I'd like to introduce you to Maizey & Blue, our two companion dogs. It's amazing to me how many times I've been asked whether we are bringing them with us to Spain (answered here). I don't know why that is a question, but I thought that an introduction to these very important family members was in order.
Blue is a 7-year-old Stabyhoun that we got from a breeder in Alaska (I feel the collective vegan jaw clenching, and I have little excuse other than I wasn't vegan when we put our name and money on the breeder's waitlist). Stabijs (correctly pronounced "stah beezj", but in our house "stab-bees") are among the top 5 rarest breeds in the world, with only 450 or so in the US, which is why you've likely never heard of them.
Without hesitation, I can say that Blue is among the best dogs I've ever known; he is sweet, smart, gentle, loyal, and any negative behaviors he may exhibit are due to his humans' poor training abilities. His second favorite activity is lying in bed with C and me, which is only surpassed by his love of chasing critters in our yard. From the Stabyhoun Wikipedia page, "Historically, these dogs were nearly exclusively owned by farmers, whose limited financial means dictated the need for a single farm dog capable as an all-around working, hunting, guard and gentle house breed." We don't hunt, but the description of the breed's qualities is 100% evident in Blue's personality.
Maizey is the anti-Blue. As a 3-year old mix breed, she is all strength and dominance though as sweet as she can be. You cannot love on Maizey without her rolling over on her back for you to scratch her belly. Maizey was the last of her litter at the Humane Society and I am guessing that her overzealous demand for attention might have scared off some people. I keep hoping that with age, her, um, enthusiasm will temper a little bit.
Maizey is also ridiculously strong, like a 45-pound elephant with a whip for a tail. She does not often sleep in bed with us because of her need to constantly have every part of her brawn attached to one of us, but she usually gets in some good snuggles on the sofa each and every day. We love our crazy Maizey.
There was never any question about whether we would include Maizey and Blue in our plans to move--they are family. Having said that, we do need to put in some significant training with them over the next few months to curb some suburban, single-family-home behaviors that won't fly in our new urban, multi-family-apartment life: barking and leash walking are the two that immediately come to mind.
Over Winter Break, our sons' love of YouTube will be used to find good training videos and I hope to update soon on training successes. In the meantime, if you know of any dog training videos that you recommend, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can help Maizey and Blue become great city dogs.