Saturday, September 19, 2009
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.