Wednesday, August 27, 2014 Update
To be honest, we were perfectly content with the two canine sets, male and female, over twenty-seven (27) years with our "chosen" breed, Kuvasz.
But the latter set was beginning to experience some aging health issues and we wanted to make certain there were dogs in our lives.
So, some devoted Internet searches and phone calls targeted for adult Kuvasz ended up with a Virginia breeder we have known for years that housed Leonberger and Kuvasz . She was willing to part with a adult female Kuvasz if it turned out she was not pregnant but suggested we look into that other breed, Leonberger. Ugh!
My wife, Janet, always wanted to seek out rescue dogs so once again I hit the Internet sites and lit up the phone lines as well seeking an elusive "young female" Leonberger rescue. No such luck! But we learned of, through Ann Duyster, of this, shall we say more mature, adult in Santa Fe, NM. Living in Denver it was only a six hour drive to Santa Fe and the town is worth the trip. So we were in the car and off.
Those of you dog people know that one does not "go to look at a prospective dog" without returning home with that dog. So we adopted seven year old Sadie. On the return drive to Denver Sadie did not once look at us but only stared out the rear window of the station wagon. Like she was saying, "I miss Santa Fe!" Our thoughts were, how long will this seven year old puppy mill dog have? As it turned out, with 20 x 20 hindsight, this choice became one of the best family decisions we had made. Oh, Sadie had her issues with needed ear cleaning surgery shortly after her arrival in Denver. Did I mention heartworm? The next year we had to send to Europe for the medication to treat her heartworm. She made it through that with flying colors.
Two years later we learned of perhaps a more damaging issue than heart worm. Nine year old Sadie had lumps on her mammary glands and needed surgery to remove the lumps which proved benign. Wait, Sadie turned eleven this year and now we have had the pleasure of having her around one or two years longer than we thought. Guess what, more lumps and now cancer has raised its ugly calling. More surgery but they got all of it. Sadie is cancer free again. The, "Queen," as she is now known is on a strict diet of shall we say "people food" and natural supplements to keep the cancer at bay.
Quickly back to the advise of Agi Hejja, the Virginia Leonberger/Kuvasz breeder. We ended up acquiring two (2) one year old male & female siblings from Jean Boggie. I only mention that since the Queen runs the house. I am an aging runner that requires these three dogs accompany me on outings or should that be reversed? The Queen, at her age keeps up, sort of. Her mind set is, "I'll get there when I get there." It's not uncommon for the two young and frisky dogs and my wife and me to conclude either a long hike or trail run and have Queen Sadie show up minutes later. The Queen is the only one allowed off lead on trails.
It was fearful and entertaining a few weeks back when we bumped into wildlife (the reason the kids remain on lead) and a coyote was not happy we were trespassing and he or she was right. "Dammit," I said this is not good since a still active Sadie is free but outweighed Mr. Coyote by I am certain 50 lbs. Sadie, it turns out, could care less that Mr. Coyote was in her face chirping. She stared him down and looked at me and said, "Continue" and "I'll get there when I get there."
Sadie enjoys being part of her pack. She'll insist on doing everything with us but also insist that she never be alone. Her two buddies need to be part of whatever she does and wherever she goes. That includes her vet visits to cure those aforementioned ills. She has that motherly behavior and will romp through the yard with her housemates guarding the property. Her routine roll after meals has become comical as we note her barrel rolling after each meal.
We're optimistic the Queen will see her twelfth birthday in 2015. Should that occur I'm happy to share that with all. The Queen has made us glad we sought out another breed to share our home. It's not better or worse but different. We have had many people tell us over the years that adopted and or rescue dogs make the best pets. The Queen has proven these folks accurate. Sadie has been the best one could hope for given what she has gone through and her loyalty is unwavering. We would get another.