Someone with many more degrees on the wall than I have told me I should get a dog.

Someone with many more degrees on the wall than I have told me I should get a dog.

She didnít say why. I figured it was because a dog would give me something to be responsible for and/or that a dog would be a constant companion.

That was about a week ago. Not being one to put off much of anything, I set about the chore of finding a dog. I wanted a Weimaraner. Try to find one of those for less than $350. I thought about a full-breed Doberman, but the ones I found didnít seem to look like Dobermans. A Labrador seemed too common. And, no, thank you, none of those little dogs with the funny names. Eventually, I decided that Iíd know my dog when I saw it.

Iíve never really had a dog of my own. I plan on keeping this one in the house. So, I may be in for more than I bargained for. If so, I know where to take it.

Long story short, I finally found a mastiff/Doberman mix 25 miles from deer camp. As I was going hunting anyway, seemed like a good idea to pick up the pup and let us get to know each other in my camper.

OK, sure, everybody knows that was a bad idea. I do, too. Now.

He ó Mencken, in honor of H.L. ó did pretty well the first night. I gave him a packet of some sort of beef-gravy mix, and he scarfed that down. Two minutes later, he pooped it out all in his brand new padded sleep thingy.

ďMencken, that little white pad is there for that.Ē

He may have understood, but he didnít listen.

After a couple days of finding significant spills of used beef-gravy mix, Mencken and I had another talk. He started doing better. I even saw him use the pads several times.

His appetite keeps growing, and Iíll soon be taking up a collection to feed the beast.

We were getting along pretty well until Sunday night. About 3 a.m., I felt him climb up on my bunk. How he managed that, Iíll never know. I turned on my phone light to ask him what he thought he was doing. Just at that moment Ö well, letís leave it at I threw the sleeping bag in the garbage.

His first bath Monday went pretty well, all things considered. Afterward, he sidled up beside a space heater and seemed rather content.

If he could just keep his big paws out of his food dish, he wouldnít spill nearly as much. Surely, that will come with time. That or a bigger bowl.

Thus far into our relationship, Iíve learned a few things about this particular dog.

One, he is a quick learner, even though he doesnít always do what he knows heís supposed to do.

Two, heíll eat as much as Iíll feed him and then shed it within 10 minutes. He needs to gain some weight, but Iím not sure weíre making any progress.

Three, Iíve not heard him bark once. Yay!

The moment of truth will come Wednesday when I take him home for the first time. I think I can keep him blocked in the kitchen, but I donít know how to keep him from chewing on things. I am thinking about getting those pad thingies and duct-taping them together to cover the entire floor.

All in all though, the person who suggested the dog might be right. Mencken might turn out to be a loyal companion. If not, Iíll drive around the streets of El Dorado until I find that guy who sold him to me. Maybe he can tell me how to keep a dog on a pad thingy.

ē ē ē

Rick Fahr is publisher of the Log Cabin Democrat in Conway. His e-mail is rick.fahr@thecabin.net.