We'd like to dedicate this site to our first mastiff, Aunnie-Moose. She was our first encounter with the mastiff breed - even though she was just 1/2 mastiff. Aunnie came to us as an 8-month-old nervous wreck! She peed if you looked at her "wrong" and chased her tail way too much. Over time, she came to trust us and we loved her - dearly.
She had many names - Aunnie, Aunnie-Moose, Moosie, Moosie Jane [we thought she needed a middle name] - and she answered to all of them. She was everything a dog should be: a loving, faithful, trustworthy companion. She even let us paint her toenails! Emerald green polish was particularly stunning with her apricot coat. One of our fondest memories of her was the speed with which she could catch a pancake in mid air. Dana would flip a pancake her direction in a frisbee-like toss and then - snap, gobble gobble! Three bites and it's gone!
Our second-favorite Aunnie memory is of the odd way she swam. Aunnie didn't figure swimming out until her final year of life. All of the time before that, she would walk into the water, and as soon as she was unable to touch bottom, she would "swim" perpendicular to the water's surface! She loved the water and swimming out to fetch sticks, balls, and squeeky toys!
Our Aunnie-Moose was smart and easy to train. We trusted her with newborn infants and grandparents. She will always be to us The Queen Of Dogs.
This is Buddy -- otherwise known as HairBall. He was purchased from a sled-dog breeder in northern Minnesota. Supposedly, he lineage was from the Makenzie Valley wolves in Alaska. Buddy was SO smart! He was the first dog in our home to be trained to ring bells placed on an exit door's knob when he wanted to go outside.
My fondest memory of Buddy was of his antics on a snowy, cold January night. He "dinged the bells" -- he wanted to go outside. I let him out. A bit while later, I called and whistled for him but he didn't come. Tried again a little later, no response. He had done this before so I knew he could always find his way home. I left his outdoor kennel door open and went to bed. In the morning, I found Buddy in his dog house with a heavy guage stainless steel dutch oven -- lid and all! Somehow he figured out how to drag it home from an unsuspecting neighbor's back step and into his dog house -- where he licked out the contents, which smelled like beef [or vennison] stew! I still have that pot and laugh to myself whenever I use it.
Buddy seldom barked, rarely, in fact. He did howl. Once in a while, he was treated with dairy cream on his dog food [I know dairy is bad for dogs, but, c'mon, it was just once in a while]. Anyway, when Buddy finished eating his dog food with cream, he would tip his head up and howl ever so quietly. We always thought he was saying, "thank yoooooooooooooouuuuuuuuu!"
Chiefer was an odd looking dog we adopted from the local humane society. With a large Chesapeake chest and a little tiny back end it was hillarious to watch him run. The front end did all the work and the back end was just along for the ride. He was a fiercely loyal dog, but, he did like to run from time to time. His breed? Well, he looks like maybe Chesapeake Bay Retriever and either Springer or Brittany Spaniel [on account of his silky fur, longer ears, and skinny rear end]. He psed for the camera at left during his most dignified moment.
Sparky. So much to say about such a small dog! We purchased Sparky because of the kids' TV show Wishbone and the movie My Dog Skip. You're right, Sparky was a Jack Russell Terrier. At times, he was so annoying -- but oh so loveable! He grew up with Buddy -- and I swear -- together, they were the dog equivalent of a rocket scientist! Somehow, they figured out how to tag-team to chase squirrels and chipmunks that were such a nuisance in our yard. During Sparky's life, we decided to buy a ferret, FiFi. FiFi lived in a large cage on top of a storage cabinet. The only way Sparky could get a glimpse of FiFi was to continuously jump up and down in from of the cabinet! Boing, Boing, Boing, Boing! This was an activity he never tired of.