Another time Big Joe escaped the yard and mysteriously came to my house! He ran right up to my front door. The only thing I can figure is that he missed Canela. I tried to walk him home but I didn't have a leash and Big Joe didn't want to leave. I finally had to trick him by opening my car door. Dogs will pretty much just jump in any car I find because they love to go for rides, so I had to end up driving Big Joe home a whopping block and a half away. Crazy dog.

The biggest laugh we got from Big Joe was just last week when he scared the crap out of a huge, Italian, touch guy body builder.

My dad was walking Big Joe around the neighborhood when he met a lady who was walking her female Rottweiler. They stopped to talk dogs and the dogs really seemed to hit it off. The lady, named Renee, thought the dogs would have a good time if they could run free, off their leashes and really play with each other. She said she had a big yard and lived just down the street, so they should go to her house for a little while. My dad said that sounded great and they went.

Turns out that Renee and her husband own a large and popular chain of pizza places and are quite well to do. They have a big house on the beach with a huge walled in yard. They went into the yard and closed the gates so the dogs could run free and my dad and Renee stood and talked while the dogs did their thing.

Renee's house was under construction. She was renovating and there were a lot of workers going in and out, so some of the doors were open. Renee's husband Vito was upstairs taking a shower and he is a huge, body builder type of macho Italian guy.

All of a sudden my dad and Renee hear Vito screaming at the top of his lungs from the upstairs bathroom window.

"Renee!! There's a Doberman outside the bathroom door!! What the hell is this?? I'm trapped! Call 911!!!" he yelled, "HELP ME!!"

Turns out the dogs had decided to go explore the house and Big Joe had decided to see what was upstairs. He must have heard Vito showering and wanted to meet him. Vito opened the bathroom door, all clean and wrapped in his towel to see an unexpected, massive attack dog standing in his bedroom barking at him. Big Joe barks when he wants to play, but if you don't know him he sounds scary so Vito was peeing his pants! He ran back in his bathroom and locked himself in so he could call for help from the window.

Of course when it was cleared up everyone thought it was hilarious, but needless to say, we're not getting and free pizza any time soon!


life in the mom lane said...

oh my that is hilarious!!!!!
I agree with you- dogs have no clue how big/small they are- when I was a kid we had two dachshunds and the one was really small- she had no clue and would go after dobermans... :)

Kerry said...

What an awesome dog! Yes, it's true, dogs have no idea of size. We got our first basset hound because 85-pound-Marge decided she was queen of the universe and picked fights with the Great Danes she lived with who thought they should be boss since they were bigger. So the owner gave us Margie.

Anonymous said...

I've read your blog for three years. Saw the later one - hope you've saved it to read in any moment. Could have written my own version 15 yrs ago. Divorced with a wonderful son who lives w/ me. Hang in and delete this as needed after you read it.

MsCatMinder said...

Likewise. Your two posts came through to my feed and on twitter .You're so brave and you will be ok . The rest is up to him - but I think you know that already . Good luck and good wishes xx

Upside Down said...

This is so funny! That's exactly how our pitbull is. She is this big dopey lap dog where our Boston Terrier thinks she is the meanest toughest dog in the neighborhood. They have no clue about their size. The pitbull is so afraid of the water she tries to save her "big" sister, our Boston Terrier everytime she tries to swim.

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