Sometimes I am a super hero on a very small scale. My long-time friend texted me last Thursday to see if I could look after her puppy on Saturday because she was called out of town on an urgent trip. It’s no secret that I lurrrrve puppies. The Electrician finds me cruising the local humane society website most days, looking for that second pooch I can’t live without. It was a no-brainer to take my friend’s puppy for the night.
Meet Bowser. He’s an English mastiff, bullmastiff, and boxer mix. As you can see, the mastiff runs strong in this fella. At fifteen weeks, he’s about 60 pounds and he’s gaining size on Sherman rapidly. I love great big dogs, and I am excited to see how this hefty hunk turns out.
Other than at his puppy kindergarten classes, Bowser hasn’t enjoyed much play time with other dogs yet. Waiting for vaccinations to take effect and stuff can definitely interfere with providing opportunities to meet new friends. As I expected, Sherman and Bowser got along like crazy, even if Sherman was confused by a new buddy who is nearly as big as he is, but who doesn’t have a clue how to play. Most of their interactions involved Sherman attempting to start a game of chase, immediately followed by Bowser looking at him in utter bewilderment. Even the soccer ball couldn’t entice Bowser into run more than one lap around the back yard.
Bowser is fixin’ to be a monster when he’s fully grown. He will likely be at least 150 pounds, based on the size of his parents, and if he ever grows into his paws, I bet he goes far, far beyond all estimates.
Managing a puppy of this size is quite different from managing a smaller dog, even a puppy that grows to be Sherman’s “finished” size of about 70 pounds, which is obviously my most recent puppy training experience. When he was this age, Sherman’s motto was “Go! Go! GO!” Based on our interactions this weekend, Mr. Bowser’s outlook on the world is “I don’t wanna, and you can’t make me.” He’s certainly friendly, but he’s figured out already that his size makes him difficult to physically manipulate; in fact, he’s already mastered the maddening skill of becoming dead weight when he’s asked to do something or to go somewhere that doesn’t particularly appeal to him. Case in point: putting a sixty pound puppy into a kennel he sincerely does not want to enter should be an Olympic event.
All in all, we had a lovely time together, me, Sherm, and Bowser. The boys very quickly warmed to one another, and Bowser seemed to understand Sherman’s efforts to correct his “bad” puppy behavior; his dog manners will come in time. Sherman was very patient with his big new friend, and I feel good knowing they have a cordial relationship, since Bowser will be more than twice Sherm’s size by Christmas. Hopefully, the socialization for this huge puppy continues to go well, since he’s downright awkward right now.
We’ve all had friends who embarrass us with their lack of social graces, right?
Leroy isn’t afraid of dogs but walked around with a bottle brush tail all afternoon, just to send a message (one I’m sure the puppy couldn’t decipher) that he was not interested in doggy play of any kind. His feline aloofness did not prevent Leroy from staring longingly at the backyard fun through the door, though. He seemed torn between wanting to join the action and needing to remain boss of his own house.
Sherman really enjoyed making a new friend, one I’m sure will visit again soon, even if doggy tag was not on the games menu. I anticipate Bowser will become an even more fun buddy as he becomes more socialized and learns how to better interact with his peers. He went home tuckered right out from all the change and excitement.
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