As a lot of you may know, I adopted a Newfoundland dog this past fall named Tatonka. But I have to clear something up. Ever since the movie ‘Dances With Wolves’ came out, most people think Tatonka means ‘The Great Buffalo.’ That would be a false bit of “movie myth.” It actually means ‘The Great Chick Magnet!’
Seriously, if I had known Tonka would have garnered so much attention from the opposite sex, I would have gotten him long ago. I tried having a gay brother…..that worked okay. I tried having incredibly adorable niece’s and a nephew….that also worked okay. But Holy Moly if Tonka isn’t the best aphrodisiac in the world. Within the first couple of days of having him I filled up my social calendar with ‘play dates’ and gathered more phone numbers than I had in 20 years of dating!
What baffles me is that for years I tried the very technique that Tonka uses himself in attracting women; Big, furry and drools a lot. Heck, my name even means ‘dog’ in Hebrew. But it only worked as a chick repellant in my case. Maybe I should have employed his other technique of keeping my mouth shut.
When we go on walks it takes us a good third again as long because of all the attention he draws. I’ve had women roll down their car windows to holler “I love your dog!” He’s even been cat called by passersby on the pedestrian bridge; people asking for their pictures taken with him……and I’m sure they would ask for an autograph if he could write. I have officially lost my own identity as Caleb, I am now known as ‘Tonka’s owner’, or ‘That guy with the really big dog.’ I’m thinking about having a special vest made for him that says “At the end of this leash is my buddy Caleb. He’s just as cuddly and a much better kisser.”
It could just be his size. I mean, everybody loves a big dog and he is certainly one of the tallest Newfies I have come across. Tonka is so big that a lot of dogs just cower with a ‘WTF’ look on their faces. Tonka is so big that while riding in the car he has his head out one window and his tail out the opposite one. Tonka is so big that when he does stick his head out the window, my car quickly veers to that direction and my gas mileage drops by 5 gallons. Tonka is so big that his dog house is called The Taj MaTonka.
And it’s always entertaining what people say when they first meet him; ‘Jesus, how much does he eat?’ ‘That’s a horse, not a dog.’ ‘Where do you put the saddle?’ Of course my favorite is when they ask if he likes cats. I just smile and respond ‘He does. He just doesn’t find them all that filling.’
But what he does get called most often is ‘Handsome.’ His Landseer coloring (black and white) gives him a very regal look. Almost like he is wearing a kings robe. And he truly has one of the softest and silkiest coats you’ll ever see on a dog. A very handsome dog indeed.
In all honesty, I really do appreciate all the attention he gets. He leaves a trail of happy smiling faces wherever he goes. And THAT makes me a very proud and happy Caleb. But I still think I need a John Deere to transport him in. ;-)