Monday, April 09, 2007

No Known Drawbacks

At one of my painting groups, we were discussing how to paint dogs. A friend brought in some books, and I copied the picture of the Newfoundland dog. Along with the picture was a write-up about the breed, which I had to bring home to show The Hubber.
First, the person who did the write-up and the picture had only a vague idea of what Newfoundlands look like. Other than being black (which some are)and having a fat fluffy tail (as The Count does) not much else in the picture was accurate. The color description said they come in "dull black and white with a black head and saddle." Orion is a very shiny black. No mention of the greys or browns. The part which struck me the most were the feet. The dog's feet in the picture (which was a painting)looked like chicken feet. Okay, not literally, but I can assure you, no dog of this size could walk on those front paws. They looked like skinny, lab puppy feet on a full-grown newf. Newfs have paddle-paws. The front feet on Orion can be confused with a club. Trust me, I've been batted by one while he was stretching.
The next thing I found amusing is the comparison picture. In order to demonstrate the massive size of the breed, a silouette of a newf is standing next to the silouette of an airdale. The airdale comes up to the newf's armpits. The airdale could walk underneath the newf without ducking, according to the author of this book. Holy cow, that is one massive dog. Mine is not so massive, I've not yet met an airdale who could walk underneath him.
It gets even better in the written description!
Advantages of the breed:
"Good guard dog" If you can wake one, he might sniff you. If he's already awake, he might follow you to the door to greet "his" guests. Anyone who comes to the door could only be there to see HIM. Oh yeah, good guard dog, right.
"Fierce when provoked" You'd have to do a mighty lot of provoking. I think most folk would get tired before he'd get provoked. I guess if you provoke him with a stick he will fiercely chase it. Then again, he may not.
"Good swimmer" This he is. He's also good at trying to drown people while rescuing them from knee deep water. He's just doing his job.
"Good with animals" Unless the animal is a kitty. Or a squirrel, which looks kinda like a kitty.
"Good with children" The breed is very good with children. Orion is especially good at removing munchkins from unsuspecting children's fingers. Saves the kiddies from a life of ill-effects caused by jelly-filled donut holes. Taking good care of kids is his primary responsibility.

The very best part of all, though, is that part which lists the disadvantages:

"No known drawbacks of this breed."