This is Ned.
Ned is a seven year old bullmastiff who stopped growing when he was less than a year. His paws and head are too big for his body and most people think he’s still a puppy. He doesn’t mind.
As I type this Ned is having a post-meal party: after he eats, he runs headlong into his dog bed, rubbing his face all over it and flipping onto his back, slamming against the wall repeatedly like he’s had eight beers and is listening to some really intense punk music.
Ned and I go on long walks a couple of times a week. He’s my errand buddy: we walk to the bank, to coffee shops, to explore parts of my neighborhood I haven’t seen (
Ned wears a Cycle Dog Recycled Dog Collar with an attached bottle opener, which he loves because it makes him the life of any party. But not the life of quiet rural dog walks.
Food. Ned loves it. Possibly too much. He’s figured out that if he pretends he hasn’t eaten, sometimes he gets fed again. We’ve taken to writing notes to undermine his subterfuge.
Ned is allergic to one million and three things, so we have to feed him dog food made with salmon, sweet potatoes and berries. He probably eats better than we do.
He’s kind of entitled, but in a sweet, unassuming way. He’s an idealist. For example, he thinks that everyone in the world is here to give him pets. They must want to pet him; how could they not? He doesn’t understand when someone walks by without petting him.
I try to comfort him, but it’s not enough.
When he collapses like this, in a fit of despair, I use him as a footrest. I am a horrible dog owner.
But things get better for Ned and he forgets about those mean people. He was in a wedding this summer as both the ring bear(er) and a stand-in groomsman.
But most of the time, he chooses to do a lot of this:
It’s pretty much his signature move.
I let Ned on a hotel bed once. ONCE. We spent three weeks retraining him to stay off the couch at home.
It was worth it.