1,000 Dogs

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Good Thursday from Whiskey Creek, where each morning we get up to the bizarre sight of six acres cluttered with plants and trees and bushes that are convinced we’re in the middle of spring. And there’s no reasoning with them.

I’ll tell you something not many people know about my wife, Lynn. Despite her artistic sensibility, her obvious soulfulness, her life-long spiritual bent, her disdain for materialism, she covets money. Now, before you judge, her interest in dough hasn’t anything to do with buying things. Aside from an Imelda Marcos-sized collection of footwear, Lynn is the least acquisitive person I’ve ever known. And she hates to shop. No, Lynn’s “money thing” stems entirely from a preoccupation about financial security once I’ve gone to meet my maker, (or to meet the other guy), and believe me, there’s no doubt in her mind who’ll be succeeding who. So, since my retirement two and a half years ago Lynn has been gently nudging me in the direction of finding a pastime that would be both personally fulfilling and financially lucrative.

The obvious choice is writing. It’s what I did before I started a career in education and it’s something I very much enjoy. Now, making money at it, that’s a whole nother kettle of fish. So I’ve been thinking, cogitating, and here’s what I’ve come up with–the key to commercial success as an author lies in identifying what’s hot with the reading public and then jumping on the train before it leaves the station.

I feel compelled by my innate sense of honesty to admit that I learned this lesson through careful observation rather than through any personal experience as a successful writer. Which is exactly the reason I am determined that this time, dammit, I WILL jump on that train, feet first, and I will ride it all the way to the top to the New York Times Best Seller List. I have systematically monitored what’s selling and what’s not, spotted the latest trend in hot non-fiction, closely studied the elements that give it its appeal with readers and am convinced it’s the vehicle to the fame and fortune I so richly deserve. I speak, of course, about the ONE THOUSAND THINGS (fill in the blank) BEFORE YOU DIE genre which has hijacked an entire nation of light readers.

I have no idea which the first was; the earliest I remember is 1,000 Places You Need to Visit Before You Die. The author, Patricia Schultz, a travel journalist and executive-producer of a Travel Channel television show, watched her book soar all the way to the top of the New York Times Best Seller List. And, as happens so often in the world of mass-appeal literature, a rushing river of knock-offs and eventually variations on Schultz’s general theme escaped the floodgates. 1,000 Vacations You Should Take Before You Die, 1,000 Lakes You Should Swim In Before You Die, 1,000 Ancient Ruins You Should Explore Before You Die, 1,000 Restaurants You Should Dine at Before You Die, 1,000 Blends of Coffee You Should Savor Before You Die, 1,000 Birds You Should Watch Before You Die, 1,000 Artists Whose Works You Should See Before You Die and, the one that got me off my butt and roaring down the train track…1,000 Books You Should Read, (which include 371 “1,000 fill-in-the-blank Before You Die tomes.
Of course with 371 “1,000…Before You Die” works of literature already in print, coming up with just the right area of focus would be the greatest challenge. I began by making a list and then soliciting ideas to make it longer. My wife, Lynn, for example, suggested a thousand Zen Masters with whom to spend a day, meatless recipes to try, hair products to buy and ways to surprise and delight your wife. My friend Bill S. took a different approach, which, I have to admit, pretty much doubled the available options. How about, he asked, 1,000 Places You Should Stay the Hell Away from Before You Die?

In the end I selected the only topic that I could truly sink my teeth in, which was 1,000 Dogs You Should Own Before You Die. Lynn was quick to point out that there weren’t even 1,000 recognized dog breeds, much less enough to pick which to and to not own. In fact, my wife sent me an email on the subject.

“To: H, (which stands for “husband” in every note Lynn writes to me
From: W, (right)
Subject: Limitations of Currently Considered “1,000” Book Option
Date: February 7, 2014

Proof positive that you’re barking up the wrong tree.” (Annoying puns are a hallmark of my wife’s prose, obviously something I discovered about her only after the fateful knot was tied in what seems like an eternity ago.)

And then the list…

Afghan Hound (longhaired sighthound)
Anatolian Shepherd Dog (mountain type mastiff)
Dogo Argentino (mastiff)
Australian Cattle Dog (cattle dog)
Australian Kelpie (sheepdog)
Australian Silky Terrier (toy terrier)
Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog (cattle dog)
Australian Terrier (small sized terrier)
Jack Russell Terrier (small sized terrier)
Alpine Dachsbracke (leash hound)
Austrian Black and Tan Hound (medium scenthound)
Austrian Pinscher (pinscher)
Styrian coarse-haired Hound (medium scenthound)
Tyrolean Hound (medium scenthound)
Belgian Sheepdog [4 varieties]
Groenendael (sheepdog)
Laekenois (sheepdog)
Malinois (sheepdog)
Bloodhound (large scenthound)
Griffon Belge (companion/toy dog)
Griffon Bruxellois (companion/toy dog)
Petit Brabançon (companion/toy dog)
Schipperke (sheepdog)
Bosnian Coarse-haired Hound (medium scenthound)
Fila Brasileiro (mastiff)
Newfoundland (mountain type mastiff)
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (retriever)
Central Africa
Basenji (primitive type)
Central Mediterranean
Maltese (companion/toy dog)
Chinese Crested dog (2 varieties)
Hairless (companion/toy dog)
Powderpuff (companion/toy dog)
Chow Chow (Asian spitz)
Pekingese (companion/toy dog)
Shar Pei (mastiff)
Croatian Sheepdog (sheepdog)
Dalmatian (scenthound)
Istrian Coarse-haired Hound (medium scenthound)
Istrian Short-haired Hound (medium scenthound)
Posavaz Hound (medium scenthound)
Ceský Fousek (griffon-type pointer)
Cesky Terrier(small sized terrier)
Czechoslovakian Wolfdog (sheepdog)
Broholmer (mastiff)
Old Danish Pointer (continental pointing dog)
Finnish Hound (medium scenthound)
Finnish Lapphund (Nordic watchdog/herding dog)
Finnish Spitz (Nordic hunting dog)
Karelian Bear Dog (Nordic hunting dog)
Lapponian Herder (Nordic watchdog/herding dog)
Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie (medium scenthound)
Ariégeois (medium scenthound)
Barbet (water dog)
Basset Artésien Normand (small scenthound)
Basset Bleu de Gascogne (small scenthound)
Basset Fauve de Bretagne (small scenthound)
Beagle-Harrier (medium scenthound)
Beauceron (sheepdog)
Berger Picard (sheepdog)
Bichon Frise (companion/toy dog)
Billy (large scenthound)
Bouvier des Ardennes (cattle dog)
Bouvier des Flandres (cattle dog)
Braque d’Auvergne (continental pointing dog)
Braque de l’Ariège (continental pointing dog)
Braque du Bourbonnais (continental pointing dog)
Braque Français, type Gascogne (continental pointing dog)
Braque Français, type Pyrénées (continental pointing dog)
Braque Saint-Germain (continental pointing dog)
Briard (sheepdog)
Briquet Griffon Vendéen (medium scenthound)
Brittany Spaniel (spaniel-type pointer)
Chien d’Artois (medium scenthound)
Epagneul Bleu de Picardie (spaniel-type pointer)
Epagneul de Picardie (spaniel-type pointer)
Epagneul Français (spaniel-type pointer)
Epagneul Pont-Audemer (spaniel-type pointer)
Français Blanc et Noir (large scenthound)
Français Blanc et Orange (large scenthound)
Français Tricolore (large scenthound)
French Bulldog (companion/toy dog)
Gascon Saintongeois (medium scenthound)
Grand Anglo-Français Blanc et Noir (large scenthound)
Grand Anglo-Français Blanc et Orange (large scenthound)
Grand Anglo-Français Tricolore (large scenthound)
Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen (small scenthound)
Grand Bleu de Gascogne (large scenthound)
Grand Gascon Saintongeois (large scenthound)
Grand Griffon Vendéen (large scenthound)
Griffon Bleu de Gascogne (medium scenthound)
Griffon Fauve de Bretagne (medium scenthound)
Griffon Nivernais (medium scenthound)
Lowchen (companion/toy dog)
Papillion (companion/toy dog)
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (small scenthound)
Petit Bleu de Gascogne (medium scenthound)
Phalene (companion/toy dog)
Poitevin (large scenthound)
Poodle (4 varieties)
Standard (companion/toy dog)
Medium Poodle (companion/toy dog)
Miniature Poodle (companion/toy dog)
Toy Poodle (companion/toy dog)
Porcelaine (medium scenthound)
Pyrenean Mountain Dog (mountain type mastiff)
Pyrenean Shepherd (sheepdog)
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (griffon-type pointer)
Affenpinscher (pinscher)
Bavarian Mountain Hound (leash hound)
Boxer (mastiff)
Deutscher Jagdterrier (German Hunting Terrier
Doberman Pinscher (pinscher)
Eurasia (Asian spitz))
German Hound (small scenthound)
German Longhaired Pointer (spaniel-type pointer)
German Pinscher (pinscher)
German Shepherd Dog (sheepdog)
German Shorthaired Pointer (continental pointing dog)
German Spaniel (flushing dog)
German Spitz (3 varieties)
Grossspitz (European spitz)
Mittelspitz (European spitz)
Kleinspitz (European spitz)
German Wirehaired Pointer (continental pointing dog)
Giant Schnauzer (schnauzer)
Great Dane (mastiff)
Hanover Hound (leash hound)
Hovawart (mountain type mastiff)
Keeshond (European spitz)
Kromfohrländer (companion/toy dog)
Landseer (mountain type mastiff)
Large Munsterlander (spaniel-type pointer)
Leonberger (mountain type mastiff)
Miniature Dachshund (3 varieties)
Smooth-haired (dachshund)
Wire-haired (dachshund)
Long-haired (dachshund)
Miniature Pinscher (pinscher)
Miniature Schnauzer (schnauzer)
Pomeranian (European spitz)
Pudelpointer (continental pointing dog)
Rabbit Dachshund (3 varieties)
Smooth-haired (dachshund)
Wire-haired (dachshund)
Rottweiler (mastiff)
Small Munsterlander (spaniel-type pointer)
Standard Dachshund (3 varieties)
Smooth-haired (dachshund)
Wire-haired (dachshund)
Long-haired (dachshund)
Standard Schnauzer (schnauzer)
Weimaraner (continental pointing dog)
Westphalian Dachsbracke (small scenthound)
Great Britain
Airedale Terrier (large/medium sized terrier)
Basset Hound (small scenthound)
Beagle (small scenthound)
Bearded Collie (sheepdog)
Bedlington Terrier (large/medium sized terrier)
Border Collie (sheepdog)
Border Terrier (large/medium sized terrier)
Bull Terrier (Miniature) (bull-type terrier)
Bull Terrier (Standard) (bull-type terrier)
Bulldog (mastiff)
Bullmastiff (mastiff)
Cairn Terrier (small sized terrier)
Cardigan Welsh Corgi (sheepdog)
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (companion/toy dog)
Clumber Spaniel (flushing dog)
Curly Coated Retriever (retriever)
Dandie Dinmont Terrier (small sized terrier)
Deerhound (rough-haired sighthound)
English Cocker Spaniel (flushing dog)
English Foxhound (large scenthound)
English Mastiff (mastiff)
English Pointer (pointer)
English Setter (setter)
English Springer Spaniel (flushing dog)
English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) (toy terrier)
Field Spaniel (flushing dog)
Flat Coated Retriever (retriever)
Fox Terrier (Smooth) (large/medium sized terrier)
Fox Terrier (Wire) (large/medium sized terrier)
Golden Retriever (retriever)
Gordon Setter (setter)
Greyhound (shorthaired sighthound)
Harrier (medium scenthound)
King Charles Spaniel (companion/toy dog)
Labrador Retriever (retriever)
Lakeland Terrier (large/medium sized terrier)
Manchester Terrier (large/medium sized terrier)
Norfolk Terrier (small sized terrier)
Norwich Terrier (small sized terrier)
Old English Sheepdog (sheepdog)
Otterhound (large scenthound)
Parson Russell Terrier (large/medium sized terrier)
Pembroke Welsh Corgi (sheepdog)
Pug (companion/toy dog)
Rough Collie (sheepdog)
Scottish Terrier (small sized terrier)
Sealyham Terrier (small sized terrier)
Shetland Sheepdog (sheepdog)
Skye Terrier (small sized terrier)
Smooth Collie (sheepdog)
Staffordshire Bull Terrier (bull-type terrier)
Sussex Spaniel (flushing dog)
Welsh Springer Spaniel (flushing dog)
Welsh Terrier (large/medium sized terrier)
West Highland White Terrier (small sized terrier)
Whippet (shorthaired sighthound)
Yorkshire Terrier (toy terrier)
Hellenic Hound (medium scenthound)
Greenland Dog (Nordic sledge dog)
Hungarian Greyhound (shorthaired sighthound)
Hungarian Vizsla (Shorthaired) (continental pointing dog)
Hungarian Vizsla (Wirehaired) (continental pointing dog)
Komondor (sheepdog)
Kuvasz (sheepdog)
Mudi (sheepdog)
Puli (sheepdog)
Pumi (sheepdog)
Transylvanian Hound (medium scenthound)
Icelandic Sheepdog (Nordic watchdog/herding dog)
Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier (large/medium sized terrier)
Irish Red and White Setter(setter)
Irish Setter (setter)
Irish Terrier (large/medium sized terrier)
Irish Water Spaniel (water dog)
Irish Wolfhound (rough-haired sighthound)
Kerry Blue Terrier (large/medium sized terrier)
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier (large/medium sized terrier)
Canaan Dog (primitive type)
Bergamasco (sheepdog)
Bolognese (companion/toy dog)
Bracco Italiano (continental pointing dog)
Cane Corso Italiano (mastiff)
Cirneco dell’Etna (primitive type-hunting dog)
Italian Greyhound (shorthaired sighthound)
Lagotto Romagnolo (water dog)
Maremma Sheepdog (sheepdog)
Neapolitan Mastiff (mastiff)
Segugio Italiano (medium scenthound)
Spinone Italiano (griffon-type pointer)
Volpino Italiano (European spitz)
Akita (Asian spitz)
American Akita (Asian spitz)
Hokkaido (Asian spitz)
Japanese Chin (companion/toy dog)
Japanese Spitz (Asian spitz)
Japanese Terrier [Nihon Teria] (small sized terrier)
Kai (Asian spitz)
Kishu (Asian spitz)
Shiba (Asian spitz)
Shikoku (Asian spitz)
Tosa Inu (mastiff)
Korean Jindo (Asian spitz)
Coton de Tuléar (companion/toy dog)
Azawakh (shorthaired sighthound)
Pharaoh Hound (primitive type)
Chihuahua (2 varieties)
Shorthaired (companion/toy dog)
Longhaired (companion/toy dog)
Mexican Hairless Dog (primitive type)
Middle East
Saluki (longhaired sighthound)
Montenegrin Mountain Hound (medium scenthound)
Aidi (mountain type mastiff)
Sloughi (Arabian Greyhound) (shorthaired sighthound)
Dutch Partridge Dog (spaniel-type pointer)
Dutch Schapendoes (sheepdog)
Dutch Shepherd Dog (sheepdog)
Dutch Smoushond (smoushond)
Kooikerhondje (flushing dog)
Saarloos Wolfdog (sheepdog)
Stabyhoun (spaniel-type pointer)
Wetterhoun (water dog)
Black Norwegian Elkhound (Nordic hunting dog)
Dunker (medium scenthound)
Haldenstøvare (medium scenthound)
Hygenhund (medium scenthound)
Norwegian Buhund (Nordic watchdog/herding dog)
Norwegian Elkhound (Nordic hunting dog)
Norwegian Lundehund (Nordic hunting dog)
Peruvian Hairless Dog (primitive type)
Chart Polski (Polish Greyhound)(shorthaired sighthound)
Polish Hound (medium scenthound)
Polish Lowland Sheepdog (sheepdog)
Tatra Shepherd Dog (sheepdog)
Cão Fila de São Miguel (mastiff)
Castro Laboreiro Dog (mountain type mastiff)
Estrela Mountain Dog (mountain type mastiff)
Podengo Português (primitive type-hunting dog)
Portuguese Pointer (continental pointing dog)
Portuguese Sheepdog (sheepdog)
Portuguese Water Dog (water dog)
Rafeiro of Alentejo (mountain type mastiff)
Borzoi (longhaired sighthound)
Caucasian Shepherd Dog (mountain type mastiff)
Central Asia Shepherd Dog (mountain type mastiff)
East Siberian Laika (Nordic hunting dog)
Russo-European Laika (Nordic hunting dog)
Russkiy Tchiorny Terrier [Russian Black Terrier] (Pinscher and Schnauzer type)
Samoyed (Nordic sledge dog)
South Russian Shepherd Dog (sheepdog)
West Siberian Laika (Nordic hunting dog)
Illyrian Shepherd Dog (mountain type mastiff)
Serbian Hound (medium scenthound)
Serbian Tricolour Hound (medium scenthound)
Slovakian Chuvach (sheepdog)
Slovakian Hound (medium scenthound)
Slovenský Hrubosrsty Stavac (griffon-type pointer)
Tchiorny Terrier (Tchiorny terrier)
Karst Shepherd Dog (mountain type mastiff)
Ca de Bou (mastiff)
Catalan Sheepdog (sheepdog)
Dogo Canario (mastiff)
Majorca Shepherd Dog (sheepdog)
Podenco Canario (primitive type-hunting dog)
Podenco Ibicenco (primitive type-hunting dog)
Pyrenean Mastiff (mountain type mastiff)
Spanish Greyhound (shorthaired sighthound)
Spanish Hound (medium scenthound)
Spanish Mastiff (mountain type mastiff)
Spanish Pointer (continental pointing dog)
Spanish Water Dog (water dog)
Drever (small scenthound)
Hamiltonstövare (medium scenthound)
Norrbottenspets (Nordic hunting dog)
Schillerstövare (medium scenthound)
Smålandsstövare (medium scenthound)
Swedish Elkhound (Nordic hunting dog)
Swedish Lapphund (Nordic watchdog/herding dog)
Swedish Vallhund (Nordic watchdog/herding dog)
Appenzeller Mountain Dog (Swiss mountain dog)
Bernese Mountain Dog (Swiss mountain dog)
Entlebucher Mountain Dog (Swiss mountain dog)
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Swiss mountain dog)
Saint Bernard (mountain type mastiff)
Small Swiss Hound (4 varieties)
Small Bernese Hound (small scenthound)
Small Jura Hound (small scenthound)
Small Lucerne Hound (small scenthound)
Small Schwyz Hound (small scenthound)
Swiss Hound (4 varieties)
Bernese Hound (medium scenthound)
Jura Hound (medium scenthound)
Lucerne Hound (medium scenthound)
Schwyz Hound (medium scenthound)
Thai Ridgeback (primitive type-ridgeback)
Lhasa Apso (companion/toy dog)
Shih Tzu (companion/toy dog)
Tibetan Mastiff (mountain type mastiff)
Tibetan Spaniel (companion/toy dog)
Tibetan Terrier (companion/toy dog)
United States of America
Alaskan Malamute (Nordic sledge dog)
American Cocker Spaniel (flushing dog)
American Foxhound (large scenthound)
American Staffordshire Terrier (bull-type terrier)
American Water Spaniel (water dog)
Australian Shepherd (sheepdog)
Black and Tan Coonhound (large scenthound)
Boston Terrier (companion/toy dog)
Chesapeake Bay Retriever (retriever)
Siberian Husky (Nordic sledge dog)
Toy Fox Terrier (toy terrier)
Western Mediterranean
Havanese (companion/toy dog)
Rhodesian Ridgeback (primitive type-ridgeback)

You don’t need to bother to count the breeds; there are 418. And if you go with the American Kennel Club you can chop off a little more than half of them. The AKC, notorious snobs that they are, recognizes only 178.

But, I explained to Lynn and to Bill, who also objected, (he was still pushing for his not-to-visit, not-to-eat, not-to-listen-to, not-to-read slant), that they were both missing the concept. It wasn’t 1,000 Dog BREEDS to Own but rather 1,000 individual DOGS to Own Before You Die. Huge difference. Just take labs as an example. Since we became a couple thirty years ago my wife and I have owned 6 Labs…1 black, one brown and 4 blonde, (no, there’s no such thing as a Golden Labrador Retriever; they’re called either blonde or yellow,) and she would be the first to agree that all six were utterly different and distinct from the other five in looks, temperament, likes and dislikes, overall personality, ease/difficulty with which to train, etc., etc., etc. Sure, you had to get to know them over time to see the differences, but once you did you’d see they were six very different dogs, all in just one breed. The potential across just the 178 AKC-accepted breeds was crazy-making.

Anyways, the books been started and I hope to have a draft by some time next summer. Will it be objective? Probably not. Will it be completely factual? Are you kidding? Will it make me a truckload of money? Yes, you betcha. And, like my other books, show your CBA Membership Card and get 10% off the retail price.

Have a great rest of the week.

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