We live with a Mastiff, named Finnegan, who is just now five years old. He’s generally a well-behaved, gentle, and playful dog, but he does tend to lunge at other dogs sometimes, and at skateboards. So, we decided to get professional help in the form of a trainer. We had our first session on Friday, and while she was great with the dog, I don’t think she was quite prepared for the celebrity status the Finn tends to attract in the neighborhood. A walk, particularly during busy times out on Broadway, is likely to attract throngs of admirers. To that end, we’ve thought about printing up a T-shirt for him to wear, with the following facts:
* No, I’m not a St. Bernard, or a Great Dane, or even a Bull Mastiff. I’m just a Mastiff, or an “English Mastiff” if you prefer.
* Beethoven: no. Sandlot: yes. Cujo: no. Turner & Hooch: not quite. Clifford: no. Mudge: yes. Hound of the Baskervilles: half right.
* 205 lbs, give or take.
* Yes, very friendly, and quite slobbery.
* About 4 cups of dry food a day–so not as much as you might think.
* 5 years old, and yes, that’s middle aged.
* “Madigan’s Fearless Finnegan,” or “The Finn,” or just “Finn.”
* No, I don’t live in a giant apartment, but I don’t need one, and I love living in the city.
* “Put a saddle on him”? Oh, very nice. Well played. Will have to remember that one. You know, in case some miracle occurs and I never hear it again.
* No, despite what your mother is telling you, I will not eat you if you are bad. (I may eat her, though, because I don’t like her much.)
* No, I’m not available for studding for your dog-fighting operation. No, really, I mean it, I am not even properly outfitted any more. Besides, my temperament swings way closer to “lover,” or barring that, “lounger.”
* Yes, actually, I do know that I am descended from the Alaunt and Molosser, that I was a Roman War Dog, and guarded English estates, and that the largest recorded dog was also an English Mastiff–but thanks for the reminder. (It amazes me how encyclopedic some people’s knowledge on this subject is, especially those who don’t look like they would have any interest in the topic.)