She’s No Angel

When I lived in base housing in Georgia, my across-the-street neighbor, well, neighbor #1 — Four families came and went from that house while I stayed my sad ass in the same damn house for seven years, all fire-ant bit and red-faced and homesick…

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, across-the-street neighbor #1. Y’all, her husband was critically injured and had to be flown from his combat zone for treatment. She needed to be with her husband.

I offered to water the plants. And to take her older female dog, Angel, a harlequin Great Dane. I have always liked big dogs, and I had always liked Angel.

Because of the crisis situation, it was mentioned to me that when Angel mated with the male, I would get a free puppy. Pick o’ the litter. One should always be open to the idea of free puppies. Aw.

Or so I thought.

It’s like how you think you already know how to parent because you’re an auntie who’s babysat and taught kindergarten. False.

I knew a lot about dogs, but peopling a dog that nears you in weight and comes surprisingly close to the problem-solving ability of a kindergartner is not a job for every people.

The first morning I had Angel, she pushed her cold, wet snout against my hand and gave me the look. I took her out. The second morning, I think she made herself a bowl of cereal and watched cartoons, because she did not wake me. I woke up to …
Do y’all know how much pee comes out of a Great Dane?!?
I do.
Barbie’s wading pool, right next to my dining room table.

Do you know how much Great Danes eat?!?
You know what comes in must go out.
You cannot leave it there, in the hot Georgia sun, for more than a minute.


Two words: Hair splinters.
Those hurt like hell! I mean to tell you, the woes of hair splinters are not folklore shared by hairdressers. They are seriously owie.


Still, my neighbor needed me — military spouses are the only family you have when you move 800 miles away from home. You do things like that. You do your part. Besides, I really did like Angel.

I did not complain to my neighbor. Everything fine. I lied politely, “She likes to go out at 7. It’s fine.” Y’all know I hate any single digit in the am unless I’m about to go to bed, but my neighbor had bigger fish to fry.
Meanwhile, the male was kept by my other across-the-street neighbor and he was chewin up her pergola posts and peein on the floor quite a bit and drivin the house Schnauzer crazy, so who was I to complain about hair splinters and morning pee-pee time?





So then I found out she could jump the fence. We had a nice ritual, or so I thought. I’d drive out and do errands and she’d stay in the back yard. If she was a good girl, wasn’t she always? I’d give her a pig’s ear when I got back.
We went on this way for weeks.
“Who’s a good girl? Good Girl, Angel!” and a pig’s ear.



She wasn’t as good as she was smart.
Don’t let them tell you all Great Danes are big goofy dopes — they’re not.

I opened the door and I gave her the look. Her tail stopped waggin. She sat down and looked at her feet. The jig was up. No pig’s ear. Tsk.

This became a problem. Perhaps it was because I’d let her know I’d caught on, perhaps she needed to test me. Regardless, every time she went out, she leapt the fence. Aren’t dogs beautiful when they run full-out? Beautiful. As God intended, perhaps, but not as the US Army allows.
With only two legs I was unable to ‘catch’ Angel and the MPs came over for a nice chat.
I couldn’t keep her.

I don’t remember who fostered her after that. I struggled with the guilt for a time, and I never did get a free puppy. Not wanting one was an important lesson to learn. Big dog, sure. Really big dog, no. And fluffy-hair-splinter-less dogs only. And no puppies. I done potty-trained enough creatures.

This Just Jot It January post was inspired by Lorrie at Splendippity, who has shared her life with giant dog breeds.


Happy Friday Everyone!

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
This entry was posted in Personally, Random Musings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to She’s No Angel

  1. lorriedeck says:

    Ahaha! Oh, I know about the escape artists! Its amazing how a giant breed can jump, or dig their way out…and once out, it is more amazing how fast they run. Ya can’t catch them. Don’t even try. I usually resort to bribing. LOL

    And you’re right. Some giant breeds, like my Saints, look dumb. Its a ruse. Don’t fall for it. They’re a lot smarter than they look!

    I’ve been spared hair splinters. Probably because I love socks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. eschudel says:

    Thanks for a great story and a great laugh this Friday that I am trying to not think about… Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean says:

    I’ve never had a dog, so I’ll take your wisdom to heart. No big dogs. What a kind person you were to even try to care for this dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. orbthefirst says:

    Whenever my brother comes to visit & brings his french mastiff its inevitably, “Here, hold him for a minute…”
    As I grab ahold of the sleeper sofa that gets tipped up & I end up on 2 wheels..But hes not going anywhere.
    And then said bro has to stand by the door & tease him..

    Fun times. Love that dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha ha…you were brave. I just saw 2 puppies that were Great Dane/Mastiff mix. The face…adorable, the paws…frighteningly large. We’ve never had a dog bigger than a Golden Retriever…and he was a handful !

    Liked by 2 people

  6. meANXIETYme says:

    I loved this memory. What an amazing person you are for taking Angel in for your neighbors. Even though it didn’t last, I’m sure they were grateful that you gave it the old college try.
    Also, no puppies here, either. I have enough trouble house training the adult dogs we rescue who CAN hold their bladders. Cute puppies belong on TV or in someone else’s house! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  7. JoAnna says:

    I’ve always loved big dogs, too. In my early 20s I had a Saint Bernard who didn’t like men. That came in handy when someone wouldn’t leave. Her deep bark coming from bedroom said, you’re not coming in here. When she got lose and I called her, she’d just look at me, like, I’ll come when I’m ready. These days, I understand the benefits of a medium sized dog I can pick up if I have to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I love that. Who wouldn’t want a huge, fluffy protector?!?
      I think you’re right to choose a dog you can lift. I don’t enjoy carrying Sadie’s 40lb awkward butt when I have to, but I CAN. It does make a difference.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jewels says:

    I love it, haha, what a smart dog!
    Cats leave splinters too – ‘whisker’ splinters, every once in a while I will manage to scuffle my bare foot at just the right angle and a random whisker will stab me. Ouchie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      She was SMART!
      You’re right, I’m sure, but I can only think of one time this happened to me over a lifetime of cats. It was just recently, too. Maybe carpet helps. Maybe socks… Hard to say!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hair splinters? Well, I never…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Susanne says:

    My sister-in-law had a great Dane/Labrador mix pooch and she was not the brightest star in the galaxy that’s for sure and you had to monkey-guard your food on the table because she could snatch it off your plate lickety-split. I’m definitely a small-dog person. Micro-sized shit that fits in a sandwich bag not a grocery bag. You are a good woman, Joey. Lord. A Barbie Pool full of pee? Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Benson says:

    So how did your neighbor take Angel getting busted by the “Man”? I love dogs but our last 4 were small ones. Don’t know how I would handle a big one. When I saw your title; for a hot minute; I thought your post was going to be about you. Naturally I was going to defend your angelic nature. I mean look at that shayna punim. How could she not be an angel. Yeah sometimes my reasoning misses a beat or two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      HAHAHA! Yeah, I have a sweet face, I get that a lot.
      I don’t remember how my neighbor reacted. It was something she really didn’t need to deal with during her crisis, and I think we were both disappointed. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Dan Antion says:

    You were a good neighbor to try. We’ve had four kinda-sorta big dogs. Two figured out how to escape the yard. Maddie could easily jump the fence, but she doesn’t seem to know it…yet. Your line about “…the hot Georgia sun.” made me laugh out loud. I can imagine that chore. Like I said, you were good to offer and make the attempt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I did my best. I sometimes suspect Sadie jumps. I think more often she squishes, but there are times when it’s midsummer and the fence rows are full of trunks and vines — and I say to myself that she must have jumped… I hope Maddie never figures it out 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Poor Angel. I’d imagine she had some issues with her life being upended too. I always wanted a giant breed, but have never gone there. For your readers, not all medium sized dogs are easy to pick up. Otto may be the shortest dog I’ve ever owned, but he weighs the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “The second morning, I think she made herself a bowl of cereal and watched cartoons.” You completely crack me up! Dogs are smart and can definitely be a handful. You were kind to help out a neighbor in need. I’m sure she appreciated your good intentions. 🙂

    And, you’re right. Hair splinters are no laughing matter. Those suckers hurt!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. John Holton says:

    Remember the cartoon “Marmaduke”? He was always getting into trouble.

    I knew a tiny woman who owned a Great Dane. I think the dog took her for a walk.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ellen Hawley says:

    We kept a neighbor’s beagle for a month. Damn dog could fly over the fence, and the last thing she ever did in our house was pee in the bed.

    The moral seems to be: Beware of neighbors’ dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Haha! Angel sounds liked she was more than a handful! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Naomi Byrnes says:

    I learned something new from your blog! Hadn’t known that hair splinters were possible. I laughed out loud at the pic of the dog on its ‘exploding’ bed. Will be sharing that with my sister’s family as they have had a similar experience (twice!) recently. I really liked your analogy: ‘It’s like how you think you already know how to parent because you’re an auntie who’s babysat and taught kindergarten’. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Bradley says:

    This is why I LOVE other peoples dogs. Play with them. Scratch their bellies. Then they are no longer your trouble for all the other things.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. ghostmmnc says:

    I can imagine her guilty look after escaping. We knew some people had a great dane and also a miniature poodle! We dog sat a friends malamute a few times at our house on base. He could jump the fence in a split second. After a few times chasing him down, we didn’t take him in anymore. MPs are pretty strict about what happens on base! haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I kinda like that, a giant dog and a tiny dog in the same house. Who was in charge, do you know?
      I was fortunate the elder MP was a dog person. Otherwise, I think the younger would have given me a citation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ghostmmnc says:

        Not sure which one was the boss, but I’d bet it was the little one. Sophie, the big one, was a goofball, with a loud, scary bark. My daughter and I went over to feed them a few times while the owners were out of town, but were scared to go in, even though we knew the dog, and she knew us! Once inside, she was a big baby. haha

        Liked by 1 person

  21. jan says:

    I once got wind knocked out of me by great dane who just wanted to play! They’re nice dogs but definitely not for everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. marianallen says:

    I never heard of hair splinters before! Gotta ask about those, next time I get my hair cut. Yeah, anybody who says animals are “dumb” or don’t have theory of mind have not dealt with any in Real Life. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. As a longtime dog owner, I can truly empathize. Even the best dogs have their naughty moments, and if they’re smart dogs those moments can be quite memorable. Your post made me laugh more than once.

    But I bet Angel slept well at night – she must have been tuckered out after all that running and fence jumping.

    BTW, what ultimately happened with the neighbor’s husband? Did he get better, and did he then come home?

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      He did get better, and he did get home, but home became another base where he could serve in an office post. 🙂 So nice of you to ask.
      Angel was a lovable, incorrigible doggy to foster, but at her own home, with her own people, she was delightful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. loisajay says:

    I laughed so hard where the dog was racing to get back over the fence before you go home! What a hoot! You’re a good neighbor, Joey.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. LindaGHill says:

    Oh poor you… but that was hilarious. Hair splinters? Seriously? My big dog was a long-haired St. Bernard. No splinters there. Just the drool, and plenty of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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  27. Prajakta says:

    She was a runner and a jumper, eh?? Thank you for a good laugh 😂 That said… I don’t think I can ever take care of such a dog. I need smaller ones … maybe a stray. But big ones just flatten me out!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. rvpackard says:

    Bless your heart! Best Angel ever. Memories of wonderfulness! You all have the best ever now! Hello Sadie!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Big ones are a handful. Smaller are easier to manage. I’m talking the kind you can pick up without spraining yourself, lol.


  30. darsword says:

    When I was a young adult, I was a cosmetologist. Talk about hair splinters! Nothing is worse than getting a hair splinter caught in your shoe and digging it’s way through the pantyhose footing and no time to take off the shoe and rescue until the whole day on your feet is done. Then if you can still bend in the middle you might be able to find it and pull it out. Sometimes, they would work their way all the way in. UGH! Loved the story. Big dogs are loveable when you aren’t the one taking care of them! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Anxious Mom says:

    This story made me laugh so hard, smart dog indeed 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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  33. pluviolover says:

    Visiting my (USMC-wife) sister: “Billy, help me go find Missy. She got out again.” I asked, “Why? She gets out every day. She’ll be fine.” Sis gets irate, “We can’t have her roaming the neighborhood. It upsets people.” I come back, “They don’t care.”
    Then, sis pops guilt at me, “Well, the dog catcher will pick her up.” I felt my eyes roll, “You mean again, right? Look, if you wanted a dog that will stay in the yard, why did you get one of the few breads that can climb a six-foot fence? None of your other dogs get out. Missy is cute, fast, agile, and smarter than us. She’ll be fine.”
    After our fruitless escapade through the neighborhood, we found Missy had returned to her own back yard. I’m sure I heard that dog snickering at me.
    Personally, I prefer cats and toy poodles, for all the reasons you mentioned.


  34. I’m not sure why my previous reply was truncated, but here is the full post.

    I loved this post! I loved it partly because it’s funny as can be, and partly because you “get” Great Danes. You are right. They are not just big goofy dogs. They are deceptively smart, and if you have a particularly cunning one, you’re in for a wild ride. Unlike others here who avoid big dogs, apparently, I do not. I have two, count them, two Great Danes. Levi is almost 8 years old and Walter is 7 months old. Levi truly is an angel. I swear he can read my mind and do exactly as I wish. Walter, on the other hand, is the Devil’s spawn. He misbehaves so much that I have to struggle to catch a breath in between every utterance of the word NO!!! The only thing that saves him from being murdered is his cuteness. That, and the fact that Levi thinks of him as his own personal animated dog toy.

    Liked by 1 person

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