The Transylvanian Griffinfinch
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
By Michele Welton.
Copyright © 2000-2014
The Transylvanian Griffinfinch (pronounced transylvanian griffinfinch) is a bizarre dog breed who is somewhat frustrating to live with.
If you want a dog who...
- Looks like a cartoon drawing
- Doesn't cost anything other than printer ink
- Is flat, so doesn't take up much space
- Comes in different sizes, from postage stamp to legal size
- Comes in any color you have on your paper shelf (if you have only white paper, remember that crayons and markers are FULL of color)
- Weighs almost nothing, unless you print him on an anvil
- Doesn't shed, chew things, dig holes, get into fights, or bark (though he does make sounds.....we'll get to that)
A Transylvanian Griffinfinch may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- A dog who can never be bathed
- Escape attempts on windy days
- Fragility – is easily creased, wrinkled, crumpled, or torn
- Potential paper cuts if you handle him too roughly
- Limited watchdog skills....none, actually
A Transylvanian Griffinfinch may not be right for you.
Good. All the more for the rest of us.
If I were considering buying or adopting a Transylvanian Griffinfinch
I would be most concerned about...
- Health problems. Too many people simply print out a Griffinfinch without understanding how fragile he is.
First, you should print your Griffinfinch (or make sure his breeder prints him) on durable paper, not cheapo photocopy paper.
Second, to keep your Griffinfinch healthy, the most important things to remember are:
- Do not bend, fold, staple, or mutilate him.
- You can seriously crumple a Griffinfinch by sitting on him when he's curled on the sofa.
- Don't pet your Griffinfinch after you've been eating potato chips, else he'll smudge.
- Don't walk your Griffinfinch in the rain.
Griffinfinches should NOT be handed over to mischievous children. That a child "meant well" is little solace to a Griffinfinch who has been folded into a paper airplane and launched skyward. Even worse is the poor little Griffinfinch who is folded into an Origami flower.
- Exercise. Once a week, on a breezy day, take your Griffinfinch to a large open field and let him sail across the meadow. Be careful, though -- if it's TOO gusty, the wind could take him so high that he might be seized by eagles and carried away right in front of your helpless eyes.
Griffinfinch owners who witness such a horrifying spectacle often require counseling.
Remember that Griffinfinches do NOT come when called, so if yours gets too far away, you may have difficulty running him down. If you've "had it up to here" chasing a recalcitrant Griffinfinch on windy days, you might consider a radical surgical procedure that involves a hole punch and a length of string. Needless to say, this should only be carried out under general anesthesia.
A less-drastic solution for a wandering Griffinfinch is to tape him to a sheet of heavy cardboard. Unfortunately, this will cut down on his ability to exercise, so he may become lethargic.
- Training. Griffinfinches are not impressed by treats or praise, and they're oblivious to scolding. If you roll your Griffinfinch into a tube and wrap the leash loosely around him, you may be able to coax him to "come" and "heel". Of course, if he has been subjected to the afore-mentioned surgical procedure involving the hole punch, you can force him to obey you, but then you risk breaking his spirit.
- Escape attempts. Some Griffinfinches, no matter where you put them, will quietly slide off onto the floor, where they will lie silently while you stride around the room searching for them and uttering bad words.
When looking for a missing Griffinfinch, check first under the furniture. They like to hide -- sometimes because they're manipulative, sometimes because they're shy. If you have a shy Griffinfinch, he is more likely to feel secure and stay put if you tuck him inside a manila file folder when you have to set him down.
Alas, some Griffinfinches will NEVER stay where you put them. You may have to "get tough" with stubborn Griffinfinches by weighing them down with a paperweight or attaching them to a clipboard.
You can try a paperclip -- i.e. attaching the Griffinfinch to other sheets of paper -- but a really strong and determined Griffinfinch will simply take the other papers with him. If you find a whole pile of papers hiding under the furniture, and a Griffinfinch is attached to them, don't punish the other papers. Undoubtedly it was the Griffinfinch who masterminded the whole thing, while the other papers simply "went along for the ride."
- Defensive reactions. Speaking of punishing.....if you try to discipline them by handling them roughly, Griffinfinches (more than any other breed) may give you papercuts. If you have a really bad-tempered Griffinfinch and you need to discipline him, I recommend wearing gloves.
- Grooming. Your Griffinfinch's coat can be kept clean of dust and debris by wiping it with a DRY cloth or by blowing gently on it. DO NOT BATHE HIM! Remember what happened to the Wicked Witch of the West!
Your Griffinfinch does not require trimming or clipping unless he has excessive white space around him.
If you make a mistake when trimming your Griffinfinch, you may be able to fix it with tape or glue, but everyone will be able to tell that you messed it up and they will snicker at your oddly-trimmed Griffinfinch behind your back.
- Noise levels. Normally, Griffinfinches are very quiet. But if you harass them by waving them around, they make a flapping noise, and if you crumple them, they make a pitiful crackling sound.
- Lifespan. If you fold your Griffinfinch into a square and leave him in your pants pocket on laundry day, his lifespan will be very short. If you store him in a safe deposit box, he will live for decades. But since most of us like to interact with our Griffinfinches every day, their real lifespan is somewhere in between.
You can lengthen your Griffinfinch's life by slipping him into a clear plastic sleeve, but it may not be much of a life. Think of your poor Griffinfinch peering at the world through a plastic sheet that obscures his vision and hearing and scenting ability. He would be like The Boy in the Bubble.
Please don't have your Griffinfinch laminated. Really, what good is it to have a dog who can't breathe?
If you've decided NOT to get a Transylvanian Griffinfinch, you might be wondering what kind of dog to get instead. My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about choosing and finding a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog!
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Copyright © 2000-2014 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
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