This morning, as I was walking Stella, my Great Dane, to the park, someone stopped and pointed and said:
"Hey, you got a saddle for that yet? Har, har, har."
Dane owners get that a lot, probably even more than actual horse owners. Here are some other great lines:
"Is that a dog or a horse? Ha, ha, ha."
"You ever ride that thing? Heh, heh, heh."
"How much for a pony ride? Huyuck, huyuck, huyuck."
And then it kind of repeats itself.
"Where's the saddle? Snort, snort, snort."
"Nice horse you got there. Teehee, teehee, teehee."
"Can my kid get a ride on that? Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck."
So, let's see. I hear that about once a week and Stella's been with me about 6 and half years so that's 6.5 * 52 = 338 times now.
I got Stella when she was 6 months old. Elizabeth had told me there was a Great Dane pup being housed at a kennel by a woman who was in hiding from her husband. Apparently, this happens a lot: an abused woman finds herself in a situation where she can hardly look after herself let alone any dependent pets. I was dogless at the time and had no intentions of getting a dog but, what the hell, a quick peek at a Great Dane pup wasn't going to hurt.
Later, at the kennel, there she was: six months old and already 85 pounds. All gangly legs, long neck and big ears.
"Hey, she looks just like a horse!" I said. "I'll have to get a saddle for her."
And that, folks, is how you get suckered in.