I've got all my teeth. This is just a lousy picture. I have no idea about American Hovawarts (guys, talk to me!) but I'm definetively not a cat. O.K., I still got my problem lifting one hindleg to do the you-know-what against a tree, but I'm just finding out that there is a difference between he-dogs and she-dogs and another one between us and cats! (Cats are those darlings that hiss like snakes, run like the wind and scratch your eyes out if only you get too close to them.)
After half a year of daily play and work and fun and training I believe I do know my people! I don't like either of them away, but I'm absolutely fine when one of them is around. I play in my garden while Gene works the computer or I accompany Monika to her office if Gene's out for long hours. I can spend any amount of time sleeping under her desk. It's simply great, now that I know her all collegues and all. I even have my little favourite, the only one I will bark at whenever he enters the room. It's his smell, you know. He says he likes me, he says he's not afraid of me. You bet!
I do mind being alone although I have given up on chewing things I should not be chewing. If you don't tell anyone, I let you in on my little secret: I sleep when I'm on my own! Luckily Gene always arrives by car or motorbike so I've got plenty of time to pretend I've been watching the house while he was out.
I was back to Austria again. I loved it. I instantly knew where to look for my food and water. I even recognized the people living in the house although I do think they shouldn't be there all the time. So just now and then I bark at them. But I gave up barking when they get up in the morning. I realize Gene and Monika like to sleep in and with me next to their bed I have to shut up.
I talked to a cat the other day. I asked her why she ran away. She didn't know. I had to admitt I didn't know why I'd run after her. But since she was perched up on the wall we could chat a bit. She said her folks were on holiday and she had the run of the house and a neighbour to feed her. Surprisingly, she didn't mind. Actually she said she prefered it a lot to travelling. She was in a car only twice and both times she got almost killed by a guy in a white coat. (I think she exaggerated a bit, my vet never killed me!)
I'm definetively not a cat. O.K.? No matter what Swedish MDs in America think. I prefer a trip with my folks to staying at home alone anyday! What good does it do to a dog if people lead a dog's life? I mean if they had do forego their right to a trip then they might not like me for that. See, buying a Hovawart doesn't mean you give up all your rights as a human! They would never take me on a plane, I know that. They would not put me in a hot car for hours on end, I know that, too. But they do show me mountains and seasides and other interesting stuff which I find extremely nice as they spend twenty four hours a day with me finding new paths in a different world. And that is exciting.
After more than 180 days in my new home, I do know every path in our village. I can tell by the lamp post where I am before I even smell who was there.
And one other thing: Gene knows me bloody well, too. It seems as if he can read my mind as he could read the mind of his last dog. I can't even start to consider the possibility of doing something naughty and he is all over me with words like HIER or NEIN. That's a nuicance, I can tell you!
So this summer we won't be going to Scandinavia. After all the e-mails we received telling us about the problems of taking dogs to Sweden et al. (By the way, thanks again for the friendly feed back to Gene's question!), I guess I will be meeting some Dutch or French dogs.
On October 1st, 2000 Great Britain will do away with their stupid quarantine laws and the hotel and restaurant business is already discussing how to handle all the continentals who will come into their businesses with monsterously big dogs which are used to be fed from the table.
Whatever, I'll be there next autumn, and I'll show them what a well behaved German dog is like.
By the way, the pictures in this page show me at approximately 7 months of age.
Meanwhile I'm eight, I'm about 62 cm tall and about 33 kilograms heavy. I know most of the tricks they teach at the Hovawart club although I don't let them know quite yet. And I've got a brand new trick: I lift a leg now and then when I take a pee. However, it's not necessarily a hindleg. When I feel the piddle touch one of my front legs I simply lift that one.
It's easier and as effective!