The past two nights spent sitting in front of my television were as close to heaven as I could get without actually being in NYC for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. I posted pictures in 2007 of my top dog picks, and I wrote about my favorites in 2008, here. I was so interested to look back at these blog entries and see the list of dogs I chose then compared with this year's choices. Although I still adore the ones I pictured in 2007, just one of them is on this year's list. And from the 2008 post, I've eliminated all but two. I think it shows how I have changed, and how our life has changed over the past years. Margaret and Matthew building their house down the road is a factor. If there are grandchildren someday, it is imperative that I can completely trust a dog with them. And as much as I would love a Scottish Deerhound or Irish Wolfhound or a Great Dane, their size could prove overwhelming to a little one.
Our dog family has changed as well. In that February of 2007 as I watched the Dog Show, we had three dogs. Then our MacIntosh died six months later. We lived with the two blacks, Ben and Sadie, until last month when we lost our Ben. Now we have one. We've had only one dog for just two periods of time since 1973, the last time being, 1984-89; a Belgian Sheepdog named Lucy. Other than that we've always had two or three, and for a short glorious time we had four. I posted about our 'dog stats' here if you are interested in reading about our 38 years of dogs.
I've written oftentimes about our dear Sadie, and how she truly is a one-family dog. Well, we think that goes for other dogs as well. She did fine as a puppy, coming into a household which had three adult dogs. But now, she is the alpha, the only, and I fear she wouldn't accept another dog at this time of her life. So Tom and I have made the decision that we will get no more dogs until she goes. Then we will get two or maybe three puppies so our life can be wild again!
And so, without further ado, here are the dogs that made my 'best in show' this year. After the show, I researched the breeds to make certain they were the right dogs for us.
From the Herding Group:
Smooth Collie -
This is a definite for us. We barely had two good years with our dear MacIntosh before he became epileptic, and then he only lived another five more. We had him groomed (shaved) every few weeks because his coat was so much work. The Smooths are the same dogs as the Roughs, minus the coat. These dogs are wonderful with children and the dearest souls you can imagine.
Icelandic Sheepdog -perfect for my new found love of this country. Maybe I'll name him Erlendur!
From the Sporting Group:
Flat Coated Retriever -the only purebred who had a bit of the same look as our Ben - and I love the description of having a tail that never stops wagging.
From the Working Group:
Great Pyrenees - strong possibility. 'loves children. gentle.'
Leonberger - 'calm, graceful, loving family dog' and for such traits I could put up with 'sheds like crazy.' No drawing but a great photo! This is the next on my list after the Smooth Collie.
If we are very lucky, we will have our Sadie for another five or six years. I wonder if these puppy choices will change in that time. Somehow I don't think so. Each of the ones I've listed is a good fit for us and the way we live. Of course no one can predict the future. In six years, I'll be (gulp!) sixty-nine, but with continued good health, I think each of these dogs would fit into our lives just perfectly, and keep us young as well.