GAIL WHITE He's a boxer, not a lap dog -- but try telling Zorba



I have always considered myself a universal dog lover -- loving dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds.
But there is one dog on the face of this earth that I just do not like. In fact, I have come to despise this dog. The mere mention of his name -- Zorba -- (ooouuhhh!) gives me chills of disgust.
Zorba is my sister's dog. When she told me she was looking for a pet for her daughter, who was 4 years old at the time, I pictured a cute, cuddly poodle or a sweet, darling terrier.
What she got was Zorba.
Zorba is a boxer. This breed of dog is very big. (Part horse, I believe.) And boxers look terribly mean. Many times Zorba has been mistaken for an overgrown pit bull.
During walks, people have crossed the street to avoid this mean-looking beast. It is wise to cross the street when Zorba is coming your way, though not because he will eat you. Because he will want to be your friend -- your very best, closest friend.
Zorba is not a mean dog. No, he is quite the opposite. He is probably the friendliest dog I have ever met. Therein lies the problem.
Like a big kid
If Zorba were a human, he would be a big, overgrown, homely-looking 5-year-old kid with large bicuspids. He would always have a runny nose (Zorba slobbers incessantly!) and he would eat everything in sight.
Because of his size and looks, other kids would be afraid of him, but he would really be just a little kid stuck in a big body he can't completely control who just wants to make friends.
Now, take that overgrown 5-year-old and pretend he has just met you and decided that you are the nicest person he has ever encountered and he wants to be your best friend -- no matter what you want.
While you're looking around for this kid's parents, the kid is jumping up on you, wanting to be held, tugging at you with his dirty hands, eating whatever food you are holding and wiping his snot all over you, all the while looking at you with a pathetic longing in his eyes.
This is Zorba.
Initially, I was dumbfounded by this bizarre creature. I had never met any dog -- or any thing! -- in all my life that seemed so incredibly ... so remarkably ... so unbelievably ... (What's the word?...)
Stupid. Stupid with a severe case of hyperactivity.
Having the misfortune of getting to know this beast, I have concluded that, truthfully, he is painfully smart and unbelievably sensitive.
He knows I can't stand him, and he can't bear the rejection.
'Be my friend'
The minute I walk in the door, he is on me, looking at me with his pathetic "love me" eyes.
When I sit down he stares at me, his upper lip stuck up on his teeth. He looks like he's growling, ready to pounce. It's really quite frightening but, truly, the horse/dog simply has lip issues.
He will pounce, however -- right onto your lap. Which is why I have decided to continue hating the dog. If he knows you like him, he wants to sit on your lap. Zorba has absolutely no concept of personal space.
In the past two years, I have had nearly every conversation with my sister with her head jutting around some part of Zorba's torso. I, in return, have the pleasure of talking to Zorba's rear.
On Christmas Eve, Zorba ate 75 cocktail wieners wrapped in biscuits -- before they were cooked.
The children opened up night-seeing goggles and the dog began jumping up on the walls.
"I forgot, flashlights drive him crazy," my sister said.
The final straw was when my husband walked into the kitchen and stepped in a puddle.
No, it wasn't that. The dog is smart enough to be housebroken. He just can't control his bottom lip any better than the top. He drips a puddle when he drinks.
I have never met another boxer, so I don't know if Zorba is "normal" for that breed.
Frankly, I don't want to find out. The thought of meeting another one gives me nightmares of being slobbered to death. I'm afraid I am just not friendly enough for boxers.
gwhite@vindy.com

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