An Old, Ugly, Cantankerous Mutt

I am convinced that Scooter believes he has become a cat. He sleeps with Twiggy and her kittens, he romps with them and lately, he has been eyeing their food.

So I am considering getting him a canine companion and in the process of deciding what kind of friend that should be, I came across this old post.

It is dearer to my heart now than it was on the day I wrote it.

Almost Iowa


On the day I retire,  I intend to stop by the animal shelter and walk out with the oldest, ugliest, most cantankerous mutt I can find.

I do not want an attractive dog. The very word attractive bothers me. It comes with too many expectations: like grooming,  food off the top shelf and staying indoors on muddy days; ugliness comes by itself.

As for congeniality, while it is good to have a friend, it is equally good to have a day off. It is hard enough to explain why I must go fishing alone to a spouse, why add a dog to the mix?

The same goes for lineage. Breeding is too often an affront to nature. The best breeding is done for size, speed and strength, the worst is for fashion. As a consequence of reckless breeding, hips deteriorate prematurely, teeth impact and hair becomes a source of eye infections…

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Author: Almost Iowa

16 thoughts on “An Old, Ugly, Cantankerous Mutt”

  1. You state: I do not want an attractive dog. I would add this to that: Nor a cute one neither. In fact, the word “cute” is an abomination to the English language. What worse compliment can you give than, “Oh, he’s such a cute baby.” You have said absolutely nothing original. In fact, you have given that child his first insult. He will never ever be able to live “such a cute baby” down. And neither can a dog.

    1. As I get older, I feel more and more like spending my days on my front porch, rocking on my rocking chair, cradling a shotgun on my lap. Given my urban heritage, it seems a silly thing to do – but the attraction of going native is just too compelling…. 🙂

      1. I identify with quite a bit of that, too. Born in London, but moving further and further away over the years, I find myself attracted to the most remote countryside available, now.

  2. I feel like I’ve cornered the market on old, mangey, and cantankerous in our household. I couldn’t stand the idea of having to compete with a family member I’d had to feed as well. But I sure miss having a dog around.

  3. We’ve talked about mutts, and we may go that route when we realize that we can’t deal with a large dog with, as Setters are said to have, “a rollicking and humorous personality.” We do like the fact that Irish Setters a passionate about their people, they become part of the family. We don’t show her, therefore, we don’t worry about appearance and all that stuff, and we’re outside on muddy/rainy/snowy days – especially snowy days.

    1. “a rollicking and humorous personality.”

      That describes Scooter perfectly. He is three years old now and finally welcome in the house for short periods.

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