When Dave was in elementary school in Oregon, (I think it was third or fourth grade) his small town newspaper interviewed a bunch of kids asking them what they imagined they would do when they grew up. Dave’s mom saved that paper, and in it is a photo of little elementary-David and his quote. And Dave’s future aspirations were a little different from the other kids; he was not hoping to be an astronaut or a firefighter, (or even a doctor,) but instead he said something along the lines of, “When I grow up I will live on a tropical island, surrounded by animals.”
Well fast forward forty years, and Dave’s dreams are kind of coming true. haha.
We do live on a tropical island, and though he isn’t exactly “surrounded by” animals, we do currently have one dog, one cat, and a whole lot of wild chickens and roosters to wake us every morning.
Recently someone pointed out to me that I don’t talk much about our pets here on the blog, and looking back over my archives, I can’t argue. Guilty as charged. I’ve mentioned the pets here and there, but indeed–I do think it is time to include a bit more of our four-legged family members here on my site.
But maybe even more importantly…(and the true inspiration for this post–) I thought this might be a good time to chat about dogs because I am hoping to crowd-source on a topic that has recently been a bit of a family
feud debate discussion.
Here’s the thing: We’re considering getting another dog and we need help choosing a breed. So now…I’m turning to you…counting on you really…to offer your wisdom, experience, and expertise in this matter.
But before we dive into dog breeds and opinions and all of that, let me more officially introduce:
LULU, our Australian Shepherd.
(She’s pretty lovable, right?)
Now you might know that Australian Shepherds are considered great working dogs. They’re known for herding sheep and working on farms.
Yeah well…Lulu’s not one of those.
Nope. She’s definitely living below her potential.
But she’s still pretty special.
When we first brought Lulu and her brother Oscar home, we had grand plans to train them and teach them all kinds of cool dog tricks. I think they lasted four weeks into dog school and then it all went downhill quickly. As it turns out, that stuff takes hard work and consistency, two things we did not have to offer in that season. But we loved them a lot, and enjoyed a few good years with the two of them.
Oscar was one of the coolest dogs ever, but he had an unfortunate penchant for nipping…at children...so we had to re-home him a couple years ago. (I actually did write about that story, HERE.) He only moved a mile or two away (with the sweetest man,) so we still got to visit him, and keep in touch. Sadly, just over a year ago Oscar lost a terrible-but- short battle with cancer. We all took it pretty hard, even though he hadn’t been living with us for some time.
We’ll always remember Oscar fondly of course.
So though we do miss Oscar, we are super thankful to have sweet Lulu around.
Lulu spends most of her days lying around waiting for dinner, and she’s put on a few (ok a lot of) extra pounds over the years. To her credit, she does stay alert throughout the night, on watch in case anything unusual were to happen. We appreciate her commitment and we do feel a bit guilty for not giving her more exercise. But in our defense: we live on two acres and no one is stopping her from running a few laps now and then. I mean really Lulu.
She will however, leap to attention to walk with us any time we head down the hill to get the mail or walk around the property to pick fruit or work. She’s a people-dog for sure.
Now this is where we could use your help.
Recently, Dave brought up the idea of getting another dog. And that is just a really BIG TOPIC. The even bigger topic being which kind of dog we might get.
It was Dave who originally came up with the Australian Shepherd idea. He said he had done his research and was convinced that they’re the best breed in the world. He still thinks so, and now he is beginning to talk about getting another one. He says (and I quote) “No other dog is as loyal, or smart.” Then he adds, “Just look at how she looks at me…That’s just not normal. No other dog loves its owner like that.”
And I laugh.
(you did too, didn’t you?)
“Dave!…EVERY DOG loves its owner like that. That’s what dogs do.”
I suggest that Dave just hadn’t had enough dogs in his life.
It is my opinion that we should get a Golden Retriever or a Lab. I grew up with a Golden, and she was incredibly loyal and about the sweetest thing in the world. Both Goldens and Labs are great family pets. (remember, one of our 2 Aussies nipped at kids and that is not totally unusual for the breed…so I say it’s risky.)
Dave says neither Goldens or Labs would be nearly as smart or loyal as an Aussie, and he is sure the nipping thing was a fluke.
(Dave means no offense if you have either of those, I think it’s already clear he is a little mixed up on this issue.)
This discussion came up recently at the dinner table. We all yelled out our opinions, but we really didn’t get very far. There was talk of a vote but first we each thought we should state our reasons behind our preferred breed.
Logically, Josiah turns to the internet on his phone where he finds stats on which breed of dogs are smartest, and most loyal.
And as I guessed…Australian shepherds landed somewhere around 8th or 9th in both categories, whereas both Goldens and Labs were like 4th or 5th.
The facts are there, but Dave will not budge on the idea that Australian Shepherds are the very best dogs. The boys and I are open to most breeds and would love your thoughts.
So help us out, would you?
Please leave your comments below, sharing: What kind of dog do you have, or would you get if you could? And WHY? Have you had bad experiences with any of the breeds I have mentioned, or do you have any cold hard facts to help support my case? (remember, we are friends here, you and me…)
Thank for helping us out in this one. Family discussions can be difficult.
Much Aloha and have a great weekend.
**Most photos taken by my talented son, JOSIAH.
PS I let Dave read this before I published and when he finished he turned to me and said “Just watch, they’re all gonna back me up on this.” (hahahaha…)
PPS JELLY TELLY GIVEAWAY WINNER!!! BELINDA –– Your name was chosen to win a YEAR subscription to Jelly Telly and a ROKU stick! Congratulations! I will be passing your name on to the team at Jelly Telly to get you all set up! Thank you all so much for commenting on the Jelly Telly post and I’m thrilled to hear from many of you who have begun your Jelly Telly subscription!