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Old 10-10-2007, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,825 posts, read 20,222,014 times
Reputation: 6487

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I've only had one pure breed dog in my life, a golden retriever, when I was a kid. All the rest have been "mutts". I don't care what the breed is, or what they are mixed with, as long as the dog is big. A friend of mine owned an akita named Bear, when he stood on his hind legs he could put his front paws on my shoulders. I was very impressed, and somewhat envious of my friend.

I think the best solution is to find an older large dog at the pound/animal shelter, maybe around 4 years old. Since Blizzard will live another 9 to 11 years, and most larger breeds only live around 10 years, I'll still have Blizzard to come home to when I have to put the larger dog down in 6 or 7 years.

Fully mature dogs seem to accept puppies much easier than another older dog, and I'm not sure how Blizzard will react if I bring home another 4 year-old. But she was raised with Shasta who was already 9 years old when Blizzard was a puppy, so it may work out okay. And if the new dog is a male it will be easier for her to tolerate. At least she will have some company when I'm working.

Last edited by Glitch; 10-10-2007 at 12:53 PM..
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Old 10-10-2007, 02:17 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
265 posts, read 1,154,720 times
Reputation: 211
Default Another Approach...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glitch View Post
I'm still very concerned about having to put both dogs down around the same time, it was difficult enough just putting one dog down even when I had another dog at home. It has been three months since I had to put Shasta down and I still miss her terribly, but I suppose that can't be helped. Blizzard needs companionship now, and it is unfair to make her wait and suffer because of the emotional trauma it will cause me a decade or so from now.
First, good for you Glitch, for sharing your life with so many dogs. I'm sorry to hear about your many losses, but such is the price for loving species that live only a fraction of our lives. Who is to say whether our canine companions will even be lucky enough to live to ripe old age (or whether we'll be lucky enough?)--we can certainly hope for that. While you can take steps to help ensure you won't be dogless, you can't ever really guarantee it. Also, especially with the extra-large breeds you mention (newfies, mastifs), their life expectancy is even shorter than the 12 - 14 years of large breeds. Perhaps another approach might be to adopt a third dog at a later date, particularly if Blizzard (great name for an Alaskan dog!) and your soon to be new fellow are just a couple of years apart. Of course you'll continue to love and miss your Shasta--it's testimony to the connection you shared. As time passes, your memories will likely bring more smiles than tears.

Best wishes being found by the next dog who's meant to change your life ~PudelPie
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Old 10-10-2007, 03:43 PM
 
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
1,930 posts, read 9,471,591 times
Reputation: 1022
First of all, I have to say, you sound like a wonderful dog owner! As for recommending a large breed dog, that's kind of hard to do. Every breed is different. I would suggest maybe taking a quiz to see what breeds would be best for you. Here are two quizzes..

Breed Selector, Dog Search, Puppy Survey, Puppy Test, Test to find the right dog, Breed Quiz (http://www3.dogbreedinfo.com/search.htm - broken link)
Animal Planet :: Guides :: Dog Breed Selector

If I were you, I would probably check out different Shepherds, Retrievers and maybe Setters. Sorry I can't be of much help. Good luck!
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,825 posts, read 20,222,014 times
Reputation: 6487
Cool The Search Begins...

Beginning this weekend I'm going to start visiting the animal shelters in Wasilla, Palmer, and Anchorage. If I can find a 2 to 4 year old tibetan mastiff, newfie, or great pyreness male I'll consider myself fortunate and adopt them on the spot. If I can't find one of those giants by Thanksgiving, I'll adopt another lab, shepard, or retriever male.

I'm thinking Thanksgiving would be the best time because I will be able to spend four full days with the new dog and help them grow accustom to their new environment (including me). Regardless of which breed I end up with, I'll be certain to post some photos.

Thanks again for your friendly and helpful advice.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:44 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,321,163 times
Reputation: 7582
Glitch-

Thank you for taking a shelter dog! I'd say go for a big black and white dog, no one ever adopts them...if you find a dog you like, perhaps the shelter will put a hold on it for you if you agree to meet the basic costs of upkeep. Not likely, but worth a shot.

As far as lifespans - Rottweilers typically don't live past about 10-12 - and I have one that will be 16 in February! It's hard to lose the bigger guys sooner, and the bigger ones do tend toward the hip dysplasia and other things - still, if you're a huge dog lover, that's what you are. Most of America isn't - so kudos to you for taking a giant breed, and we look forward to pictures!
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,825 posts, read 20,222,014 times
Reputation: 6487
I stopped by the Anchorage Animal Control facility today. They had a "mastiff" up for adoption according to their web site, but when I got there it turned out to be a small pitbull mix, maybe 50 pounds tops.

It was sooooo hard to walk out of that place without taking one of those poor dogs with me, but I'm determined to get a large, even giant, dog this time.
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,825 posts, read 20,222,014 times
Reputation: 6487
Default Blizzard Photos

Here is Blizzard (Alaskan husky/golden lab mix, age 4 years old)


"You woke up for THIS?!?!?"


"Go away, I'm sleeping."


"Look! It's a MOOSE!"


"Put down that stupid camera and throw the stick."


"Are you through yet?"
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:36 PM
 
98 posts, read 363,248 times
Reputation: 41
My neighbors rescued animals, mainly dogs, which is how I acquired my "mutt" Athena. I couldn't be happier. Her entire litter, 6 in all, was abandoned in the country. She was the only with blue eyes. She is so beautiful. My husband and I have yet to determine which breeds she might be mixed with, but love her all the same. She is the first dog that I have owned and will probably only own rescue dogs because there are so many out there.
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:42 PM
 
Location: NE Salem
41 posts, read 196,751 times
Reputation: 50
Default Mutts Are The Best!

I have a 16 1/2 year-old Lab/Shepherd mix who is still going strong. Guess where he came from? A neighbor who couldn't keep him! I've had him for six and a half years, and he is the sweetest old dog on the planet. PLEASE, ADOPT A MUTT!
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,825 posts, read 20,222,014 times
Reputation: 6487
Thumbs up A Mutt It Will Be!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RuralSeeker View Post
I have a 16 1/2 year-old Lab/Shepherd mix who is still going strong. Guess where he came from? A neighbor who couldn't keep him! I've had him for six and a half years, and he is the sweetest old dog on the planet. PLEASE, ADOPT A MUTT!

Wow! I'm seriously impressed. I wish both you and him the best of health. I'm definately going to rescue a mutt from somewhere, I just want him to be BIG. The giant breeds tend to be gaurdians and usually only bond to one owner, so finding a mature male mixed newfie, great pyrenees, bernese mountain dog, great dane, or mastiff is proving to be difficult. I may have to settle for a large mixed breed, but I'm going to give it another couple weeks of searching before I decide.

No matter what, I will have another male rescued mutt by Thanksgiving weekend.
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