Doggone it: Thinking of expanding our family

This year, my wife and I had a low-key Thanksgiving … just the two of us. We’ll have the whole gang at Christmas, so we didn’t mind celebrating Thanksgiving by ourselves.

It was nice not having to cook a big dinner or clean up afterward. Instead, Brenda made chicken and noodles, and we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the National Dog Show and the Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings NFL game.

While I love football and the occasional parade, the dog show is always my Thanksgiving favorite. I love dogs, and I get a kick out of seeing all the different breeds, from the tiny Yorkshire terrier to the giant Great Dane.

Brenda and I have been talking about getting a dog. It’s been more than nine years since we said goodbye to our faithful friend, Augie, and I miss having a dog.

We have two cats we’re crazy about, but it would be nice to once again have a pet that seems to actually be happy that we are alive.

When I used to say “come here, boy” to Augie, he would run and jump in my lap. When I say “come here, boy” to our cat, Sheldon, he pretends that he didn’t hear me and starts to take yet another of his 15 daily baths. That’s a lot of baths for a cat that’s awake maybe five hours a day.

If I say “come here, Stella” to Sheldon’s neurotic sister, she just stares at me. If I make a move toward her, she turns and runs away.

As the saying goes, dogs have masters; cats have staff.

Part of the enjoyment of watching the dog show is hearing about all the different breeds, especially the ones that were bred for specific purposes. The announcers also talk a bit about what the different breeds need in a happy home.

So this year, Brenda and I paid special attention, trying to figure out what breed might best fit our lifestyle.

No matter what kind of dog we end up getting, it will be a rescue dog, and therefore most likely a mutt of some kind. Still, even with a mixed-breed dog, you can often identify at least one of the breeds in the mix.

Our ideal dog would be low maintenance. When the announcer says “this dog needs to run” we say “next!” Some of the long-haired breeds are beautiful all dolled up for the show ring, but we can’t spare eight hours a day to brush a dog. We also don’t want a dog that needs to be professionally groomed.

And we don’t really need a working breed. For example, a dog bred to stick its head into holes and pull out rats would probably be bored at our house. Sounds like a dog prone to pulling things out of the trash can.

By the time the Thanksgiving dog show was over, Brenda and I had a pretty good idea of the traits our ideal dog would possess. First, it would have no desire to run, take walks or even go outside unless absolutely necessary.

If it could learn to use the toilet, so much the better.

Our ideal dog would think Brenda and I were the best things since rawhide chew bones. Whenever we’d come home, it would be thrilled to see us, even if we’ve been gone only a few minutes.

When we say “come here,” it will not only hear us, it will actually come to us. It will lie on our laps and lick our faces. And it will get along with Sheldon and Stella, and they will be thrilled that the new arrival has largely taken the humans off their paws.

Who knows, maybe the cats would even get jealous and start sitting on our laps and acknowledging our presence when we come home instead of just running to their food bowls.

Yeah, right.