Sally (the boxer), Chovis (the dachsund) and Taza are providing us with more than a few smiles these days. This morning we took the three of them on a walk and then let them run around the park to play. Sally went running at a wall that was 1 ft or so on the approach but 5 ft down on the other side. She fumbled across the wall when she realized what she was getting herself into but managed to land on her feet. After a second of contemplating carrying her weight to the vet, Tim was glad to see her success. Before we could intervene, Chovis then ran straight after her and made quite a jump for a short little dog (also successfully). Taza didn't dare.
Taza, by the way, is growing very quickly. She is of course still a pretty small dog (3 lbs?) but to us seems huge, heavy and tall. We left her with the family when we went to Lake Titicaca and came back to find that they had fed her a week's amount of food in 2 days. No wonder she's growing! Now that we're home, she's back to her normal routine- morning walks, ½ cup of food per day, crate time, naps on the bed while I work- and seems happy about it.
We've been researching dog breeds and available dogs in Lima for a guard dog for the house. While the need for a guard dog seemed a little questionable to me before, it's growing on me. I won't try to convince you, but I know I will feel safer leaving the house, safer at night, and safer when I'm home alone if I have a reliable guard dog. Nonetheless, I never dreamed before of owning what it now seems we will be adding to our family in a week or two: a Neapolitan Mastiff puppy!
We originally intended to get an adult dog, but since a Mastiff is the size of a boxer or so at 2 months, that eliminates the problem of waiting for its guard dog potential. By getting a puppy we think we will have a lot better chance of having a well-behaved dog- socialized and comfortable with other people and animals, trained in obedience, not coming to us with bad habits. From what we have read, the breed is peaceful and steady, doesn't bark, affectionate with family and anyone accepted by the family, has low energy, and is basically a fierce looking couch potato (with the ability to get up and protect you if needed). The down side is that they can be willful and need a strong leader. We're committed to the work.
We still need to talk over the idea with some US breeders or trainers, get some time with the dog, see how we and Taza get along with her, get her checked out at the vet, etc. but we're becoming more and more settled with this idea that seemed ridiculous and crazy at the beginning. And we're looking forward to a family photo with a toy poodle and a mastiff.