There are great things about having a big, black dog.
For one, there is something about black dogs that people (i.e. men who want to attack you in a dark alley) find intimidating. Also, because Zoya’s size means her back reaches my upper thigh, she serves as a great crutch when walking on ice or other precarious surface. Not to mention that the combination of black + giant + furry means that you always have a great, fluffy, heated rug to lounge against (assuming that rug has been shampooed recently).
And, of course, the attention, although I am not sure this is a positive.
(Just Wednesday I was running with Zoya along the snow-covered, abandoned boardwalk. I was enjoying the solitude – it was early AND cold, not a combination that will motivate most Turks to take a stroll along the sea. It was so peaceful. Until two men jumped out of nowhere with cameras, frantically snapping photos, and crouching and leaping in front and to the side of us to get the right angle to take our picture. Or, correction: to take “Marilyn’s” picture. I was just the lowly, leash-carrying assistant.)
It’s not all fun and games, though, having such a large dog. Transporting her from one country to another means having a plane approved to transport excess luggage greater than 50 kilos. And a crate big enough to carry her. (I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say that it looks like Zoya will be spending another summer vacation in Istanbul.)
Not to mention that her bulk means that there is no way for me to pick her up and keep her safe from a dog who may harm her (or her, it…luckily she is, if anything, too friendly and, despite all our – aka: our sons’ – efforts to spoil her, is decently trained).
But the biggest problem with having such a large and BLACK dog is when she sprawls across a door entrance and it’s pitch dark and you can’t see her big black body blocking your path and you collide with the very large obstacle that is her body and fly thru the air to fall squarely on your knee on the very hard, very unforgiving tile-covered-cement-floor.
If anything is broken, she may be put up for adoption.
The upside: the boys will be upping their dog-walking routine.