Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gone to the Dogs

Billa is enamored with every pooch she peruses right now.  We're been against getting a dog for some time since we live in an apartment and it takes a lot of time, energy, and patience to train one and we have a cat, but that might change soon.  We're only thinking and dreaming right now, but were we to get one, below are my top six picks (in no particular order).  Also, I just want to mention that this is just a dream list; were we to actually get a dog, I'm 99% certain we'd adopt a pup from our local animal shelter or go through a rescue organization since there are too many good animals without a home.  I strongly encourage folks to look at adopting a dog rather than purchasing one, but adoption isn't for everyone.  If you purchase a dog, please find a reputable breeder and stay away from places like Petland!
1.  Golden Retriever - This was the first breed of dog my parents ever owned after they were married.  Golden Retrievers to me are as American as apple pie and they are wonderful family dogs.  Friendly, sturdy, and I especially loved the ones with reddish coats.  We would name it Strider.
Michael says this dog looks like Falcor from Neverending Story...if this was our dog, we'd probably name him that. 
2.  Black Lab  - After my parents' Golden Retriever ran away thanks to some well-meaning neighborhood kids, they inherited a black lab from one of my dad's law professors.  Her name was Tar Baby and since that wasn't exactly politically correct, she was called TB for short.  TB was like a second mother to my brothers and I.  She never laid a paw on any of us, even when we were rough with her.  In fact, my brother accidentally stuck a pitchfork in her tail and she never snarled at him, not once.  Black labs make wonderful family pets in my opinion, although they can be a bit ahem, "spirited." (Every lab I've known has a penchant for wandering)  And should we ever get one, we would not name it Molly, which is apparently the most popular name for a female black lab.
This grizzled girl looks just like the TB I remember!  [sigh] Memories of my childhood just come flooding back upon looking at this face.
3.  German Shepherd - Our house was robbed twice growing up and after that experience, my mom wanted dogs that left us with a sense of security.  We ended up obtaining two Shepherds, Gretchen and Marshall Dillon (we also had two cats at the time named Chester and Miss Kitty...given that my maiden name is Dillon, the Gunsmoke reference played out nicely :o)  Our dogs went through the same kind of training that police dogs go through and as a result, they were so protective of our family that they had to be chained when visitors called.  Regardless, they were extremely loving dogs and we have such fond memories of playing with them.  Not to mention, they are one of the prettiest breeds of dogs in my opinion; I still find myself oohing and aahing over every Shepherd I see!
This one is the same coloring as Marshall, albeit he's a little less fluffy!
4.  French Bulldog - I fell in love with French Bulldogs when I saw the movie Secondhand Lions (which if you've never seen it, please do, it's such a great movie!).  I don't typically like small dogs, but there is just something about that scrunched up face, big ears, and stocky shoulders that just makes my heart melt when I see one of these.  My initial research has shown that these can be good family dogs too and they are very friendly.  They do have a lot of health problems though, due to their flat faces.  One of their nicknames is "frog dogs"!  I think it would be hilarious to name one Ribbit in reference to that.
How can you not love these faces?  I don't know that I could choose between either one!
5.  Shih Tzu - My aunt and uncle have two of these and they are just the sweetest things ever.  And interestingly enough, not only are they of a sweet temperament, but they don't have fur.  They have HAIR which makes them allergy friendly.  Since my aunt and uncle live in New Mexico, they keep their Shih Tzus short-haired through the year and I like the way they look when they don't have foofy bows in their hair or long coats.  
 Our Shih Tzu would like the one the left...not the Wookiie on the right. that you?

6.  Welsh Corgi - I love love love Welsh Corgis!  Again, big ears just get me.  And how can you not love their long bodies with those short stumpy legs?  And OMG, they are sooo adorable when they lay down and their back legs spread out behind them.  Cute overload!  Corgis are very clever and they were originally bred to be rat catchers in Wales.  They are also very energetic and friendly, and they can be very protective of their families too.  One of the families I use to babysit for had two of them and their only complaint was the shedding, which might be a problem, but I still love these little cuties nonetheless!
I tried to find one with his legs behind him, but I couldn' I overloaded your cute meter with this little guy!
What's your dream pet?

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