Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Vizsla's personality helps in hard times

Over the years I have lived with many dogs. Growing up, my folks had Miniature Poodles. Not exactly Lassie for a young boy. Then there was a period for me from about 10 until 22 that I was dogless.

My wife and I have had a stray Lab mix, a couple pound Springer Spaniels, and a couple Cocker Spaniels.

Our last dog was a "puppy mill" Cocker named Houston. Our youngest daughter fell in love with this little 8-week-old ball of blond fur in the pet store at the mall. She was just starting kindergarten. Houston lived with us until that same daughter went off to college.

After 25 years of dogs, we needed a break.

Fast forward seven years to the summer of 2007, when both daughters got married.

After the weddings we found ourselves looking for a dog.

We did our homework this time studying breeds. This time we wanted to know as much as we could about the pup that would live with us for 12 or more years.

We got Chloe first, and then 10 months later, we got Bailey. Both from small family breeders whose intention was to create the best Vizslas possible from good, stable, and healthy parents.

Sunrise's Bona Fida Chloe and Highlander's Bailey's Wildest Dream are those creations.

We had never gotten our dogs like this before. The dog pound or mall pet store was the norm. What a difference!

These Vizslas have a character that I have never felt with another breed.
The closeness to us they want and the desire to please their masters has made owning these two dogs a different experience.
Almost every moment I am around these wonderful creatures I count as special times.

We, as owners, also had to get to that place in our lives where we could give our dogs the love and attention they needed to thrive.

As a friend pointed out, "Vizslas are not a pet but a lifestyle".
I couldn't agree more.

Now we have a new addition to the bigger family.
Slowly we are introducing this next generation to the wonderful world of dogs.

Our family just lost a family member this week from complications of old age. These are the hard times.

A long walk with Chloe and Bailey in the hills and valleys helps ease the pain and gets me out in nature where I can see that life goes on.

My trusting dogs by my side, or in the case of Bailey, in the general vicinity.


Radar Red Dog said...

Hey Rod - what a lovely post...everything you say about vizzies is spot on...bless 'em! If you're interested, Radar's now got his own blog - guess what I've been doing while John's been away!

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures

Where is the Header pic taken ? The place (and dog) look so beautiful ....


Rod Michaelson said...

The top picture is from Morro Bay, California. The dog running across the sand is our Bailey.

Heather T. said...

This is so very true. Not only does my viszla hold up to the breeds' nick name of "Velcro viszla" (because she is always at my side) in the physical sense, but she's the most loyal,loving, and tender spirited dog I've met. She does have a very playful side too. She's been through so many of life's ups and downs with me for the past 12 years and I'll be absolutely devastated when she leaves this earth, but I'm truly grateful that God made these beautiful, loyal, energetic creatures and that He blessed my life with one!

Anonymous said...

I've been in Bernese Mtn. Dog rescue since 1998. The only kind of dog that's ever been in my house (to live with DH and me) has been a Berner or Berner X. Until this week, when I'm pet-sitting a Viszla (Vizsla?) puppy approx. 7 or 8 months old while his owners are away for the holidays. He came here last Sunday and will return to his people the 26th.

Whoa. I've had two older Berner puppies--one via rescue, the other via being a back-up for any puppy from that litter whose original family didn't come through--and even though they were quite energetic, and the first one was very "chewy," what with our door frames, chair legs, linoleum kitchen floor, a pair of my glasses, the usual shoes, and an electric blanket that was plugged in but fortunately not turned on all being chewed thoroughly, neither Berner pup (16 weeks for the girl, 22 weeks for the boy) was *anything* like the live wire this V. puppy is!

Can I chew this? No.
Oh. What about this? No.
Maybe this?
Etc. And all within maybe 10 seconds!

And he *has* a raw beef bone and a chew-able soft toy, as well as a chew-able cardboard box and other doggie-type items for chewing. To protect my belongings and my cats, I'm using tie-downs with this puppy, as well as having him sleep in his bed inside an ex pen at night.

The Destroyer Puppy. The Everlastingly Energetic Puppy. Red Pup. As well as nicknames based on his real name.

He's very smart: I've hand-fed him his three meals a day and differentiated between "Take It" and "Wait," followed by "Take It." Each of these has its own hand position, open or closed. Last night (Thursday, 17 December 2015) I fed him his dinner using only hand signals, no oral commands. He was flawless, even though I'm pretty sure his people hadn't shown him these signals before.

We're still working on Off! (i.e., don't jump up) as well as Stay and Leave It.

How long does this puppy craziness last? Berners are goofy all their lives, but the complete puppy wildness moderates at about 18 to 24 months, esp. for the girls.

Just had to get these questions out to someone who knows the breed. The owners are on the other side of the Atlantic and I'm in California, so calling them by phone isn't a great plan given the time differences.

Thank you!

El Cerrito Dog Mom

Rod Michaelson said...

El Cerrito Mom, Great questions and you are close to Walnut Creek where Bailey and Chloe live. Also on many Sundays there is a Vizsla Walk at Point Pinole. There are times when there will be 25 Vizslas running free off leash as we humans hike through the park. Talk about energy. As I type this my eight year old girl and seven year old boy are doing their cage match in the living room. They love to play with each other and play fight often. Vizslas need open spaces to thrive. The puppy stage goes til about 3 for males and 2 for females. If you want to hike Briones Regional Park while you are watching this Vizsla drop me a line to
Happy trails