Next dog daydreaming…

Beautiful Australian shepherd with a tail. Click for source.

Do you ever daydream about your “next dog”? I admit that I do, every now and then… Disclaimer: Pyrrha is perfect for us right now. I can’t imagine a better dog for us. Seriously. We will not get another dog for a long time, but I’m obsessed, so of course I think about the next canine addition to the pack from time to time.

Here’s my shortlist of dogs I’d consider bringing home, in the distant future:

  • A happy GSD male from Southeast German Shepherd Rescue who was good with small children. (This is probably our most likely second addition, only because I still follow SGSR’s rescue page with avid interest and want every third dog they post…)
  • Any ol’ rescue puppy! Preferably with a shepherd or collie heritage.
  • An English shepherd. I met a photographer here in town who has one and he’s crazy about her; got his puppy from a breeder in North Carolina. They appeal to me because of the way they are bred, their comparative rarity (leading to better health lines), their energy level being a notch down from an Aussie, and the fact that they have tails.
  • An Australian shepherd with a tail. As mentioned above, I’ve come to the conclusion that tails are really important and that it’s unfair to rob a dog of a tail purely for looks, particularly since our future Aussie would not be working cattle. Where do people find Aussies with tails, though??
  • A Large Munsterlander. My husband fell in love with one of these when he was farming in Europe and has been hankering after one ever since. They are rather hard to come by in the U.S., however.
  • An English setter. I’ve always liked the look of English setters, for whatever reason. They’re also apparently becoming rather rare as well. We have friends here who have a very sweet Llewellin setter whom I’m also quite fond of (you could mistake him for an English setter, were it not for his smaller size).
  • A Belgian sheepdog or Belgian tervuren. Are they a little more low-key than the malinois? I don’t actually know. I do know that I could never handle a malinois, but I love the look of these Belgians particularly.

I’ve already decided that I want to rescue some greyhounds when we’re older, too, maybe once our future and non-existent children are out of the house. (In my wildest daydreams, I also have a borzoi, but I don’t think I’d ever actually get one…)

An English shepherd. Click for source.

I am so ridiculous. Does anyone else have a similar “next dog” shortlist?

Until one has loved an animal

An English lady and her borzoi. Click for source.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

Anatole France

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Happy weekend, everyone! It’s going to be a dog-filled one for me: Running with Bo, volunteering at the SPCA, and then meeting Ozzie, a young GSD who belongs to our church secretary. Excited!

Gallery of hounds

Can you tell that I’m very partial to sighthounds? I adore them and yet they are extremely mysterious to me. I feel like I don’t understand them at all, but I want to. Some years down the road, I’m quite serious about adopting a former racing greyhound. Reading Tales and Tails also makes me believe that it would be possible for two such divergent dogs as a German shepherd and a greyhound could happily and peacefully coexist.

(Click on a photo to be taken to its source.)

Borzoi

Borzoi

Gypsy Rose Lee and her Afghan hound

Afghan hound

Greyhounds

Greyhound

Saluki

Saluki in the snow

Irish wolfhound

Irish wolfhound

Poem: “This little Hound within the Heart”

Model with a borzoi. Source: Mr. Harris Tweed

What shall I do–it whimpers so–
This little Hound within the Heart
All day and night with bark and start–
And yet, it will not go–
Would you untie it, were you me–
Would it stop whining–if to Thee–
I sent it–even now?

Emily Dickinson

Pup links!

There's a borzoi on my bed. Source: Design*Sponge

Dog-related links from around the Web this week…

Dogster Picks: Apple-Picking Pals. There is a beautiful mountain apple orchard just a few miles from our house here. This fashion post makes me excited about taking our future dog there! (Miles to Style)

My Favorite Equipment. Basic picks from a German shepherd trainer. (Raising K9)

He Was Not Too Happy. Oh, the perils of hiking in the fall! (Shirley Bittner)

I’m A Little Occupied. A selection of beautiful fan art for artist Camilla Engman’s widely beloved terrier, Morran. (Camilla Engman)

Who Needs Fall? Nothing merrier than dogs frolicking in the snow. But, snow, already?? (No Tails of a Nutty Mutt)

Here Are 36 Bald Dogs… EXPOSED. A funny collection of photographs of dogs in wigs. (Best Week Ever)

Pup links!

Alex the borzoi and his lady, the Princess of Wales. Source: the3goobers.blogspot.com

A few dog-related links from around the Web:

Literary Pets. Naturally, I love this: A post about famous writers and their menageries of pets. (50 Watt)

6 Other Animals Dogs Will Adopt. Why are stories about animals adopting other animals so heartbreakingly adorable?? (The Hydrant)

Who Said Dogs Can’t Fly? More from The Hydrant! A fun photo series of dogs in flight. (The Hydrant)

Two Brunettes + Pretty Pet Portraits. Sleek, modern pet portraits by a new design firm. Very adorable, even if the designers don’t use spell check. (Pawsh Magazine)

The Nail Wars. Patricia McConnell discusses how to clip a dog’s nails without causing panic and terror. (The Other End of the Leash)

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Chows. Gorgeous black-and-white photographs of the famed painter, walking through the desert with her chows. (Dog Art Today)

Breed love: Borzoi

Borzoi just waiting for you to take his picture. Click for source.

The borzoi, also known as the Russian wolfhound, is an undeniably fashionable dog. They are scattered throughout the portraits of the rich and famous in the early 20th century. These shaggy, elegant giants were especially popular among wealthy women in the 1920s, because they looked fabulous with every ensemble. At the very least, you would attract a lot of attention with a pair of borzois at your side.

These gentle and quiet-natured sighthounds were once used by the Russian royalty to hunt wolves, although it would be quite unlikely to find a borzoi hunting today. Today, you’d be most likely to meet one in a show ring. They are still quite rare in the United States and you would pay a pretty penny for a purebred borzoi.

Borzoi
Racing borzoi. Source: Flickr user wolfhound

Borzois, like other sighthounds, are not known for being champions of the obedience ring. In fact, many owners will find them very difficult to train. This is not because, as Stanley Coren posited, they are unintelligent, but rather because they are uninterested in learning what you’d like to teach them. Unlike the highly trainable herding breeds, hounds are notoriously stubborn and sighthounds in particular are famously aloof.

Despite the challenges to training, borzois make great house pets and probably won’t give you half the trouble that one of the highly trainable breeds, like border collies or Australian shepherds, would. They are clean and quiet and almost catlike in their affectations. I’d be open to owning a borzoi one day if the opportunity ever presented itself.

Borzoi links: