Y’all may notice that my profile picture and most of the thumbnails I leave for blog hops have a dog on them. That is my Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Heinrich. Thanks to him, I will be experiencing some emotional pain this week. Let me explain…
We made a horrible mistake when we lived in North Carolina. We got a Boxer without doing a whole lot of research on the breed and never meeting any in real life. She was ENERGETIC, to say the least. She was just too bouncy and wired for the little bitty kids we had in the house and she needed that worked off to avoid being destruction to the house. The final straw was that she became deathly afraid of my husband. He didn’t discipline her, he was gone too much. He wanted to rough house with her, but it got to the point where she would pee whenever he called to her. This is not a good sign, so we found a home that loved the Boxer breed and I spent a night crying on my bed.
We spent months pouring over dog breeds after that. We wanted a dog that would be a visual deterrent (remember hubby is gone sporadically, I need something to scare the ‘bad guys’ away), we needed a dog who would be very tolerant of 4 young kids (we didn’t know #5 was coming at this point), and we needed him to be a ‘whole family’ type of dog. Hubby and I also like large dogs, so we settled on 2 breeds: Swissie or Rhodesian Ridgeback. The Ridgeback needed intentional socialization to be happy with all folks and I wasn’t sure being a Chaplain family that we could have a dog that would not accept all the folks who wander into our yard and home. So the Swissie it was.
We spent an afternoon playing with this breed outside of Kansas City and placed a deposit down on a puppy. That first puppy died during the birthing process, it was so hard to hear that news over the phone. We called another breeder and transferred the deposit to another puppy. While we were discussing litters and delivery dates, the breeder thought we would be a great fit for a 5 month puppy she was keeping for shows and a Championship. The kids had already been playing with this critter in the yard and he was a true sweetheart with my youngsters. Heinrich didn’t quite jump into the van, but he willingly followed this loud brood to our home in Manhattan, KS.
From there his 40lbs turned into 115lbs, he cut his teeth on the spindles of our rental house deck, he shed all over my floors, and weaseled into my heart. He lets the kids jump on him, pull his tail, attempt to stuff things into various holes… all without biting or nipping. He runs with the kids and whimpers when they leave the yard, out of his eyesight. I can’t explain to you how perfect this dog is for our home.
Due to the move and the nature of our trek across the country, we called the breeder and asked if she would hold him over the summer so we could get settled. She said yes,, and she hopes to finish his Championship this summer as well. The shocker for me was that the breeder had found a person heading her direction not at the end of the month, but tomorrow… Thursday. I knew he would be gone this summer, and I was okay with him skipping all the stress of travelling thousands of miles, but I was not prepared to let my movie buddy, my morning coffee companion, my school desk foot warmer, my 130lbs furr-baby go so soon. But he is going to be part of a pack again and he will be running around the cattle farm again having a country dream lifestyle… for a dog. But oh my goodness, I am going to miss him sooooo much!!