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Do you have a ‘heart breed’ of dog?

“I think once you find your heart breed, you rarely stray from it.”

That’s what a friend said on That Mutt’s Facebook wall last week.

I’ve been thinking about that, and I think she’s right.

I’m excited to get a second dog this fall, and I’m looking forward to the process of finding that dog.

I’m trying to be open to all possibilities, a wide variety of dogs and the different ways to obtain a dog. Friends have already expressed their disapproval in the possibility of me even considering a breeder. That is going to have to be their problem, not mine.

When I come across purebred dogs I admire, I make a point to ask the owners where they got their dogs. In the next few months, I hope to contact some of these breeders and meet some of their dogs and puppies.

I’m usually interested in sporting breeds such as black labs and pointers. Josh is interested in Rottweilers and shepherds, breeds that excel at shutzhund and protection training. We’ve both always loved German shepherds, but do we have the energy for one? I’m not so sure we do. I’m not so sure I can handle a pointer, either.

When I really think about the characteristics in dogs that are most important to me, I realize I am describing the “black lab mix” at my feet.

What I want most in a dog is a dog I can take anywhere. A dog I can trust around children. A dog I could take into nursing homes and hospitals. A dog that will tolerate rude behavior from other dogs such as head-on greetings.

I want a dog that loves the water, a dog that will retrieve, a dog I can trust off leash. A dog that will go for an 8-mile run or nap for 8 hours while I write at my desk.

I’m not exactly describing a shepherd or a pointer.

I’ve never really thought of myself as a Lab person. Black Labs are just so … ordinary. Yet when I look for a dog on rescue sites Labs are the types of dogs that get me to pause.

And as much as I would love to obtain a puppy from a breeder of working Labradors, what I really want is another companion. And there are just so many black-lab types available in rescues that could be just that – a good pet and a good friend.

And so, while I want to be open to the possibility of different breeds and obtaining a dog from a breeder, I always find myself considering black-lab type rescue dogs most of all.

If I have a “heart breed” I guess it’s the “big, black lab mix.”

I can’t wait to see who we find.

Do you have a “heart breed”?

Ace the cute black lab mix

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