2001, 2002, 2003 – I have one aging Giant Schnauzer, and a middle-aged Service Dog. Given two to three years to train a replacement, I really should get started, but I’m tired and sore and the best I’ll do before the Giant dies is research.
As I go around the US and Canada I am seeing Portuguese Water Dogs. I’ve seen some really nice ones. My mind keeps coming back to the ones I’ve seen in the Midwest and East Coast from Elaine Suter. Sound dogs physically. Sound dogs mentally. Dogs with the potential for good work in various competitive venues, yet with the capacity to – how to say it politely? Sit down and shut up on occasion. For my personality, service dog work with public access, and interest in using canine competitions to keep both myself and my dogs active, these dogs are looking like what I want.
The next step is to check out the breeder, make sure she’s using the correct health tests, and then to have a talk with her. Over the next couple of years I’ll be letting her know that I’m still interested, and try to tell her exactly what I’m looking for in my puppy.
May 2004 – Can’t breathe, Giant Schnauzer was put down. I was hoping for another two years at least.
June 2004 – Can’t wait any longer, it may take a long time to get a puppy. Thank goodness I’ve done all the research already. If I don’t take the bit in my teeth and just make the order, I might chicken out!
July 2004 – Baby Stitch is born. She’s one of 4 girls in a litter of ten. All bitches are black wavies with varying amounts of white “chrome”. My fingers are tingling. Elaine emails me photos of the girls. Which one is Stitch? I’m cheering for the one with the most white, but that’ll be the LAST thing I pick her on.