I am an unsensible person. I admit to that and most time am proud of it. I also know that this is not a real word, but for my purposes it is the opposite of sensible.
I do very little that a normal person would consider sensible. I drive a giant truck, with big tires, that you can watch the gas gauge drop as I pull out of the gas station. I have no reason to have such a vehicle, but I like it. We always joke that the only sensible thing I’ve every willingly done was marry my husband, Trevor. He drives a nice, safe CR-V and wears a suit to his nice, normal sales job everyday. I get up and put on whatever camo shirt is closest to the front of the closet and the cleanest jeans I can find; I will be covered in dirt and dog hair before most people are up to get ready for work in the morning. I load my brood of dogs into my giant truck and drive to work, where I will probably find something crazy to get into.
My unsensibility extends to my dogs, as well. Growing up we had one “normal” dog. She was a Golden Retriever, named “Goldie” (we always said she was named after Goldie Hawn, because she is my Mom’s twin, but I’m pretty sure it’s because as a family we were making an attempt to give our normal dog a normal name). Every other four legged, furry member of the clan is a dog that I would classify as unsensible. The first dog I remember as a child was a giant Bullmastiff named, Tai Pan. He carried fully inflated basketballs around in mouth for fun. He was just the first in a long line of Bullmastiffs that we had while I was growing up. We also had a series of odd cur dogs. Mostly creatures of unplanned litters that Dad got from one of his friends, and I thought every single one of them were fantastic! Why would anyone want a “normal” dog, when you could have these “cool” dogs? I also dated a series of guys at this time who hunted pigs. What do you need to hunt pigs, you ask? Why obviously an unsensible dog! In our area of Florida, American Bulldogs were used for this purpose. I won’t go into the gory details of hog hunting in this particular post, but it will be a fun story for another time. I acquired our first American Bulldog, Sister, from a guy I dated. She was one of the best dogs we ever had, and this particular breed became very important to me, because of her.
They were big, slobbering, destructive monsters, and I loved them! This set me up for a lifetime of being unsensible. When I left for college, the last of the dogs we had while I was growing up passed on to that big field in the sky, where I imagine God spends his day fixing the things the dogs destroy and throwing tennis balls for them to fetch. Dad told me he was done with these types of dogs; he was moving on to dogs that were more manageable. One would think that he would get a small dog, or a less destructive dog, but no, not my Dad! He now has a Catahoula Coon Hound, Bugsy, and a Bloodhound, Lula Belle. They are both big, destructive, slobbering beasts, but he loves them! At least I come by my unsensibility honest 🙂
When I moved to Lexington, to attend The University of Kentucky in 2002, I met my future husband at a party, 2 weeks after moving. We hit it off immediately and have been together ever since. Unfortunately, he had grown up in a cat house! Now your version of a cat house and mine are probably two different things and one of us needs to get their mind out of the gutter! Now I like cats and have several (a story for another time!), but I’ve always wanted dogs. While he grew up with little animals running around the house, I grew up with giant dogs who wanted to eat those little balls of fur for lunch. A clash of the cultures was about to take place. After dating for about a year and a half (the longest I had ever been without a dog), I finally convinced him that we needed a dog. That was the first step in the process; the next step was helping him see the light, that boxers (what he wanted) were far too normal for me! I needed something no one else in the area had. Obviously I needed an American Bulldog. Sister had been such a great dog, that I felt I needed one exactly like her. She was a nice size, about 40 pounds, and had a nice personality. I would go get that! After finding the puppy I wanted, and letting Trev think he picked him out, I sent my deposit check for a white American Bulldog Puppy with a few brindle spots. A few weeks later, the breeder delivered Zeke to me, and I could not have loved him more!
I new that he needed training immediately, so he was taken to Cabin Creek Kennel (were I currently work), and started classes. I worked with him every chance I got and took him to work with me everyday (I worked part time at a feed store, and then on a farm, so the only time he wasn’t with me was when I was in class). We were setting him up to be the perfect dog. However, he would never be the perfect dog, by a normal persons standards. He is an American Bulldog, and has the personality of an American Bulldog. I knew he would be a little bigger than Sister, because he’s a male. I was prepared for that. What I was not prepared for was the enormous white dog that is lying next to me on his bed right now. He is freaking huge!
I also knew that he would not have the exact personality that Sister had, because obviously he’s not her and every dog is different. What I never thought about was him cleaving to me like I was the mother who nursed him through his childhood! Anyone whose met him, will tell you that he loves me, and to hell with the rest of you! He has growled at my Mom, because she was trying to wake me up one morning when she was visiting us; he’s chased Trevor out of our bedroom, because he came in late one night; he has terrorized farm workers for getting to close to me or the truck. He is by all accounts a bad dog, but to me, he is the greatest thing since sliced bread! I don’t know what I’d do without him.
As Zeke got a little older (I never tell anyone how old he really is, because I don’t really want to think about it), I knew he needed a friend to keep him young. I turned to Stonnie to point me in the right direction. Without him, I would have never been able to keep Zeke, because he is the only other person who can handle my hundred pound bundle of joy. He knew I would never settle for a normal dog, so he encouraged me to get a Belgian Malinois. No one who works normal hours or has a normal life has this particular breed of dog. If they do get one, they don’t have them for long. These are high drive, energetic dogs who are built to work. They are used as police dogs, detection dogs, and personal protection dogs. I am not a police officer, I do not require a detection dog, and I live in a nice neighborhood, so I don’t need any personal protection. Obviously this was the dog for me! I wasn’t working anywhere at the time, so I had the time to train this particular breed of dog. Reba came to me Easter weekend from Tim (also deserving his own post!) out of Fort Hood Texas. She is a great dog, but only if she has something to do; if not, she will annoy even the most patient person! I have had more fun training her and since Zeke rarely leaves his couch these days, she goes everywhere with me.
I had her for almost a year when I convinced Stonnie that he should hire me. I was hanging out at the kennel everyday anyways, so obviously he should pay me for hanging out with him 🙂 I was very lucky the day he agreed, and everyday since has been a great adventure!
In the mean time, I felt I needed another dog. This is where Cain came into play. Cain is special. He is a German Shepherd Dutch Shepherd cross; basically a giant, brindle version of Reba. He is a very well trained dog, but like Zeke, he likes who he likes and will make everyone else go away. No normal person needs this dog, and I LOVE him!
He is almost two now, and still has the personality of a puppy.
So unsensible! While I was training dogs at Stonnie’s I decided that Reba was a great dog, and Stonnie had a nice Dutch Shepherd, Ranger, so obviously they should have puppies together! A whole litter of unsensible dogs! What else could a girl ask for?! Cally’s Cuties were born September 22, 2012 and you will be hearing all about them, because let me tell you, I learned more from that litter of puppies than most people learn in a lifetime!
After being around so many types of dogs in the last few years, I learned that even the most normal Lab has their strong points. I love my Mals, but dear God they are quirky dogs! I was craving something new and decided that a Lab would be my next dog. I wanted a dog that could work all day and still go on a family vacation with me. A good working Mal is a great kennel dog, but you would NEVER want them in your house. It’s hard for them to flip from work to home. This quality makes them great working dogs, but not ideal companions.
I set out to find an all around dog, and that’s where Deacon came from. He is my “normal” dog. He works all day and comes home and sleeps. He goes to nursing homes and children’s schools for his therapy dog training (something that only “special” mals can do), but will fetch a pheasant wing until the cows come home. He makes training videos during the week, but on the weekends I can take to friends houses for Bar-B-Ques. There is no place that I could not take this dog to and for once (other than when I got married!), I am admitting that being sensible is a good thing!
Deacon’s first video! See my nice, normal puppy, who just wants to sit and be noticed! He can’t even misbehave when he’s encouraged to jump up!
This is what a sensible dog looks like. Sweet and outgoing; wants to please the handler. If your dog doesn’t look like this, you may want to consider calling yourself unsensible!
After this long post, I promise the next one will be shorter! It will include Floyd, the Springer Spaniel we have in training and our first experience with live quail. It was definitely an adventure!