Today’s “Sign Of Impending Apocalypse” comes to us courtesy of Mr. Fairway Dog Walker of Phoenix, who enjoys strolls along an active golf course where I am a regular player.
While I have yet to successfully brain this gent with an iron shot, I have spoken to him frequently about his dog. He’s very proud of the animal, which currently weighs 25 ounces and resembles a ball of dryer lint after you do a load of beige towels.
“Her name is Khaleesi, after the queen from Game of Thrones,” he told me while the dog barked at my golf ball, positioned in rough that came up to the dog’s tiny snout. “She’s a Teacup Morkie.”
As it so happens, a Morkie is not named after the spaceman character Mork from Robin Williams’ late 1970s sitcom Mork and Mindy. Instead, a Morkie is a tiny designer puppy created by breeding a purebred Yorkshire terrier and a purebred Maltese. According to Khaleesi’s owner, this creates an animal that is “super smart and just incredibly playful. She has so much energy.”
This the puppy demonstrated by emitting a high-pitched yipping noise timed perfectly with my backswing. The ball went dead left into a greenside sand trap.
Mr. Dog Walker and Khaleesi accompanied me onward, which led to me asking what such a genetic canine masterpiece costs.
Here’s a life hint for you: Whenever someone says, “Oh, I’d be embarrassed to tell you what I paid” for something, they will tell you the exact price, to the penny, within 30 seconds.
Which is how I know that Khaleesi the Morkie cost $4,000, “when you count in plane tickets to Wisconsin to pick her up her from the breeder.”
Is it any wonder that I skulled the ball out of the bunker and across the green?
“You hit that a little thin,” said Mr. Dog Walker.
To which I replied, “You know, at its present weight, your dog costs 160 bucks an ounce. That’s probably more expensive than cocaine.”
Khaleesi’s owner seemed unamused. Khaleesi seemed to be sizing up my downhill chip shot like a tiny caddie. I ran it four feet past the hole. This drew more yipping – from both of us.
Me: “You know the Humane Society will give you a perfectly good dog for like a couple hundred bucks, right?”
Morkie Man seemed unimpressed. He explained that Morkies have been a tradition in his family since the late 1990s.
“We had one when the kids were growing up,” he explained. “My son and daughter have male Morkies. And now we have Khaleesi.”
Who was emitting a peanut-sized pellet of something while her owner spoke.
“She does seem smart,” I observed. “At least she didn’t go in the line of my putt.”
“It’s a coveted cross,” Mr. Dog Walker explained. “Some folks pay far more than we did. People even finance them, or lease-to-own. Though we just buy.”
Later, I did some online research. People do in fact lease dogs, though not in California or Nevada, which have outlawed dog leasing.
Financing a Morkie through a pet loan remains legal, however. I’m unclear on how the repossession laws work, though. Nor was I clear about the speed of my putt, which I tried to time in between Morkie yips.
My ball came up approximately two Khaleesis short.
“That’s unfortunate,” said the man with the $4,000 dog the size of a cantaloupe. “Double bogey, right?”
I nodded. “How long do Morkies live?” I wondered.
“Our first one lived 12 years,” he explained. “That’s about average for Morkies, I’d guess.”
Not if I see Khaleesi again it won’t be.
David Leibowitz has called the Valley home since 1995. Contact email@example.com.