Well, Jon and I always said we were a two-dog family. It just works better that way. Jon has “his” dog, Zeke (the German Shepherd mix), and well, my baby was Ty, who we laid to rest two weeks ago. It broke my heart to let him go, but it was the best decision for him and for us. It’s not fair to allow a pet to suffer just so you can spend more time with him. He had a good life, and now he is in doggie heaven, taking naps, eating ice cubes, doing gymnastics, and looking for a sled to pull around.
Jon and I have been looking, just looking at other dogs for about a week. We had no plans on getting another doggie right away. At first we were looking at tamaskans. Tamasksans are a relatively new breed – originating from inported USA sled type dogs and mixed with Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, and German Shepherd, then they were exported to Finland where more recently other sled type dogs have been added to improve the American Tamaskan breed. The purpose was to create a dog that has a ferral (wolflike, wildish) appearance with working ability, and range in weight from 60-80 pounds. We had talked about getting a tamaskan in the future for some time. We love their appearance, and the breeds they come from all our favorites – Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, and German Shepherd. And the kicker was they looked like a wolf. I love everything about wolves. They’re just cool.
Here’s a few pictures of Tamaskans:
As we looked further into getting a tamaskan in the last week, we found that there are very few breeders on the East Coast. And I wouldn’t feel comfortable flying a puppy to me. I would rather drive and get him, hopefully meeting his mom and dad so I can get a chance to see what he will look when he’s all grown up. A few of the breeders weren’t going to have litters anytime soon, but you go on a waiting list for a down payment of $200 – $400, depending on the breeder. The one breeder Jon really liked didn’t do waiting lists – when his doggie got pregnant, he would send out questionnaires for potential owners to fill out and send back in (like an application?). Out of those questionnaires he receives back, he would pick the potential owners he thought would be most suitable for his puppies. To make sure you were serious you would have to put down $200 (nonrefundable). Then he would do (check this out) a credit check, an employment check, a background check “and so on” as he said in his email. I don’t what else “and so on” could possible mean, isn’t that more than enough. I mean, I understand you want your pups to go to good homes, but really? I didn’t feel comfortable with all this background investigation work this man felt he needed to do. I know the tamaskan breeders a tight knit group of people, but this was when we decided to look other breeds.
So, we searched on. Jon was interested in getting a full-blooded German Shepherd. But I told him we already have Zeke. And when the day comes (a long, long, time from now!) when Zeke is no longer with us, then it would time to get a full-blooded German Shepherd. That would be Jon’s dog anyway. We’re looking at options for “my dog” right now :) So, the German Shepherd was out, for now.
Just for fun, here’s a picture of the “perfect” German Shepherd:
I like the big fluffy doggies, so I suggested a Samoyed. Samoyeds are big white fluffy dogs, ranging between 45-60 pounds full size. They are a gentle breed, not good a guard dog, and are very intelligent. I had an American Eskimo, Nevada, when I was younger, which looks very much like a Samoyed, but about half the size. Jon said he didn’t want to get a dog that resembled Nevada. So, the Samoyed was out too.
Here’s a picture of a Samoyed:
Moving on to other possible breeds, we started looking at Alaskan Malamutes. Yes, they resemble Siberian Huskies, but they have their own unique traits and personalities that make them very different. So we started looking into Alaskan Malamutes (NOT Giant Alaskan Malamutes, I’m not crazy, nor do I own a ranch for my dogs to run freely on…) Alaskan Malamutes are largest and oldest of the Arctic sled dogs, possessing great strength and endurance, so they are highly athletic. They have a thick, coarse overcoat, and a lighter undercoat in the winter, with a plumed tail, usually curled over the back. Their colors can range from white, light grey, to black, to sable, and sometimes red. My preference is black and white. They have face markings, including a cap on the head, and a bar or mask on the face. Alaskan Malamutes are majestic and dignified, affectionate and friendly, and make for a great family dog. They can be strong willed, so training is needed. But in my opinion, training is needed with any dog.
Here are some pictures of adult Alaskan Malamutes:
So, the Alaskan Malamute, was this to be our next puppy? Jon and I started looking online for Alaskan Malamute puppies. We saw lots of puppies available in far away states, but not too many available nearby. But then I saw a cute little male puppy, in Pennsylvania. He was adorable. Gorgeous. Perfect. So I sent an email inquiry about him to the kennel. I received an email back Saturday morning saying he was still available and we could come up that day to look at him, and his parents if we wanted to.
Here is the picture the stole my heart away:
So, what did Jon and I do?
Got directions, hopped in the car and headed for Pennsylvania, of course.
What else did you think was going to happen?
Now, you’ll just have to wait for the next post about the little Alaskan Malamute puppy that stole my heart away.