Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Day at the Dog Show

What fun! We got up early. Very early. Greg told Ruth last night that if she woke up and it was after 6am and we weren't up yet to wake us up. So, guess how long she made it? 6:04 am! So, we got an early start but I did still get my two cups of mocha in, thank goodness.

We went to this show to research dog breeds, let the kids and Greg interact with some breeds I was familiar with that they weren't and to have a fun day.

Fun? Mission accomplished. We all had a blast. The kids really enjoyed the dogs quite a lot. Gage isn't the biggest dog fan in the world and he really enjoyed it a lot. He even let a dog wash his hand. Aren't Norfolk Terriers adorable?

Norfolk Terrier -- what a cutie

But, totally not the right breed for us. I adore them and their little Norwich Terrier relatives but they are too terrier for us, thank you!

Ruthie had fun too but she prefers the dogs that dive right in and wash your face for you. Here she is getting a bath from a Viszla . . .

This viszla thought Ruthie was sweet!

Our criteria are . . .

Me: temperament, temperament, temperament. I want something sweet, patient, and not particularly yappy. I also don't want a hugely shedding dog. (Labs shed a bit too much for me so anything with a fluffy coat is out . . . no corgis, no malamutes, no samoyeds). I'd also prefer smaller than a lab -- we want this dog fully integrated into our lives which includes going camping with us.

Greg: Mastiff. Protective but not aggressive. No shedding, please.

Gage: a dog that won't like me in the face and jump on me

Ruth: playful, cuddly, sweet, loving, will sleep with me

No problem, right?

Well, I can't get Greg to take Mastiff off the list. Gage likes the Mastiffs too but only because I haven't told him about the drooling issue. That's my biggest problem with a mastiff. But, Greg adores them and pictures like this don't help . . .

Ruthie and Jimmy J the Mastiff
CH Lamar's In It To Win It -- Jimmy J
Gorgeous Mastiff. His coloring is reverse brindle. I absolutely adored him.

For the shedding issue as well as addressing both my size issues and Greg's size issues (ie. I want smaller and he wants larger), I have proposed a Standard Poodle. Greg hates their hair cuts so we really wanted to find one in a not-for-showing-cut. Mission accomplished and we liked it.

Standard Poodle
Greg, Ruthie, and Gage meet a Standard Poodle.

Last on our list (and least in one way) is the Rat Terrier. We have a good friend with one and we adore JJ. He is mellow, patient, smallish but not tiny, loving, quiet, etc. Ratters come in mini (under 13 inches) and standard (over 13 inches) as well as the Decker Giants which go up to about 18 inches. We would want a larger one. This sweet one, Viggo, is not larger but he was so sweet.

So, where are we? What breed are we getting? Have we narrowed it down to size even? Nope. Not even close. I don't see us getting a Mastiff -- no matter how much Greg wants one. And, if I had to put money on it, I'd say that a Ratter is in our future but I'm not positive.

Stay tuned.

Oh, saw a really lovely Snowy Egret today on the drive over. Also took an amazing sunrise shot which will appear in next week's Good Planets Are Hard To Find carnival.


Mary said...

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Mastiffs are cool but I'd like to have room to sit on the sofa...

Boston Terriers have a face that only some people love (how can you resist Chet Baker?). But they are low-shedders, clean smelling, quiet (rarey bark), love to snuggle with you, mine weigh 23 and 24 lbs., they are smart, sweet, athletic, energetic, and very social.

Caution, they are intense face lickers.

robin andrea said...

I keep thinking we should have a dog, so I'm thoroughly enjoying this discussion. Your criteria is like mine. All about temperament. I also want a dog that will walk quietly on a trail and not scare away the wild life. What do you think? Is that all about training, or are there dogs with that kind of disposition inherently?

I take photographs with Good Planets in mind too! I'm glad to read that you do too!

Liza Lee Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liza Lee Miller said...

Mary, I like Bostons and would consider them but my husband is unreasonably prejudiced against smush-face dogs. He won't have it. No idea why -- I think they are adorable! :)

Robin Andrea -- I think it's a combination of training and temperament. Getting a dog that is naturally rambunctious and training it to be calm and patient would be difficult and not particularly fair! So, I want to start with something pretty calm FIRST, thank you! :) Why make it harder on all of us! :)

Susan Gets Native said...

Mary stole my suggestion. If you lived closer to me, Boomer could be yours. He meets all of your criteria, except for the face thing. Smooshy faced dogs are so cool, though.
You are doing it right, looking at many, many breeds first.
I'm sure you will find Mr. or Miss Perfect.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Boomer would be good here -- no cats for us, ever. Last time I had a cat of my own (that was an indoor cat) I landed in the hospital. Wish I were closer!

Greg is funny about the smooshy faces though and I can't figure it out. He's VERY opinionated about all this for someone who doesn't clean up the poop or feed them (or train them or . . . ).

Thanks though. We're really leaning in the direction of a Rat Terrier -- which are much as you describe the Boston except for the smooshy faces. They do not have smooshy faces at all. We'll see though. More research to come.

cattrax99 said...

I would go with the mastiff. I definitely have a soft spot for them and they're great with children. My philosophy in life about most things is that you can never be too informed so if you'd like to know more about the mastiffs and why they're called gentle giants then go here. Thanks for your blog.