So, when my wife and I picked up our new dog and brought it to her grandmother, the grandmother said I don’t know if she has a name but you should call her Cuddles. The dog, a havanese, was bred by an elderly lady and just lit-up with joy, danced, and wiggled for my wife’s grandmother.
By the next day the grandmother was calling her Wiggle-End. The name surprised us. We don’t know how she thought of that name but it fit perfect. It’s not the dog’s real name but it fits. Our puppy isn’t so good at cuddling and isn’t yet a lap dog. It’s full of wiggly energy and enthusiasm for life. It loves to eat, sniff for food, runs it’s heart out, kill its toys, chew raw hide and bones, sleep, and repeat.
We were amazed the dog won her grandmother’s affection so easily. After sixty-five years my wife’s mother hasn’t been able to get the approval of her 91 year-old mother. But we’re glad at least the dog did, it makes life a lot easier for my wife and I while we are living with her grandmother.
Over the past five years my wife and I have been casually researching dogs. We were looking for a companion dog that would be good in city or country living, great with kids, intelligent, outgoing and sturdy enough to jog or hike. We came upon the havanese and it seem like it might be a good fit. She wanted to meet one first, as neither of us had. This past fall she did and she loved it. I think we hit the nail on the head . As a kid I’d wanted an old english sheepdog and now I feel like I have one–just a little smaller:)
The breed is the havanese named after Havana, Cuba. They were developed in Cuba from bichon-type dogs and were bred for companionship. Their fluffy double coat protest their skin from the sun, but isn’t terribly insulating against the cold. The breed existed primarily in Cuba until the 1950′s when a number were brought by their owners to the United States. The AKC recognized this breed in 1996 and it is currently one of the fastest growing breeds in the states.
My wife and I had hoped to adopt a dog rather than buying one from a breeder since there are so many dogs that need good homes. We found a good mach in the Madison, WI area and contacted the shelter to fill out an application. We weren’t allowed to adopt the puppy since we don’t own our own home and are living with my wife’s grandmother. We decided to go ahead and find a good breeder and purchase a havanese.
We talked with a number of breeder and asked lots of questions. We settled on one where everything felt right, she was in no hurry, and had plenty of time to answer our questions. We settled on our dog who the breeder described as her little buddy. Energetic, entertaining, smart, and eager to please. Since she was already six months old the breeder was able to describe her personality compared to her siblings. We passed over the siblings that were more dominant, shy, and less eager to please.
She is amazing. She’s an 11 pound ball of energy in the morning that loves to play in the snow but soon wears herself out. She likes to nap on the cold fireplace tile for a good part of the day. One thing I’m a little disappointed about, though I know it’s a temporary puppy thing, is that I’ll have to teach her to be a lap dog and a little bit of a couch potato. When I pick her up onto my lap she wants down. I’ve only gotten her to stay for a while by having a few of her kibble in my hand to occasionally reward her with one for lying still.
We’ll work on that. But she’s already getting me ten times more active. I’m running and playing with her outside and I haven’t run in a while. She’s a lot of fun and so cute. She dances on her hind legs to get treats or out of sheer excitement. She also army crawls when she’s playing or being coy to try to get a treat. We use regular kibble or little pieces of cooked chicken breast for treats and she couldn’t be more excited.
She keep tracks of what everyone in the house are up to and constantly sniffs every room out nose-to-the-ground. I can’t help but be a little proud that I ended up with a foodie for a dog. We feed her a half-cup of kibble in the morning and another half in the evening, but all day that dog dreams about food–well to an extent.
I gave her a bath last weekend and blow dried and combed out her hair. I am in love with her hair but my wife and I have both come down with sinus infections this week. I have no idea if it has anything to do with the dog’s dander but we’re afraid it might. This is somewhat regular for my wife, but I’ve never had a sinus infection in my life. Tomorrow I’m taking our dog to get a puppy cut, where her hair is trimmed down to 2″ all around, just incase. I’m sad. The grey tips at the end of her fur are from her puppy coloring and won’t grow back. Our dog is about to get a lot lighter and there’s no going back.
I’m one that likes preserving things. I kept my toys in their boxes as a kid and have a hard time closing off options for good. But here we go. I’m trying to tell myself it’ll be nice to have some shorter fur we won’t have to comb so much. But I know I’d choose aesthetics over practicality any day of the week. I’d comb that long fur every day to have my cute little sheepdog with her cute little badonkadonk. My wife say’s her personality won’t change, so there’s that. I hate to be shallow but I just secretly hope she’ll be just as cute. If not, it will grow back out and hopefully then it won’t bother our sinuses. And that’s a post, I think we’re all tuckered out.