The weird dog

I was raised in Detroit. It was kind of gritty, with strip clubs and porno theatres next to the grocery store, and liquor shops (which we called “party stores”) on every corner. Oddly, we managed to live in a tiny little forgotten pocket that had a dirt road and tons of trees.

As you can imagine, my exposure to animals was limited to dogs, cats and parakeets. I had fantasies of living on a farm, though. The thought of raising sheep seemed utterly delighful and romantic (me and Marie Antoinette both. When I visited Le Petit Hameau–her cute little hobby farm–at Versailles I totally got where she was coming from).

I would see animals from the windows of my car as we drove down to North Carolina to visit my grandparents, but never up close. So I never smelled stinky manure or had to deal with any of the yucky parts of farming.

Shortly after I married Mister we moved to Portland, Oregon. The sunny summer days begged for a trip to the coast, so we decided to take the scenic route through all the little towns along the way to the beach. As we passed near the houses that had been built right next the road I spied a very odd dog. It was quite large with spots and floppy ears. But it looked . . . strange. Something about it wasn’t quite right. “Look at that weird dog,” I said to Mister.

He looked at me and laughed. “That’s not a dog, Jennie. It’s a goat.”


I thought goats would be tinier. And cuter. Like little poodles with horns.

Now I am an experienced petting zoo-goer. I know that there are large goats. They are brazen, love to eat clothing and have dead, creepy eyes like sharks.

I still have almost no farm experience. Which means I continue to find the idea of farming quaint and charming. I did have a few chickens several years ago. I liked them but was appalled at how much and how often they pooped. I’ve almost forgotten what a pain they were and would like to get some more.

And I did put a cow on my birthday list.

Something tells me my subdivision won’t approve of that.

| Filed under Pets

7 thoughts on “The weird dog

  1. Too funny! I was born and raised in Detroit. My husband grew up in Novi with cows to tend. He has banished all farm animals, but I would like to have a farm still. For now we have the dog that is like a horse!

  2. I have no illusions. Farms are smelly places. Animals smell. Goats eat everything they shouldn't. Sheep are stupid. Chickens peck you and the constant cleaning! Geese bite. You have to milk the cows even if you don't want to. I don't understand the romanticization of farm life–give me Park Avenue.

  3. Um. don't forget your upbringing brought you racoons, opposums, squirrels, pheasants, skunks, ground hogs, every kind of wild bird, and 8 trillion squirrels up close and personal. So it wasn't all a loss in detroit.

  4. You just made me spew liquid all over. That is hilarious. I can just see the look your husband must have given you!

  5. I love that you love Le Petit Hameau… I thought I was the only one who "got" Marie and her escape, I can imagine nothing better…

  6. You can sublet a chicken on our spread if you want. I draw the line at the cow, but a chicken or two seems reasonable. 🙂

  7. The great thing about those chickens were the gloriously fresh eggs – so firm they wouldn't spread out on a fry pan when you broke the shells.

    And Jennie needs to tell about the first time she saw a cow up close and personal and thought it was a horned monster! She imagined they were dog-sized, as seen through a car window from the freeway.

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