There are only two periods, where I didn´t live with at least one of them. I grew up with dogs – from a Kings-Poodle to Toy-Poodle, from Appenzell-Cattle Dog to a Poodle-Appenzell-Mixture. There always had been dogs (and cats) at my parent´s home!
It took me only three years after I moved out to get my own dog: a Golden Retriever.The day I bought him, I knew that there was something wrong. Not with the dog, but with the circumstances this sweet little puppy was born into and sold to me. I loved Baron. I boroughed his name from my relatives in the US: I went to Highschool in Barrington Hills/Illinois as an Exchange-student. And for that half a year I stood at my Aunt´s house, where two beautiful Golden Retrievers lived, Chamois and Baron. Maybe they were offsprings of those Golden-Three, who had won everything in the 70s and are suppose to have over 200.000 descendants? Who knows, but we will be hearing from these three Golden Retrievers in my Blog-Posts and later in my Film.
After Baron had died (of cancer, by the way), I swore, that I wouldn´t want to have another one. At least as long as I´d live in the city. As my Golden has been so special. Like everybody´s dog is foremost this: The best dog in the world, right?
This second dogless-period lasted almost ten years. Then I got weak again. Although: I blame it on my family. I was shooting my film „Pure pedigree, lower class – The business with dog-breeding“ (it rimes better in German: Viel Rasse, wenig Klasse – Das Geschäft mit der Hundezucht). We filmed a Breeder who was convinced, that his breed „was sick to the bones“, because of inbreeding. So he asked the German Kennel Club, the VDH, to mix his breed with another, healthier one, to refresh their blood and genes. The VDH would have let him, but only under their conditions. One would have ruined the breeder economically, so he declined.
What did he do next? He went out to find some male dog, who´d fulfill his requirements on health and character. He found it in Dakota, an Australian shepherd. Dakota worked as a therapist-dog in a retirement home. On a little hill in the Eiffel Dakota met Tessa, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, that has been tested as healthy, including genetical testings. What ever disease one can exclude with these testings and which not.
The breeders hope was an honorable one: by mixing to pedigree dogs from different races you end up in the best of both worlds, genetically spoken. That has not been his opinion, that is scientifically supported.
It is one of the most interesting questions for me, if this is true. As Akiro, my new best dog in the world, is one of the six male puppies, Tessa gave birth to. The average age of Duck Tolling Retrievers is only eight! I sure hope, hat Akiro will much longer!!
Akiro (early 2015) is three and a half now. I will write about him in my blog and he might be in the film: As he is part of the search for longer living dogs.
Quo vadis, canis? The search for long-living dogs.