Just read an article about why some women love big dogs - is it a dominance stance, a security thing, etc.? But for me, it’s simpler (and probably a whole lot weirder). It boils down to knowing I’ll never get to befriend a bear or ride a whale or be lovingly scooped up onto a long-lashed elephant’s back. Sea lions would not like to be hugged, and hippos aren’t actually open-mouthed smiling. I will never walk around town holding my live-in chimpanzee like an oversized toddler, or sleep surrounded by puffy-coated wolves. Stomachs and snouts, fur and folds; warm breath and padded paws and those big stumpy hoof-toes; fake-eyelinered eyes, whiskers, and what in the world ARE those rubbery black tire-tread gum-jowl thingies, anyway?
So every day, I pull into our driveway, and every day, Floyd centers all 100 lbs in front of the car, smiling and wagging around himself with joy. I hang sideways out the window, yelling for him to move, inching forward, maybe tapping the horn, until eventually he wanders around the driver’s side to see what all the fuss is about. Then he scoops whatever’s closest into his mouth — a discarded hockey stick, a deflated soccer ball, a cluster of dry leaves — to present to me, a welcoming lei at a luau, hefting one, then two giant paws up onto my lap for good measure. I shake my head and call him a dope, style the fly-aways on his giant dome into a faux-hawk, and accept his love offering. And every day, I could sooner run over this massive, magical creature than convince him anything I’m a part of could possibly ever hurt him.