dad from day one: Jack Meets Max the Cockapoo (AKA “Falkor the Luck Dragon” from The Neverending Story)

Week 20 (4 months).

Fun Word of the Day-

Cockapoo: A  cross breed dog, bred for the first time in the United States, by crossing an American Cocker Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel and a poodle (in most cases the miniature poodle or toy poodle), or by breeding cockapoo to cockapoo.  (Thanks Wikipedia!)

I have always been curious about the day Jack would finally meet his first dog. Up until this point, Jack has been introduced to several “dog like” creatures, including stuffed animal dolls of E.T. and Gizmo, but never an actual living canine.  We spent the past weekend with some good friends in Nashville who happen to own the coolest dog I have ever met.  Admittedly, I’m not a dog person.

But Max the Cockapoo is the equivalent of Falkor the Luck Dragon (that flying dog thing from The Neverending Story).  And that is a very good thing.  In fact, one of life’s biggest disappointments for me, as a kid in the ’80’s, was accepting the fact that there truly is no such thing as Luck Dragons.  Max the Cockapoo doesn’t fly through the air, but he is one of the few dogs I have met who truly accepts me as I am and who doesn’t smell bad.  He is one chillaxed dog. Therefore, he is totally my speed.

Naturally I had envisioned Jack and Max instantly becoming big buddies, since in essence, Max is the dog equivalent of Jack.  I imagined Jack smiling real big whenever Max would walk up to him and I even expected Max and Jack to take naps together.  But this bromance didn’t unfold that way, in reality.  It’s not that they didn’t get along.  It’s that Jack didn’t realize that Max was a living dog.  Instead, I believe, Jack thought Max was the shag carpet rug he’s used to lying down on in our living room at home.  To Jack, Max was simply a moving shag carpet rug.

But being the classy dog he is, Max didn’t take it personally.  However, Max still did his dogly duty of looking after Jack.  When Jack would cry, Max would rush over and sniff him.  Of course, we humans fed and changed Jack’s diapers accordingly, but Max’s habit of sniffing Jack was his way of treating him like the youngest pup in the litter.  Even when Jack pulled Max’s face fur, Max was cool about it.

It was by observing Jack and Max together that I taught myself that dogs don’t actually smell “bad things”.  Instead, every smell is simply just another interesting smell.  So the couple of times that Jack passed gas and Max hurried to come smell it, Max was simply getting a different form of a doggie treat.  At least Jack could give Max that much.  And it made great entertainment for us humans to watch.

For now, Max the Cockapoo is a white shag carpet in Jack’s eyes.  But one day, Jack will understand the difference between humans, rugs, and dogs.  And this inevitable friendship will occur.  Jack will befriend the canine equivalent of himself and the two of them will be Joe Cool buddies, at last.

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