Folks suggesting that vire get a dog made me think that we don't have a topic discussing pets.

I'll start with mine because it's been such an adventure.

Optimus Prime is an Optimus Prime is an (soon to be) AKC-registered Alaskan Malamute born on Jan 1, 2016. He is the first-born of a litter of ten and is the biggest (first on the teat gets to eat). $1000 pricetag from the jump.

Here is a before-and-after photo of when we went to see him in January 2016, and how big he is by October.

I grew up with a black lab/Alaskan Malamute mix, and decided that when I grew up, I was going to get a purebread. When I started talking about it after buying my house, a co-worker suggested that I get a red one. The thought hadn't crossed my mind since all mals I know are either black or sable. So I took a red. I'm glad I did, as it makes him look distinguished.

But not distinguished enough to be confused with a husky. PPL at the dog park get it wrong ALL THE TIME. I wanna get him a shirt that says "I AM A MALAMUTE."

I named him Optimus Prime because of this red coat, and that I expect him to be 100 lbs. His father, Sir Lord Tundra was that size when he sired Prime at the age of 1. His litter was an "oops" litter when the breeder's mother accidentally let Lord Tundra out with Grey Skies II.

The breeder said that he was bred for temperament. I did not know that that meant until months down the road, when I was wondering if Prime would ever develop a personality, and do quirky/funny things one would expect from a dog. Nope. He's very intelligent and learns tricks easily, but is also kinda boring/annoying.

Despite currently being over 75 lbs, he thinks he's a lap dog. I would like him more if he were more independent, but no, he's right up under me 99% of the time. Even though I had 3 kids, none of them followed me or my wife around like this dog does. If I even make a sound like I'm going to move, he comes to see me. With the exception of my daughter, he completely ignores the kids. I guess that's okay, because at first he wouldn't stop mouthing the boys...the days of "no bite" are long past us, but not of him failing to find other things to do besides annoy me.

And by right up under me, I mean literally sits under my chair at dinner, or under my legs when I sit on the sofa. Goes upstairs (I had designated this a restricted area for him before as he understood "downstairs"/"upstairs" as commands, but the wife thought it fun to have him come up; now she's swimming in fur). I can't walk up or down stairs without him going in front of me and standing there, waiting. FREAKING GO AWAY DOG! I NEED MY SPACE!

I have yet to find a toy that he plays with *on his own*. The daughter is good at playing keepaway with some of his toys, but he otherwise ignores them...unless it's a plush toy with a squeeker, and he delights in tearing out all the stuffing and squeeker, ruining it. SIGH!

So basically, to have him NOT follow me around, barring doors or putting him outside where he has turned my backyard into the surface of the moon from digging, I give him edible distractions like Digesteeze bones or...actual raw meat bones purchased from a local boho petstore. They buy me about an hour each.

I have not trained him to pull yet because I need to get a harness, though I'm terrible at measuring things. In the meantime, I run him while I'm on bike. I taught him early "On my left" which will make him run on my left side. It's been warm in Michigan, so I've been able to do it more often than the cold 30 degrees and colder. Great exercise for him AND me. It's the best way to get him to sittdown somewhere and stop looking for pets.

Yeah, he's tall enough to put his whole face on your kitchen table, or nuzzle/lick your hand to pet him. Oh, and fur management? There is no such thing. You'll be combing with a furminator for an hour and still get clumps out. You can only survive the hair, not manage it.

This is only HALF the mess he made when nobody knows how to lock his kennel but me. Friggin dog keeps eating strange stuff and either vomits or shits his kennel once-per-month. The kennel has a plastic slide-out that would have made this easy to clean, but no, Prime would have rather destroyed my carpet. Forget that cleaning machine; I paid professionals $100 on a SUNDAY just to get this cleaned...and this was only HALF the mess...the rest is off-screen southward. This happened only a few weeks ago.

So yeah. Purebred Alaskan Malamute is SUPER DUPER high maintenance. No telling how much I'll have to spend in the spring to fill up all those holes he's dug up. Oh, and nobody picks up after him in the backyard except for me in the Spring, so that's gonna be fun the first time I cut the grass.

"He's YOUR dog" my wife says. Thanks, dear.

This dog is 100, 1,000, 1,000,000 times more irritating to deal with than raising kids. At least kids will sit down with a DS or TV and STFU.

At the local dog park with Between the World and Me.

And yes, he knows "Transform." That's the command for hugs. He'll stand on his hind legs and clutch you with his forepaws. My wife taught him how to stand and grab with a hand gesture. I gave it a command, and so it is.