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OMG! It’s a Pit Bull!

No it isn’t. It’s a bull terrier. No prefixes.
A pit bull has a forehead. A bull terrier’s head looks like a football. He’s got this great big nose so he can lower his head and bash in the bathroom door without missing a step. And then he stands there wagging his tail and grinning, as if to say Whatcha doin’? How come the door was closed?
Bull terriers are clowns.


On every laundry day, when we were making the bed, old Mr. Helpful would wait until we got the flat sheet on and then jump up and twirl and dance on it just after we got it smoothed down and tucked in. Would another breed do something so endearing? This was an 80-pound dog, solid as a side of beef, that just wanted to cuddle up. We’re sure he thought of himself as a lapdog.

How is it that a dog cannot pass a puddle, a storm sewer outflow, a creek, the Yukon River or Schwatka Lake without diving in—even if he swims like a brick? Truly a mystery, compounded by running away, growling, when the word bath is mentioned.

Another mystery is the twice-daily full-tilt gallop from one end of the house to the other, bodychecking the walls at either end. We never did figure out what triggered that behaviour.

We picked up “Norton” in Prince George, using the time-honoured method of choosing a pup: he came over and laid down on my foot. He was already paper-trained, so he’d let us know from his crate when he needed to get out of the car. By the time we got him home, he was housebroken.


The second OMG in this story was when we brought him home. “OMG, he looks like a pig!” … and he did, kinda.


Back in the day when Whistle Bend was a cross-country ski area, we’d take the dog down there to do some skijoring. With just a long leash tied around my waist. The problem was that this was also a handy snowmobile area. And boy, did that dog love the sound of a snowmachine!
We were peacefully gliding along, being towed, when a Ski-Doo went by on a cross trail ahead of us. You could hear the leash twang as Norton selected hyperdrive and yanked me off my feet. I was lying there, waving my skis in the air, with my wife trying to help me get up, when the snowmobiler came back to see what had happened. “Twang!” and we’re both on our backs with our skis in the air, laughing like crazy. The mystified sledder quietly left.

I came home from work one day and was met with a strong smell of beer. Apparently, we’d left a six-pack next to Norton’s crate. Sure enough, there were some cans missing. The family had mopped up the kitchen floor, but the smell was just as strong. Norton staggered out to meet me, exposing another punctured can that he’d allowed to self-serve by opening his mouth into the spray, and there was an inch of beer in the crate. Then we spied the unopened can that he’d been saving for later. Good thing it was cheap beer.

Nobody feeds their doggy tidbits at the dinner table, do they? Really? So doggy just finds the person most likely to drop stuff and lies down at their feet, is that it? Well, here it is—the Bull Terrier Foot Massage: subtly slip off your shoes and scrub your feet on that rough coat (back, belly, side). Whatever side is up. It could get to be quite messy if the other diners figure out what you’re doing and suddenly become “clumsy” with their food. Organic therapy for the feet. No electricity required. Eat your heart out, Dr. Ho!

Just a final thought about bull terriers: In a world of Cockapoos and Labradoodles, what would you call a bull-terrier/Shih-Tzu cross?

Yup. That’s what I thought.

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