A Dog’s Life Part 2: The Duchess

July 22, 2008    By: Kristen J @ 8:57 pm   Category: Life

So, moving on to “the Duchess” (or as I like to call her, Fat @$$). We now lived in Arizona and had settled in to our new home. The baby of our family was now about 2 and I thought things were calm enough to attempt dog ownership once again.

I took the four kids to the humane society only to be shown dogs no smaller than the size of a small pony. I was told that little dogs were not appropriate for homes with small children; the dog’s safety would be at risk. So, after being completely freaked out when a dog-bear hurled itself at the cage bars as we walked by, I decided that we would try another route to dog ownership.

I went on-line and found a small dog rescue in Tucson that would be willing to give our family a chance, for the low, low, price of $250. I packed up the kids and hit the road for Tucson. After a few hours and venturing out into the boonies of Tucson we finally found the dog rescue. It looked like a place where the Clampett’s trashy cousins would live.

Nervously we went up to the door where we eventually found an old lady to show us a few dogs. There were dogs of every shape and size out there and every mood too. We went to a fenced off area in the back yard and eventually “Duchess” was brought to us. She was a Cockapoo, on steroids! Duchess was a big girl who looked like she had been ridden hard and put away wet. The rescue people thought she would be the perfect dog for us, so we shoved her big booty in a dog crate and drove her home.

We got back to our house and Geoff looked at her with a sneer. I knew one of his favorite sayings was going through his head, “If you’re ugly, you better not be obnoxious too.” I told him to mind his own business and “move a long, there’s nothing to see here”.

We soon found out that there was a reason that Duchess was “big boned”. She was a dog obsessed with people food. Whenever she would catch even a whiff of food, she would start quivering with anticipation. One night when I ordered pizza I caught her trying to jump up onto the counter. Who knew a plus size dog could jump so high? Duchess also thought that it was appropriate to body check, then snatch food out of the baby’s hand whenever Baby J was in possession of food.

After having Duchess for a few days I learned that not only was Duchess an eater but she was a barker too. I found this out when I put her outside and then left to run errands. Starting from about 5 minutes after I left Geoff would call me about every 2 minutes and let me know that Duchess was barking again, making it very difficult for him to work. I rushed home to make sure that Large Marge zipped her lips.

After one too many body checks and one too many phone calls from Geoff I called the dog rescue to find out if they would take the dog back. Sure, they would be happy to take the dog back and they would just consider the $250 fee a donation. It’s always good to be charitable, right?

Geoff likes to refer to that week as our week of the $250 dog rental.

Stay tuned for “A Dog’s Life Part 3: The FuMan Cometh”


  1. Oy. Don’t remind me.

    (And as I recall there was a $100+ vet bill generated that week too…)

    Comment by Geoff J — July 22, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

  2. It looked like a place where the Clampett’s trashy cousins would live.

    As a long time resident of Tucson, I am sad to say that this is a fair description of about 80% of the city.

    Duchess also thought that it was appropriate to body check, then snatch food out of the baby’s hand whenever Baby J was in possession of food.

    Awesome. Sometimes I do that to my kids if they have good food/candy. Luckily for them, they are hardly ever walking through the living room carrying a plate of tai pork curry.

    Comment by Jacob J — July 22, 2008 @ 11:42 pm

  3. I just finished reading a book called “Weird Arizona” and I swear over half of the stuff came from the Tucson area. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    I kind of like Tucson. Maybe it’s because there’s a part of me that would like to build giant giraffes and elephants out of rusty metal and put them in my front yard.

    Comment by kristen j — July 22, 2008 @ 11:51 pm

  4. If you are looking for a smaller dog that is great with kids, you could try a Tibetan Terrier or a Havanese.. I have one of both..they are full of personality, do not nip small children and are full of fun :)

    Comment by Anne — July 23, 2008 @ 5:58 am

  5. I love Tucson. Way more than Phoenix. Read into that what you will.

    Comment by Susan M — July 24, 2008 @ 8:36 am