Of Moose and Men

But he’s a little woof...

Posted: Sunday, November 05, 2006

Anyone over the age of 12 who has had even a transient personal encounter with the opposite sex will immediately acknowledge the validity of this statement: men and women think differently. Some experts in the psychology field explain it as thinking by way of right-brain/left-brain, where women use the right side of their brain more, and men tend to use the left.

I asked my resident expert on social and psychological matters, Mrs. Poynor, for a simple explanation of the right-brain/left-brain theory. She explained it this way: “Women have a tendency to be more in tune with feelings, surroundings and intuition, and therefore think and process information predominantly with the right side of their brain. Men, for the most part, are totally clueless, and think with what little brains they have left.”

I’m not entirely convinced she was unbiased in her evaluation.

At any rate, the thought processes could generally be described as different between the sexes. For instance, when a woman says she’s thinking about doing something, it means she has begun weighing all the emotional and aesthetic options and may, or may not, move forward in making some sort of decision that results in action. For example, let’s use the statement, “I’m thinking about getting a new couch.” What that actually means is consideration is being given to color options, where the couch will fit, how the living room will be arranged, what new color the living room should be painted, whether or not new carpeting will be required, and if it wouldn’t — just as an outside option — be better to buy an entirely new house just to help eliminate some of the secondary decisions, and improve the chi of the domicile.

However, when a man says he’s thinking about doing something, it means the decision is made. “I’m thinking about getting a new gun/fishing pole/snowmachine/truck/ whatever,” means things have moved well beyond the thinking part. In reality, the decision has been made. When the words “I’m thinking about” are uttered, the guy is actually working out the financing details.

With the established trend in the thinking differences between the genders, imagine my surprise when the tables were turned on me a couple months back.

We had to euthanize Mrs. Poynor’s dog, Philbert, this summer. (I know what you’re thinking: “She lost her mom AND her dog? Bummer summer!” True enough. We’re working out the details for a TV story on the Women’s Entertainment Network — official motto: “there’s always time for a good cry.”) Phil had been around to serve as Georgia’s constant companion — and to torment me — for 14 years.

It seemed pretty fast to me, but scarcely two weeks later she said, “I’m thinking about getting another dog.” However, allowing the standard lag time between female thinking and action, I figured Slime Beast and I had six to nine peaceful months before there would be another small dog in the house. Little did I know she had already called someone, and made arrangements to meet the new varmint. It seems the left side of Georgia’s brain had kicked into high gear. That very afternoon, Mr. Watson (or Micro-watt as Slime Beast and I refer to him) invaded Slime Beast’s territory.

Dogs are a superb example of the difference between how men and women think. Women are into small, cute and cuddly. Men want a DAWG, the bigger, the better. While women will gather about to cuddle and coo over little puppies, guys want to scratch, spit and brag about how big and rugged their mutts are.

Whenever Alaskan guys talk about their big dog, a little bit of wolf must be claimed, and to really fit the bill, it has to be pronounced “woof”.

“Yeah, ol’ Shep, here, is part Ukrainian bear dog, part German shepard and part woof.”

Some breeds, such as rottweilers, Labradors, bullmastiffs, Great Danes and the like, are large enough and respected enough to be exempted from the part woof requirement. A guy is allowed to just toss out one of those breed names, as long as he follows it up with a discussion on how big the dog’s ancestors were.

“Yup, ol’ Magnum is a bullmastiff; 6 six months old, and he’s already over a-hunert pounds. His mom went 225, his dad was a solid 240 pounds at only a year and a half, when he sired him. I’m sure he’d have gotten bigger, but he died prematurely ... choked to death when he tried to swallow a Pomeranian whole.”

Micro-watt has proven to be an embarrassment to me. Micro-watt is, and this is truly difficult for me to publicly admit, a Yorkie-poo. I don’t mind the first part so much, Yorkie doesn’t sound too bad, but I practically gag on the suffix. What kind of a guy is going to stand around and talk with other macho-manly types in dog discussions and announce aloud that he has a Yorkie-poo?

I’ve had to adopt a special explanation for Micro-watt.

“Yeah, ol’ Watson is part Yorkshire terrier and part poodle,” I announce casually. When the laughter subsides enough, I toss in, “And did I mention I’m thinkin’ he’s also part miniature woof?”

A.E. Poynor is a freelance writer who lives in Kenai.

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