Why do people end up living with a particular pure breed dog for several if not many dog generations? Now there are a lot of answers to that question to do with breeding and blah blah but what I’m thinking about is the one involving falling in love with a particular breed.
How does that happen? Maybe some people don’t actually fall in love at all. But some like me, do. I grew up with Shetland Sheepdogs. They are great. I loved them. But for some reason as a grown up I really liked the idea of having a “proper” dog – a BIG dog. What a load of rubbish, clearly I was not a grown-up at all.
I had never noticed ‘snow dogs’ before or paid any particular interest to Siberian Huskies or Malamutes. Even in my childhood Puffin book of Pet Dogs encyclopedia I hadn’t marked that page.
But one day in Sydney, Australia, (yeah, not Alaska) I saw a gigantic rug lying stretched out on the pavement outside a shop. Turned out it was an Alaskan Malamute. WOW! Said my heart. And that was it. Wish I knew that dog’s name now.
Next thing I’m in a video shop (yes, some years ago) and I hear this weird, kinda alarming sound coming from outside the shop. Or was it an in-store screening of Chewbacca in Stars Wars?
I tentatively made my way towards the sound and whoa, of course, it was a chatty Malamute woo-wooing to his person to hurry the heck up in there.
The love deepened. The clincher to my lifelong devotion came when a beautiful Malamute called Cujo put both his paw on my waist and gave me a squeeze hug.
Still I wonder how I ended up a Malamute person. I love all dogs, I mean I really see the fabulousness in all of them. I like the dependable working ones, the ugly ones, the frou-frou tutued ones, the yappy and even snappy ones. I like pit bulls and mastiffs, yorkies and ratters, three-legged ones, one-eyed ones, collies, mutts, mixed breed on and on. I know I could have happily lived with any dog.
It’s a funny thing because I know some people go with their family breed. Like their family has always ‘kept’ spaniels or beagles and I guess you end up knowing them really well and that’s what you want.
Or is it just an irrational love thing? I’m not talking about when you go to the pound or shelter and fall in love, that’s a different thing altogether, that’s to do with the energy of that particular dog, or their back story even.
And then there’s also the different thing of suddenly finding yourself with dog because of various happenstance.
Can I just say that at the same time there is definitely a correlation between dog breed and people. You see this most obviously at dog shows. My favorite picture is the Great Danes lying all over each other in a pile and their people every bit as easy-going and kinda King Dog super-confident!
I have to say as a long-time cat rescuer, I felt more than a little guilt taking in a pure breed dog over a rescue dog. And even still I feel like a right hypocrite advocating getting a rescue pup of any description over a pure breed dog from a reputable breeder. (Don’t ever buy a dog from a pet shop!) But what about the heart-fluttering attraction to a particular breed thing? I’d love you to share what happened with you and your breed and how you came together.