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Cletus Moves In

Updated on August 12, 2011

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This morning I woke up to find an overgrown beast sleeping on my couch. Is it a dog or... Kong- zilla? He's already huge; I estimate him to be somewhere between the size of a heffalump and Mr. Snuffalufagus.

I'm talking about our new on-line doggie. I guess we could have named him 'Google'?!! See what can happen when you get on the internet! The ad read, "Great Dane puppy. Ten month's old. Needs good home!" Like most really bad ideas, it seemed like a good idea at the time. We had already talked about having a Great Dane before but we never really expected to. Unfortunately for us he didn't come with a Carfax!

Day 1. Anticipation. Mood: Giddy with naive expectations heavily marinated in self-induced delusion.

"I can't believe we're getting a Great Dane!"

Day 2. The dog comes home. Reaction: Shock, immediately followed by alarm. Our ten month old 'puppy' is almost full-grown! When he stands on his back legs, he's tall enough to put his front paws over my shoulders and look me in the eye.

"That aint no puppy!"

Shortly after, concerned friends and curious on-lookers confirm our suspicions; we've lost our grip on reality!. It seems like when you make a really big mistake, there's plenty of people around to comment on it. It didn't take long for feelings of rapidly diminishing euphoria to give way to hesitation, followed by desperation.

"Have we lost our minds?!!"

Day 3. Getting Acquainted. I can't read minds but if I could;

Dog: Who are these people???

People: What have we done???

The arrival explores his new confines, carefully catloguing each item with it's associated smell. The hesitant beast is skittish. He investigates everything remotely suspicious. For the moment, the prospective tenant is currently on his best behavior.

Day 4. Infatuation. Following the initial shock, everyone begins to dote over the new arrival. The excessive 'coochie-coo' talk is a bit too much given the fact that most infants are not covered with hair nor stand almost six foot tall.

"What are we going to call him?" A few names are suggested but as usual, no one can agree.

Day 5. Behavioral issues. We get our first lesson in Dog Psychology 101. The new occupant reveals himself to be stubborn, mischevious, occasionally defiant, and constantly underfoot. He's continually pushing the envelope to see what he can get by with. What we have here is basically an overgrown four-legged two-year old!

So far he's gone from clinically detached to paranoid with a mild case of separation anxiety on the side. Everywhere I go, he's constantly underfoot. He clings to me, like saran wrap! When I'm trying to work at the computer, he insists on trying to sit in my lap or climb up on the desk. He sits... on the couch, or at least his haunches are planted on the couch; meanwhile his front paws are still on the floor! He steals socks like an addict when no one is looking, unless he's too busy chewing on couch cushions and footwear.

More names are suggested today although several are not as flattering as from the day before.

In five days we went from "Oh how cute!" to "Oh no, it just ate the couch!"

Conclusion: What were we thinking?!!

Over the next few days we get better acquainted with our new canine co-habitant ...and we finally agreed on a name. Cletus! Turns out it was the one name no one really liked. Don't wince! It's not as bad as it sounds! I know the name for most people conjures up the vision of some backwards rube with cow-manure on his boots but the name is actually a shortened version of Anacletus', which means Illustrious or Summoned.

We've got a lot to learn about living with a Great Dane Today we learned that a recliner isn't a good idea for more than one occupant, especially if one of them happens to be a large dog. The more he moved around, the more unstable we became until we leaned back ...just a little too far. So much for Illustrious!

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