DOGS ARE FAMILY
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Over the last few decades, there has been public outcry over different breed dogs. Dobermans, Chows, Rottweilers, German Shepherd naming just a few. Currently, the breed of choice is the Pitbull. In my opinion is that any dog can be a love bug or aggressive depending on the person that owns them. How they are trained or treated. Also, there is a big difference in dogs between an aggressive dog and a protective dog.
Now comes Jake. After my wife lost her Newfoundland, even though she got a replacement dog, she kept an eye out for another Newfoundland. One weekend we were heading to Tucson, she found a Newfie available at the Humane Society of Tucson. So, we made a stop at their facility to look at the Newfie. When we got there, we found out that the Newfie was no longer there. Since we were there anyway, we decided to go back and look at what they had on hand. I was looking since I recently lost Einstein after almost having him for sixteen years.
As we wandered through the facility, we saw several dogs that showed some interest, but none hit that special place in my heart. A true dog lover understands that feeling. As we were leaving the cage area, I spotted a nose sticking out from behind the exit door. I pulled the door forward and spotted Jake. Jake was a white and tan pit about thirty pounds. As soon as our eyes met, we knew we were made for each other. We took him out in the meet and greet yard to see how he was going to respond. He attached himself to me immediately. Jake understood most of the basic commands and I could hold his attention easily.
After a little discussion, my wife and I decided to take him. We went in and filled out the forms for the adoption. The employee asked for some identification I gave him my driver’s license. His eyebrows raised as he noticed I had a New Mexico residence. This was at the time we had our little ranch in the middle of western nowhere New Mexico. My wife leaned over and whispered in my ear that they weren`t going to let us have him. I replied no worries we aren’t done yet.
You could see in his eyes that he was considering denying us the adoption. As he started to stutter, I said that he should go check the records on my name. After he gave us a deer in the headlight look, he got up and went back in the office. A few minutes later he comes out with a big smile, finished up the paperwork collected our check and we were out the door with our new family member Jake.
After we were in the truck, the wife asked what he found out in the office. I told her that he found out that I had two previous adoptions both of which were dogs that had been returned multiple times to the Humane Society and considered unadoptable. Going back to my original statement it`s not the dog it is the owner or environment that decides on the temperament of the dog. Also, he found out that I donated money to them every month for 28 years.
On our four-hour drive home, it became clear he was going to be a real snuggler. He quickly adapted to his new home. First thing he learned was that Shadow our black lab was twice as big as he was, and she ran the house period. Secondly, it took about a week before he knows that he did not need to gobble his food because his food bowl would never be empty. I believe in open feeding. He also learned not to get in Shadow`s food bowl.
Jake was definitely a lover not a fighter .We would joke about that if anyone would break into our house, Jake would greet them, lick them, ask them what they were looking for, take them to it and offer to carry it out for them.
He was always good for a laugh with his easy-going disposition. Had the longest tongue I had ever seen in hi size of dog. He used it in excess, by making sure you got a complete bath. Unfortunately, we only had Jake for about four years. He developed cancer and died at about seven years of age. (The Humane Society and our vet both guessed his approximate age.)
I believe he had a very rough start if life, but we gave him a good life after coming to our home. I know he gave us a lot of laughs, love and enjoyment.
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As I stated in part one, we breed Anatolian Shepherds, it was fun to watch the puppies as they grew. Almost every night we had coyotes would come running through the property looking for food. Standard procedure of the dogs would be like this. The puppies would run over to the fence and line up along the fence in the same place barking their little heads off. Mom would be walking back and forth about three feet behind them making sure everyone stood their ground while the coyotes came running along the fence. Dad would sit about ten feet behind them just watching what was going on. The other female would gather up the goats and stand guard by them. When the coyotes came running back on the other side of the property, all the dogs would run to the other side line up in the same order and make their presence known. After the coyotes disappeared, the male would walk the perimeter to verify that the danger was gone.
One time a bobcat jumped into the corral; the adults had the bobcat cornered within a couple of minutes. They did not attack the cat, but they blocked the cat from making any further advancements into the corral. Finally, the bobcat decided it was in its best interest to hop over the fence and depart.
If we had a client come to our home to look at the pups. We would watch the male in how he reacted to our guest. There were a couple of times we decided not to sell because of his response to their visit.
We sold dogs all over the US. We met people have way. They came and picked at our home, these were my favorites, no traveling. Took dogs to the airport and flew them across the country. Also, did not know until we got into the business, That there are people who drive all over the country picking up and delivered dogs.
Years ago, my wife and I were breeders of Anatolian Shepherds. These dogs are amazing. They are considered a working-class dog. Originally, they came from Turkey where they would work with shepherds protecting their livestock. We did sell a couple of dogs who were going to be house dogs, but this was not a good fit. These dogs get bored easily.
Anatolians want and need a job to do. It`s funny to say this, but they get bored and moody when they don`t have a job to do. We had some goats to use for training and keep the adult dogs something to take care of.
When we first got to our country home, I took the male on a leash and walked the perimeter of the area he was to oversee. After a week of this exercise, he knew exactly the boundaries of his territory. He never got any ambitions of straying outside of his work area. Furthermore, when a predator would enter the property, he would chase it off and stop at the property line.
Living in a high desert region, we had many different visitors. Our visitors included javalina, bears, coyotes, skunks, bobcats and even for a few months we had a mountain lion in the area. They would protect their charges without ever giving an inch.
Once we started having litters the corrals and outbuildings broken into specific areas. The nursery for the newly born. Then they moved to the next area to get a bigger area to start learning their jobs. Finally, they would be put in the general population. We did not to have to do any training. All the training was done by the adults.
To be continued
When my wife and I got together, I had two dogs both in the 80-100lb range, she had a lab/newfie mix. The private party that she got him from I think lied to her about his parentage. When I first met Rummy, I saw no lab in him at all. He had a large chest, massive head, gigantic webbed feet and long curly black hair. When he arrived at my house, he was already 100lbs and when he passed, he was 180lbs.
Rummy was a real character. He was one big love bug. Everyone that he met he wanted to be their best friend. Of course, when my wife would take him for a walk people would change directions or move to the other side of the street. I would probably be doing some decision making myself if I saw a lady coming towards one walking a baby bear.
Rummy was the most laid-back dog I ever saw. Nothing got him angry, he was early going just wanted to be given attention. He wanted four things in life, pet him, talk to him, feed him and leave plenty of room on the floor for him to lay down.
Never a leader, always the follower. When the dogs went outside it was always the same order. Einstein, Shiloh and bringing up the rear was Rummy. Coming back in he was always the last. My wife always wondered if anyone would attack her what he would do. I always believed he was so loyal to her that he would defend her at all costs.
Even though you might have had many dogs through your life there is always that one dog that stands out as your all time favorite. In Rummy`s case he was and will always be my wife`s all time favorite dog. With his laid back, loving, easy going personality I can understand why she always keep Rummy in her heart in first place. Unfortunately, Rummy was only 5 ½ years old when he passed away.
When my wife and I decided to start breeding dogs we chose to buy our stud first. My wife`s niece, however, when she started chose to get only females and not her own stud. Reflecting on those years of breeding, I have a few thoughts about our business plan.
Being fortunate, we found a good stud. Through the years, he gave us some beautiful puppies. We were breeding Anatolian Shepherds. These dogs are a working-class dog. Very large dogs, our stud was 130 lbs. and we had a female that was 150 lbs. One of their offspring ended up weighing right about 180 lbs. when he was full grown.
Having your own stud for breeding gives the advantage of knowing what type of pups you will get. The drawback to this plan is that you will not to keep purchasing females after your current females end their breeding tenure. You never want to over breed a female for the fact it is not good on the dog and you will start having medical issues with the litters. Another factor that we did not consider was the fact that when a female went into heat keeping the stud away from her if we did not want to breed her that cycle was tuff, Once we had a female, all she wanted to do was to have litters of pups. Once the two of them tunneled under two sets of fencing from both sides so they could get together.
Reflecting, if I were to do it over, I would not have bought a stud at the beginning. Furthermore, I would not have gotten both females from the same breeder. In doing so it limited my ability to create a long lineage of breeding pairs. In my do over I would have paid stud fees and have both females matched up with different studs on the first round would have given me multiple pairings in the future.
As I had told in previous article, Einstein was a very quiet dog. He would approach people without barking or growling. His being stealthy did cause some concern for me. I never worried about anyone breaking into my home, but with Einstein`s trait of not barking a lot, my concern was he would introduce himself to the unwanted guest before he would wake me up.
Once I had a couple of friends from California that came to Tucson for work one weekend. Instead of staying at a hotel they asked if they could stay at my place. One used the guest bedroom and the other crashed on the couch.
The second night about two in the morning I was awakened by noises coming from the living room. Hearing crashing sounds, I started to get out of bed, when Einstein came trotting in the bedroom and laid down on the opposite of the bed. Everything went quiet, so I went back to sleep.
In the morning, I asked my friend what had happened. This is what he related to me.
He said that he stayed up late watching a movie, finally turning off the TV about 1:30 in the morning. Falling asleep shortly afterwards, he awoke because he could not breath. When he opened his eyes, he saw was two eyes and a nose about two inches from his face. Einstein was sitting on his chest and had his front paws pinning down his shoulders. That when he jumped up Einstein and he crashed into the coffee table. I guess Einstein was just checking out who was sleeping in the living room.