Some people will see this photo and feel fear.
I see this photo and feel nothing but the same,
unadulterated glee that this awesome dog is experiencing.
More Cronie photos below.
I don't write about pets because if I started to tell you the story of how I've loved the dogs in my life -- Cronie the Briard, Folly the Golden Retriever, Boggle the Briard, Kismet the Lhasa Apso, Tyson her mixed-up cross-breed son, Basker the Australian Shepherd, and Scarlett the cute mutt rescue -- I would begin weeping and just never ever stop.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I LOVE LOVE LOVE dogs. Dogs bring me endless joy and make me happy with every fiber of my being. Nothing tickles me quite the way dogs do. I love puppy breath.
This also means that I absolutely cannot handle the suggestion of animal cruelty, or of dogs being sad, or of anything bad happening to them. I have the emotional maturity of a three-year-old when it comes to dogs and that's all there is to it.
So this post will NOT be about dogs I've loved or how pets are special or anything sentimental because seriously, I'd be a pool of dog-loving goo. Instead, I simply want to take this opportunity to say that Yep! Indeed, Crony (actually, my parents spelled it "Cronie," I'm sure for some reason, maybe because it was a name?) was a Briard, and he was great and you should get one.
A Briard is a French Sheepdog. If you're unfamiliar -- and most people are -- basically picture giant English Sheepdogs (sort of like Barkley on Sesame Street) except brown and black, with ears that are "trained" to stick up.
Contrary to popular belief, dogs with long hair shed less than dogs with short hair, and are therefore far kinder to folks who might be allergic. And sheepdogs, while they have a propensity toward heel-nipping, are great family dogs.
Apparently, Cronie didn't have a very kind temperment, but he was perfectly angelic with his family. When I was born, my parents were still living in New York City; no matter where my mom took me, Cronie was my protector and guardian. (A bit like Nana in Peter Pan except circa 1970s Manhattan.) He was gentle and patient and loving toward me and my sisters, always.
Cronie was, as you may have noticed, a giant dog. You'd throw a stick for him to retrieve, and he'd come galloping back toward you with a giant branch. Cronie also loved tires. He'd find -- and bring you -- discarded tires whenever he happened to see them. My dad would put on firewood gloves and wrestle with him in the backyard for fun.
He was a great dog, and made me fall in love with Briards, and I hope I get to have one again someday.
My mom with Cronie as a puppy.
A slightly older Cronopio, happily teething on my mom's hand.
Cronie the teenager.
Peek-a-boo! Where are you?
There you are! Ha!
Ever the patient dog.
This explains why, to this day, I'm convinced that all dogs
just want to be my friend.
In our NYC apartment. Gotta dig the hair, all around.