Dog-Gone-It Anyway

Today, I am writing about how important dogs are in our lives as a tribute to my grandchildren’s little dog and they had to put to sleep last night. Although Butler was a scrappy, yappy little terrier mix from the pound of unknown origin, he was loved by his family as much as any expensive pure-bred dog.

I was curious to find that there are nearly 50 breeds of dogs attributed to German roots. Some breeds surprised me a bit. For instance, wouldn’t you think that the Great Dane is a Danish dog? It turns out to also be called the German Mastiff.

Photo by Matthias Zomer on

Germany is the third largest producer of dog breeds behind Great Britain and France. The ones with German names like the Dachshund, the Weimaraner, the Rottweiler, and the German Shepherd seem obvious enough. My husband’s Aunt Bonnie had a Dachshund, Lilly, in her latter days before the aunt died at 102. It is easy to find each of these breeds in abundance here in the US.

Some of the dogs we have had over the years have had German connections as well. My daughter had a Keeshond, Ben whom she adopted from a teacher who could not take him with her overseas. This breed descended from the German Wolfspitz and were used to guard cargo on the barges with their high pitched bark. They were then dubbed The Dutch Barge Dog and became the national breed of the Netherlands.

Keeshonds are related to Pomeranians which are a German Spitz. The Pomeranians look like miniature Keeshonds and were a favorite of Queen Victoria who helped to popularize them. My mother-in-law kept a Pomeranian until the end of life as well.

Keeshond playing with ball. Ben loved that.

We currently have Remmy, a Beauceron, who although is a breed that originated in the North of France is the parent breed to both the Rottweiler and the Doberman which are both claimed as German breeds. The Beauceron also is related to the German Shepherd and is a herding dog. Our Remmy will sidle up beside you and lean on you if he wants you to go another direction. But he is gentle and craves attention from anyone who comes to visit. Since this breed is not that popular in the US, many people ask if he is a Rotty.

Remmy’s best friend is Daisy, our Bernese Mountain Dog mix. Her native origin would have been the Bernese Mountains of Switzerland. One of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs of the Swiss Alps, they have roots in the Roman mastiffs too. The names Senne and Hund are German for Alpine herders. She is extremely gentle and well-manner. In recent years, her breed has become very popular in advertising and you can see Bernese Mountain Dogs on everything from dog food to insurance commercials. I follow a breeder on Facebook just so I can watch the puppies when there is a new litter. Many of their forever-home parents post updates about their time in their families too. It is another way to add a smile to my day.

Any dog or pet you love adds more purpose and enjoyment to your life. It is always sad when they are no longer with us. I hope you have that added pleasure in your life. Feel free to share what adds a smile to your day.

Granddaughter Kalli and a long-gone dog.

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