Readers know my life has revolved around dogs for decades. At 15+ I put Ty down two years ago last month, then cared for my ailing mom and finally had to catch up with all sorts of stuff I’d let slip. But now the time has come to strengthen the pack by adding in a second dog.
I’ve looked on Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet and AllPaws. There’s not much in my area. Where I’m from, “rescues” bring up dogs from down south so you have to buy them sight unseen to the tune of around $500-$600. That’s what a friend of mine calls “retail rescue.” Who knows who’s being supported on the other end. Around here? I haven’t found anything remotely like what I’m looking for. Unless you’re looking for a small dog or a pit bull, most pounds are empty.
Despite being a loving and conscientious home for the dogs I’ve shared my life with, most “rescues” won’t even talk to me. Why? ‘Cause Mak’s unneutered. Go figure. They don’t care who I am as a person or what kind of life I could provide, they only care that my dog is intact.
I’ve begun looking in earnest though. I’ve made calls, talked to old acquaintances and ACOs of my past, I’m sounding the trumpets.
You guys have seen how my pit bulls shun the cold. I’m looking for a cold weather dog whose fur is thick enough, and body large enough, to enable her or him to accompany me fireside on winter hikes and campouts.
I camp in the remotest spots I can reach; I’m mostly alone. This new dog will be a protective watchdog. She will alert me when someone is approaching preferably with a soft growl. She’ll wake me if I’m sleeping. She’ll likely be weary of strangers and slow to warm up, but over time deeply loyal and cuddly with me.
Ideally she’d be good around strange dogs though – and I know that’s a tall order given type of breed mixes I’m leaning towards. (Akita, Rotti, Malamute, German Shepherd and Chow or less well-known breeds) Ideally, she’d be an adult, dark colored mongrel. Though I’d certainly like to, I can no longer hike for hours and hours, so her energy level would best be medium.
On a purely emotional level, I have a strong preference for the massive heads of Rottis and Akitas. It’s the first thing I notice. But large heads are a secondary male characteristic and more rare in females.
I love what I’ve read about Caucasian Mountain Ovtcharkas but they’re waaay too big, too fluffy and too aggressive. (I prefer the look of the Central Asian ones.)
Here’re the criteria:
Female or Male (prefer female)
Large broad head
Thick but not very long fur
Cool, or worse, towards strangers
Cuddly, in time, with me
Good/okay with strange dogs
Medium energy level
Sound athletic conformation
Strong presence and personality
Black, brindle or dark fur
I live on the east coast, specifically in the Northeast. I’d strongly prefer to see and visit the dog before taking her in. For the right dog, with many videos and from a known and trusted source I might consider bending on this.
Please let me know of any ideas and/or pass this on to anyone you think might have a suitable companion. I’d very much appreciate it. As a plus, any dog who ends up part of my pack will be posted about very frequently so her/his old family will be able to see her/his in her/his new life.
And of course one of the biggest reasons to get a second dog is so Mak has someone to keep him company and play with before he gets too old for rough and tumble. He and Ty were such good playmates! I know dog play is a tall order given the breed mixes I’m interested in.