Categories
Bronco's Adventures

Todays Dog Stroller Mishap

I don’t think there are any pet strollers that could accommodate a grown Leonberger, but there are certainly pet strollers that accommodate pugs and mini-Australian shepherds. We bought a stroller, for our old pug Daisy. She’s got arthritis and in addition she easily get tired. Our mini-Australian shepherd Rollo frequently wants to sit in the stroller too but not because he is tired, its because he heard a strange sound and feels safer in the stroller.

Left: Wolf who is not sitting in a stroller. Right: Rollo sitting in Daisy’s stroller. The photo contains text.

Text on the left: Canis Lupus, the grey wolf is a fearsome and courageous hunter in nature.

Text on the right: Canis Lupus familiaris, the dog, a close relative to the grey wolf, is sometimes less brave. This specimen prefers to sit in a stroller when he hears strange sounds.
Left: Wolf who is not sitting in a stroller. Right: Rollo sitting in Daisy’s stroller.

This morning our stroller broke. The front wheel suddenly caved, and the stroller took a nosedive with Daisy in it. Daisy slid from the back of the stroller to the front but luckily, she did not fall out. She was fine. Rollo, who was watching the misadventure, was not fine. Seeing the stroller capsizing with Daisy in it really scared him and he let out a scream, eeeeek!

Photo of a pug (Daisy) in a pet stroller
Daisy in her stroller at a time when the stroller was in better shape

I left the broken stroller on the sidewalk and walked home with the dogs, carrying Daisy part of the way. After I dropped off the dogs, I took my car and returned to where I left the stroller to pick it up. However, it was gone. Who would steal a broken stroller? I had been gone for maybe 15 minutes. I had also left a bag of dog feces in the stroller basket. I always pick up after my dogs. So, I don’t think the stroller thief got a good deal.

Daisy and Rollo both like to sit in the stroller, but the stroller is really for Daisy.

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Finally, if you would like to learn about more about my Leonberger book and find out where to buy it, click here or here. You can also click the image below to buy it from Amazon.com.

This is an image of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle", Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
Categories
Bronco's Adventures

Turkey Stealing Labradors and Leonbergers Who Share Their Loot

Our Labrador Baylor was a stealthy, opportunist and quick food thief. Food tended to disappear around him as if it never was there. Our German Shepherd on the other hand never stole food and took it upon herself to guard the entrance to the kitchen to the chagrin of Baylor. If she could have spoken, she would have said “you shall not pass”. 

Photo of Baylor and Baby
Baylor and Baby

Our Leonberger Bronco was our biggest dog, and he could eat a lot. Once we had prepared a big plate with five pounds of roast beef for a dinner party. Bronco finished those five pounds of roast beef with astonishing speed. I saw him do it, but I was not quick enough to stop him. Luckily, he thoughtfully left us the carrots, the broccoli and the dip, so the guests had something to eat. All our dogs were, and are, great dogs, but many dogs have this vice, food theft. I should say that Bronco often willingly shared his loot with other dogs. He was not selfish. Below I am including a few excerpts from my book concerning food theft.

Labrador food theft stories

Photo of our Labrador Baylor
Photo of our Labrador Baylor

In addition to his hatred for mailmen, Baylor had one more vice, and that was stealing food. He was always hungry, and he was pretty good at culinary theft. On one occasion, I was standing in the kitchen holding a sandwich in my hand. Suddenly the sandwich disappeared from my fingers as if it had been teleported. I didn’t feel a thing—no pull, no touch, no wet nose. It just vanished. I turned around, and behind me stood Baylor, swallowing something. He looked at me, wagging his tail. Was he innocent? Did Captain Kirk beam my sandwich to another dimension? How could I be mad at him when I didn’t have proof?

On another occasion, Baylor jumped up on top of the kitchen table using a chair as a step stool and cleared it of the desserts that Claudia’s grandmother had brought for the kids and the family. That’s how I learned that she had a swear-word vocabulary—and that it was substantial. Fortunately, the kids weren’t nearby. On yet another occasion, Baylor emptied a tray of baklava that had been sitting on the kitchen counter.

His most notable food raid was probably when he stole the Thanksgiving turkey and ran off with it. We salvaged most of it, but knowing that Baylor had been all over it, we decided not to eat what he left us. It wasn’t very appetizing.

Leonberger food theft stories

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco. He is ready for dinner.
Our Leonberger Bronco is ready for dinner

I believe dogs have empathy, and sometimes they want to share, at least Bronco did. There was a time when we were in our home eating take-out food and Bronco stole one of our dinners, including meat, vegetables, and a baked potato. He started eating the meat, then he glanced at Daisy, who was sitting in the middle of the floor looking sad. Immediately he took the baked potato in his mouth and carried it over to her and dropped it right at her feet. I was going to get mad at him for stealing, but when I saw his kindhearted and unselfish act, I let it be.

On another occasion, Rachel made a gingerbread house and left it on the kitchen counter. I had forgotten to lock the kitchen gate, and the photograph above shows what greeted me when I got home. Guess who ate half the gingerbread house. I should say that Bronco shared some with Daisy. He was always very generous.

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco and our Pug Daisy sharing a gingerbread house in the kitchen.
Bronco and our Pug Daisy sharing a gingerbread house

On yet another occasion, Bronco got hold of a box of chocolates in the shape of small gnomes. Each gnome was filled with liquor—some with gin, some with vodka, some with whiskey, and some with rum. It was a gift from Rachel, who had just come back from a visit to China. She had bought the present for us at the airport in Hong Kong. But Bronco ate the entire thing—tinfoil wrappers, chocolate, liquor, and all. We were afraid he might get very sick, and we carefully monitored him, ready to rush him to the emergency clinic if necessary. Fortunately, nothing happened, except he threw up a little bit of tinfoil. I guess he had a stomach of steel.

So, for this Thanksgiving watch your dogs so they don’t run off with your Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate

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Finally, if you would like to learn about more about my book and find out where to buy it, click here or here. You can also click the image below to buy it from Amazon.com. Note the Kindle version temporarily has a lower price, click here to go to the Amazon.com page for the Kindle version of my book.

This is an image of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
Categories
Bronco's Adventures

Black October and a Leonberger’s Miraculous Recovery

October 2019 was a dark time for us and especially for our Leonberger Bronco. At the beginning of October, he had to amputate a toe due to a type of cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, then he developed large ulcerous sores that would not heal, perhaps related to the surgery. Then on October 20 an EF3 Tornado ravaged our neighborhood. Our chimney was smashed, our roof was damaged, and we needed a new roof, a new fence, garage door, wiring in the attic and a new grill and outdoor furniture. However, compared to many of our neighbors we were lucky. As you can see below our neighbor was not as lucky.

Photo of our neighbor's house. The damage to my neighbor’s house after the tornado of October 2019 was devastating. Her roof lay across the street.
The damage to my neighbor’s house after the tornado of October 2019 was devastating. Her roof lay across the street.

We had no power for almost a week and due to the rubble it was very difficult to leave the house. We had no internet, no air conditioning, and it was hot. Perhaps because of this situation Bronco had a heart failure a week after the tornado, and it was bad. We thought that was the end of our 12-year-old Leonberger. However, as you will see in the extract below from my book, Bronco recovered miraculously. He still had eight more wonderful months to give us.

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco in front of our broken fence. Bronco, who was not at his best in this picture, rests next to our tornado damaged fence. We put a plastic bag around his bandage when he went outside.
Bronco, who was not at his best in this picture, rests next to our tornado damaged fence. We put a plastic bag around his bandage when he went outside.

We don’t know if the heat had anything to do with it, but about a week after the tornado, Bronco developed congestive heart failure.

As a result, he could no longer walk. The veterinary cardiologist at the surgical center told us that Bronco was not in good shape, but we all agreed that we should give him a chance to recover.

We bought Help ’Em Up harnesses for him, but more often we used a smaller sling to help him stand up. We also treated his heart with various medications. Since our veterinarian’s office had been destroyed by the tornado, we took him to the veterinary surgical center (where he had his toe amputated) for bandage changes. After a few visits, the technicians suggested that we do it at home to save time and money. More important, it would be easier on Bronco. So they gave us instructions, and we started doing it at home.

But changing Bronco’s bandages wasn’t as easy as just rolling out some gauze and tape. First we had to clean the sores with chlorhexidine, an antiseptic solution. Then we had to apply a healing ointment, such as manuka honey or QuickDerm. This involved spreading it on an Adaptic pad (breathable and nonstick), then wrapping the pad with a Telfa pad (or gauze pad). After that came the soft bandage, then the outer bandage, then something sticky to hold it all together. The latter was necessary because bandages easily slip off dog hair.

I did most of the bandage changes, but Claudia and the children helped, and even Rollo, (our Australian Shepherd), helped. He was very curious: he stood by and watched everything I did as if he were checking to see that I didn’t forget anything. He loved Bronco’s bandage changes and seemed to think that they were very interesting. It was never a problem—except for the time he drank the chlorhexidine.

Photo of our Australian Shepherd Rollo and our Leonberger Bronco getting a bandage change. It seems like Rollo is helping changing the bandage. He was just very curious.
Rollo helps change one of Bronco’s bandages.

We called our veterinarian’s office, and the technicians told us that the chlorhexidine was probably not harmful to Rollo. Chlorhexidine is a type of salt, and unless it’s ingested in large quantities, it’s nontoxic—unlike peroxide.

During this period, we gave Bronco a lot of attention. We slept next to him at night and petted him a lot. He needed help to get up, and we were ready to do that at any time. Sometimes he just wanted to walk around. Sometimes he wanted water, and sometimes he wanted to go out in the backyard to pee or just lie in the grass.

In the beginning it was Claudia who did most of the caretaking. But I took early retirement in November, and I started taking over the night duty. Bronco came to expect constant company, which was okay with us, even though at times it was very tiring. For example, if I was petting him and stopped doing so, he would whine or bark and essentially order me to continue.

At the same time, taking care of him was an amazing experience for me. Bronco usually slept on his dog bed next to the sofa, and I slept on the sofa next to him. When he wanted something, he sat up and looked at me. He did not make a sound. I would wake up, probably because I could feel him staring at me. I would open my eyes, and there would be Bronco’s big beautiful face looking down at me, his gentle expression asking for help. I would get up and help him with whatever he needed.

Bronco was able to communicate what he wanted just by looking at me. It felt like I could understand what he was thinking and feeling even though he couldn’t speak. It almost felt as if he were becoming an extension of me, or maybe the other way around, I was becoming an extension of him. We were two very close buddies who understood each other. They say that a dog is man’s best friend, but for us it was not just a cute cliché. We were best friends.

The veterinarians advised us not to take Bronco out for walks until he was in better condition. But one day he lay at the front door, scratching it and whining. I could clearly see that he wanted to go out. So I took him on a very slow walk. We walked, then he rested; he sniffed his surroundings, and I brought water for him to drink. Along the way we met a woman who looked him and said, “What a beautiful dog.” You can see in the photo below, taken during that walk, that he was old and tired, but he was still beautiful.

Photo of our old Leonberger Bronco (12 years old) out for a walk in the neighborhood for the first time since his heart failure.
You can see how happy Bronco was to be outside, even as his health was not the best.

This warmed my heart. The woman asked what kind of dog he was, and she appeared to be really interested and impressed. It was the first time Bronco had been out walking in perhaps a month, and after all we’d been through, I have to admit I needed the experience, and Bronco did, too. After that, we started taking short walks every now and then, and when we were finished, Claudia would pick us up in the car.

After a while, Bronco was able to get around on his own and even go to the bathroom on his own, and his sore got closer to healing. In fact, he recovered almost miraculously. We were extremely happy about this, and it made everyone’s lives easier.

We had been planning a big family vacation for several months, which Claudia and I had considered canceling. It was a one-week cruise along the Mississippi River, and it was scheduled for December of 2019. Because of Bronco’s improvement, we decided to go. But we had learned our lesson: while we were gone, a friend of ours lived in our house and watched our dogs. We showed her how to change Bronco’s bandage, and that arrangement worked out well.

Bronco had a tough October followed by a difficult but successful recovery. Taking into account his other health scares, including heatstroke and the freak accident with the metal rod when he was young, our veterinarian told us that Bronco must have nine lives, like a cat.

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Finally, if you would like to learn about more about my book and find out where to buy it, click here or here. You can also click the image below to buy it from Amazon.com.

Image of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
Categories
Bronco's Adventures

Dogs Who Hate Mailmen

Our Leonberger Bronco (Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle) barked at mailmen but he did not hate them. He got along well with them when he met them. His sibling Baylor the Labrador was a different story. Even though Baylor was a friendly and sweet dog he was not friendly towards mailmen. Baylor stood in the window, he saw the mailman come, mess with our mailbox, and as Baylor barked frenetically, the mailman fled in his white squarish looking get a way car with blue letters. It happened every day! Baylor might have thought that he saved our lives every day.

Close up photo of Baylor our Labrador
Close up photo of Baylor our Labrador

I have an interesting fun fact about one of the prominent characters in the Leonberger community, Robert Beutelspacher. He was the Zuchtbuchführer (breed registrar) and later President of the DCLH (Deutsche Club für Leonberger Hunde), and was the one got the meticulous recording of Leonbergers started. Robert Beutelspacher was also a mailman and he had to deal with attacking dogs in his line of work. Hopefully no Leonbergers. He helped advertise a spray that harmlessly deterred attacking dogs, a pioneering product.

Photo of Baylor left (Labrador, or Labrador mix) and Baby right (German Shepherd).
Baylor (Labrador, or Labrador mix) and Baby (German Shepherd).
Photo of Bronco, at three months old at the time the photo above was taken. He wouldn’t sit still with Baylor and Baby, so he got his own photo.
Bronco, three months old at the time the photo above was taken. He wouldn’t sit still with Baylor and Baby, so he got his own photo.

Below is a snippet from my book. Baylor went after a mailman, and it could have ended in disaster.

Well . . . Baylor wasn’t always friendly. There was one exception to his affability: the mailman, his only enemy. Baylor must have considered the daily act of putting mail in our mailbox a sign of aggression. Every time the mailman came, Baylor barked loudly and threateningly. Perhaps he thought he was saving us from grave potential danger.

One day while the mailman’s truck was stopped in front of our mailbox, I opened the front door—I don’t remember why. Like a bolt out of the blue, Baylor ran through the opening and charged the truck. I did not expect this to happen at all. The window of the truck was open, and, to my astonishment, Baylor jumped inside. I expected certain disaster to unfold before my eyes—injuries, expensive lawsuits, prison: maybe we would be banned from receiving mail ever again. This time it wasn’t the pit-bull-owning woman who was ashamed: it was I. (note: this is referring to another unrelated incident when we were attacked by an unleashed dog).

In a panic, I dashed toward the truck. But just as fast as he had jumped into it, Baylor jumped back out. He looked confused. He slowly walked back toward me, completely calm, and I realized that there was no one in the truck. Then I saw the mailman standing at my next-door neighbor’s house ringing the doorbell. Baylor hadn’t noticed him, and he hadn’t noticed Baylor. I quickly and carefully approached Baylor, grabbed his collar, and took him inside. No one but I had seen what had happened. No one but I knew how close we were to disaster.

I learned a lesson that day that I will never forget. I also developed an immense respect for letter carriers and the sacrifice they make every day to bring us mail.

Photo of Baylor our Labrador
Baylor our Labrador

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Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.

This is an image of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is an image of the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is an image showing the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Categories
Bronco's Adventures

Our Pug Daisy is Now 14 Years Old

Yesterday was Daisy’s 14th birthday. We did not get around to celebrating it until today. Without our Leonberger Bronco it might never have come to pass. That’s because he saved her life from an attacking unleashed German Shepherd a few years ago. Bronco got in between him and his little sister Daisy. In the process he got bit in the leg where he had just had surgery, but he saved her life, and here we are.

Photo of our Pug Daisy with her princess crown and Happy Birthday Cookie.
It is Daisy’s 14th birthday. Look at her princess crown.
Photo of our Pug Daisy and her brother Rollo a mini-Australian Shepherd. They are sharing the Happy Birthday Cookie.
Daisy and Rollo (mini-Australian Shepherd). It is Daisy’s 14th birthday.
Another photo of our Pug Daisy and her brother Rollo a mini-Australian Shepherd. They are sharing the Happy Birthday Cookie.
Daisy and Rollo. It is Daisy’s 14th birthday.
Photo of Daisy our pug from four years ago when she had her 10th birthday. We had our Leonberger Bronco then and he is right next to her. They had hot dogs back then.
Daisy’s 10th birthday, four years ago. Bronco our Leonberger is celebrating with her. This was before we had Rollo.

Below is a snippet from the book that is about Daisy. I should add that at the time we did not have Rollo, but we had another small dog, Ryu, a Japanese Chin who loved both Bronco and Daisy.

All our children were allowed to choose a dog when they were growing up—but only when they were old enough to understand that it’s a big responsibility. Jacob picked Bronco, Rachel picked Ryu, and David, our middle child, picked Daisy, a pug. However, our dogs were never just birthday presents. We made sure everyone understood that getting a dog is a years-long commitment that cannot be reversed. We needed to make sure we could give each dog a good life before we would consider making this commitment.

Photo of Daisy when she was younger. She has her tongue out. For Daisy, it’s tongue-out Tuesday every day.
For Daisy, it’s tongue-out Tuesday every day.

Daisy arrived the year after we got Ryu. Like Ryu, she was purchased at Petland (not good, see book). Daisy is now thirteen years old and in good health at the time of this writing. She’s an easygoing, funny dog with an unusually long tongue, and everyone loves her, dogs as well as people. When it comes to being liked, she doesn’t have to try—she’s a natural. Ryu and Daisy would become best friends, but they also got along well with our other dogs. Daisy loved to follow Ryu around, and together they often trailed Bronco wherever he went. Pugs are not very energetic or fast, but they have easygoing and cheerful personalities. When the other dogs were being annoying, she liked to hide under chairs and tables to avoid getting involved.

Daisy is a bit of couch potato—a very sweet couch potato. She sits on the sofa most of the day, watching TV or looking out the window. She barks at dogs on TV or passersby outside, but other than that she doesn’t move much. She likes to snuggle, sit in your lap, and sleep with her head resting on your leg or arm. What with our beds, the dog beds, the sofas, and our backyard, she sure has a lot of places to relax. The only thing missing is her glass of wine.

Photo of Daisy hanging on the sofa looking exhausted.
Daisy rests after an exhausting day on the bed and sofa, not quite finished doing nothing.

Ryu used to get jealous when other dogs gave Daisy attention, or so it seemed. For example, he would become hostile to any dog in the dog park who began playing with Daisy. What can I say? She’s Miss Congeniality.

Daisy is the only dog I’ve met who really enjoys sunbathing. Our backyard isn’t exactly Playa Grande, but she frequently goes outside and lies down on her back. While our other dogs easily get too hot outside, she just soaks up the sun.

Daisy our pub sunbathing on the pavement.
When it’s hot outside, Daisy loves to sunbathe.
Daisy our pug sitting in front of a heating vent.
When it’s cold, she sits in front of the heating vents.

Other than following Ryu out on an adventure a couple of times and running out to say hello to Lily, a pug mix who used to live across the street, Daisy will not wander off. On the few occasions she did, we just called her back. She likes being home; she likes the couch and the safety of our house. And while our other dogs sometimes ignored our commands, Daisy never does. Another thing that’s different about her is that she doesn’t like cheese.

Ryu, too, loved the security of the house. In fact every time we made preparations to travel, he and Daisy seemed to sense it. As soon as we so much as took out our suitcases, they knew what was going on. You could see it in their faces and in the way they behaved. They were a bit sad.

One time, as we were packing our bags, we turned around and saw the scene I captured in the photo on below. How would you interpret this? Was it a protest? Did they want to come with us? Maybe both.

Our Japanese Chin Ryu and our Pug Daisy sitting in our red suitcase. It looks like they are protesting.
Ryu and Daisy didn’t want us to leave for our trip.

In what may have been a sign of anxiety during our absence, we once came home from a brief family outing and Daisy greeted us at the front door with a tissue box over her head. While we had been gone, she had somehow gotten her head stuck in it and couldn’t get it off. She was still running around barking. We laughed because it was such a funny sight, but she probably didn’t enjoy the experience. We removed it quickly.

Photo of our pug Daisy with a tissue box over her head
We still don’t know how Daisy managed this feat.

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Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.

Image showing the front cover of the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, Stories and Tips from 13 years with a Leonberger.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
Image of the back cover of the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, Stories and Tips from 13 years with a Leonberger.
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
Image showing the endorsements for the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, Stories and Tips from 13 years with a Leonberger.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Categories
Bronco's Adventures

The Day My Leonberger Was Laughing At Me

Does dog humor exist? Well, this article featuring Leonbergers claim that it likely does. Dogs think it is funny to be a bit mischievous and they special sounds while doing it. You can call it dog laughter. Well, if that is the case, then our Leonberger Bronco laughed on several occasions, for example the time he escaped the leash and had me chasing him around the neighborhood (see story below).

Regarding dog laughter, I am also wondering about Rollo, our mini-Australian Shepherd. He loves lying on his back and getting a belly rub. While you are doing it, he is kicking all four of his legs while turning his head back and forth with his mouth open. It looks like he is laughing, like a giggling baby getting tickled.

A couple of times, Bronco took advantage of the fact that the snap hook on his leash would come loose and detach from his collar. One day this became a big problem. Bronco ran off, and I chased him—across the street, across people’s lawns, across the street again, and back over neighboring lawns. When he ran in circles, I ran in circles right behind him, yelling at him. He would stop and wait for me, and then as soon as I got close, he would start running again. I even jumped to catch him a few times. But he dashed off both times, and I just landed flat on my belly.

Bronco had a lot of fun doing this. I imagined him laughing at me, and I got angry. Dogs can’t laugh, of course, but his tail was wagging in excitement, and it was obviously a game to him—a dangerous game.

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco when he was a gangly teenager.
Bronco as a teenager young and gangly.

So, I asked him, “Do you want to be lost? Bad things happen to dogs who get lost.” I don’t know how much of that he understood, but I had to tell him the truth. Then I turned around and started walking home. I figured I’d never catch him, so it was better for me to go back and get help. (It was 2008, and I didn’t have a cell phone.) Naturally, I worried that Bronco would get hit by a car. I was also worried about the damage an energetic 130-pound adolescent dog could do to the neighborhood.

As I stomped off, I turned around to look at Bronco. He stood still, around a hundred yards away, staring back at me. He seemed confused. I continued walking. After a while, I heard the soft slapping of big paws on the road behind me, accompanied by some distinctly noisy breathing. Then I saw Bronco walking next to me, so I carefully snapped the leash back onto his collar. He let me do it without protest. He was finished playing games. We walked home calmly, and the next day I bought a new and better leash.

A photo of our Leonberger Bronco hiding in the bushes.
Try finding me daddy.

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Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.

This is an image of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle".
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is and image showing the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle".
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This an image of the endorsements for the book.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Categories
Bronco's Adventures

Rollo From Baby Jail to Four Years Old

Today it is Rollo’s 4th birthday. Our late Leonberger Bronco welcomed him into our family when Rollo was just a 9-week-old puppy. Rollo is a mini-Australian Shepherd. They became very good friends and Bronco was very patient with the rambunctious puppy who climbed all over him and played with his tail, even hung in it. Well, we no longer have Bronco, but we have Rollo and his 14-year-old pug sister.

This is a photo of our mini-Australian Shepherd Rollo. It is his birthday so he has a birthday hat on. Rollo did not like the hat, so he took it off right away.
Rollo did not like the hat, so he took it off right away.
Photo of our pug Daisy left and our mini-Australian Shepherd Rollo (right). It is Rollo’s 4th birthday.
Rollo and Daisy. It is Rollo’s 4th birthday.
Edited photo of Rollo our mini-Australian Shepherd. He has a hat on, a steak, and candles. It is Rollo’s 4th birthday.
Rollo’s 4th birthday.
Photo of Bronco our Leonberger welcoming Rollo to our house. Bronco is very big. Rollo is very small.
Bronco our Leonberger welcoming Rollo to our house.
Photo of our mini-Australian Shepherd Rollo when he was just a puppy.
When Rollo was just a puppy.
This is another photo from when Rollo was just a puppy.
Another photo from when Rollo was just a puppy.
Photo of our mini-Australian Shepherd playing with a ball.
Rollo playing with a ball.

Next, I am including a little snippet from the book. This snippet is about Rollo.

Rollo often pushed his luck with Bronco—climbing all over him, sitting on him, and stealing his possessions. Bronco was very patient and protective of little Rollo, but we were afraid he would lose patience with him one day when we were not present. Therefore, we put Rollo in a playpen whenever we left the house.

Photo of our mini-Australian Shepherd Rollo playing with our Leonberger Bronco’s tail. When he was a puppy he even hung and swung in it. Naturally, we stopped it as soon as we saw it.
Rollo often played with our Leonberger Bronco’s tail. When he was a puppy he even hung and swung in it. Naturally, we stopped it as soon as we saw it.

The playpen had a door that swung open and could be locked. Soon he learned to go through the door on his own when we asked him to. We would say, “Rollo, playpen,” and he would march right in. We made sure that the playpen contained water and toys and that the door was locked behind him. Of course, we didn’t leave him there too long. Experts recommend a maximum of two hours when the puppy is two months old and a maximum of three hours when the puppy is three months old. Even when Rollo was older than that, we never left him in the playpen longer than four hours.

Rollo’s relationship with his playpen was interesting. When Daisy tried to walk in, Rollo would get angry. The playpen was Rollo’s, and no one else could enter. It was his little house within a house. Sometimes he would walk in even if we didn’t ask him to, and he would just sit there for a while, as if he needed some alone time.

Photo of Rollo in his playpen called Baby-Jail. When Rollo was in his playpen, we were sure he would be safe in case Bronco decided he had had enough of his younger sibling’s antics. To read more about Rollo click on the photo.
This is the baby jail. When Rollo was in his playpen, we were sure he would be safe in case Bronco decided he had had enough of his younger sibling’s antics. To read more about Rollo click on the photo.

Our son David’s girlfriend, Meranda, came up with a great name for Rollo’s playpen: baby jail. So that’s what we called it, and Rollo seemed to like it. When we told Rollo, “Rollo, baby jail,” he would march right in, just as he did when we called it a playpen. Even though he didn’t seem to mind it, he was always eager to come back out when we got home. He would stand on his hind legs, jump up and down, and bark. Then we would rush to greet him and lift him out of his baby jail.

To read more about Rollo click here.

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Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.

This is a photo of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is a photo of the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is an image showing the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Categories
Bronco's Adventures

Leonbergers and Hamsters

Bronco gave us many funny stories and great memories. The book I wrote “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle” feature several dozen stories. I’ve told a few of the stories here in my blog, but my recent visitors have not seen the early ones. Instead of telling too many stories from the book I’ve decided to rerun of the earlier stories including this one. It also an improvement because I am including images that were used in the book. In the first telling of this story back in March, I used an unfinished image. Anyway, this story is about our Leonberger Bronco finding run-away hamsters.

A photo of Bronco’s friendly face
Bronco’s friendly face

Back when Bronco was young, the kids had pet hamsters—Moldova and Montenegro. The hamsters escaped from their cages sometimes, but Bronco usually helped us find them whenever they did. Claudia would tell him, “Bronco, find the hamsters,” and he would go around the house sniffing until he found them. One time he found them in the linen closet; another time he found them on a shelf in the living room.

On one occasion, a friend of David trusted us with his two hamsters while he and his family went on vacation. A couple of days later, Claudia noticed that the two hamsters were missing from their cage. The next thing she noticed was that Bronco’s cheeks looked puffy, so she said, “Bronco, drop it!” Out came the two hamsters, both unconscious.

Drawing of Bronco's face with puffy cheeks because he holds two hamsters in his mouth. Illustration by Naomi Rosenblatt.
Bronco’s puffy cheeks. Are there hamsters in there? Illustration by Naomi Rosenblatt.

In a panic, Claudia started performing CPR on the unconscious hamsters. She put one hamster at a time in her hand and gently compressed each tiny chest using the finger of the other hand. Fortunately, one hamster revived right away. The CPR didn’t seem to be working on the other hamster, but Claudia put both of them back in their cage, and soon the second hamster also woke up. We decided to keep the incident to ourselves. Hamsters don’t squeal.

Drawing showing Claudia performing CPR on Hamster. They came back alive. Illustration by Naomi Rosenblatt.
Claudia performing CPR on Hamster. They came back alive. Illustration by Naomi Rosenblatt.

The question is, Did Bronco try to eat the hamsters? Or did he simply find them and pick them up, intending to alert us to their presence? I’ve asked several people this question, including some who know Leonbergers well. The answer they give is that he tried to save them from whatever danger he thought they might have been in. If he wanted to eat them, they say, he would have tried chewing them. But clearly, he didn’t.

The hamsters may have felt differently about the situation and may have fainted from the shock. Who knows? Bronco was a hero on many occasions, but this time, perhaps, he was a hamster superhero.

Eventually our own hamsters died, but that didn’t end Bronco’s interest in them. When the first hamster died, we held a funeral. We put the hamster in a shoe box, said goodbye, put some flowers in the box, and buried it in the backyard underneath some bushes. But when we turned our backs, Bronco was there, digging under the bushes. Perhaps he thought he could save the hamster. So, we called Bronco off and tried again: this time I dug a deeper hole and put a wide rock over the shoe box before covering it. Now Bronco couldn’t dig up the hamster. When the second hamster died, I had learned my lesson and did the same thing.

Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers.

This is the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.

This is the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.

These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Categories
Bronco's Adventures

Leonberger Saves Neighborhood

Photo of our late Leonberger Bronco and his sister, the pug Daisy.
Our late Leonberger Bronco and his sister, the pug Daisy.

Bronco gave us many funny and exciting stories to tell. The book I wrote “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle” feature several dozen stories. I’ve told a few of them here in my blog, but it was early on before I had many followers and I think most of you have not seen them. Instead of telling too many of the stories in the book I’ve decided to rerun some of the stories I’ve already told here in my blog, with some improvements, such as better images. Images that were used in the book (the images previously used in my blog were low-resolution early versions). This story is about the time when our Leonberger Bronco saved us as well as the neighborhood from a peeping tom who haunted and taunted us at night. Here we go!

Photo of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle or Bronco as we called him.
Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle or Bronco as we called him.

It was a quiet evening, and I was home alone. My wife, Claudia, was visiting her parents a few blocks away with Rachel, our daughter. Our son Jacob was meeting with his debate team; our other son, David, was visiting a friend.

I was making myself a ham sandwich in the kitchen when I suddenly felt a hand on my right shoulder. I startled and turned my head to face what I feared was an intruder, and there he stood on his hind legs—our Leonberger, Bronco. His big paw on my shoulder felt for a moment exactly like a human hand.

Bronco looked at me with his kind, wise eyes, then he looked at the sandwich. Then he turned his head toward me again and held my gaze. At that moment I understood what he wanted. I cut the sandwich in two and gave him his half.

I should explain that we had a problem with a trespasser at that time, which was the reason I was startled. This trespasser would sit outside our bedroom window at night and make threats and shout obscene comments at Claudia when I was not present. At first, though, we didn’t know where the threats and comments were coming from. I doubted Claudia’s accounts of these incidents, especially because she thought the voice might be coming from within our bedroom, perhaps via an electronic speaker. I thought she was just having nightmares.

Then one night I heard it myself—a voice screaming, “I am going to burn your house down!” Just as Claudia had said, it sounded like it came from within our bedroom, almost as if it were right next to me.

After Claudia and I went through our “Oh, so now you believe me” routine, I started looking under our bed and inside the heating and air-conditioning vents for hidden speakers and/or microphones. It was hard to believe that someone had planted these things in our bedroom, but that seemed to be the case.

Then it finally dawned on me. Next to the headboard of our bed, on Claudia’s side, just inches from her pillow, is a window. At night, when the blinds are lowered and the slats are partially open, you can see in, even if we have just a few lights on in the house. But, of course, under these conditions, you can’t see anything that might be outside.

I ran out the front door and around the back of the house, and there, right in front of our bedroom window, was one of our lawn chairs. The trespasser had climbed our fence, taken the chair, sat down in front of the window, and spied on us. Whenever I left the room, he would shout obscenities and threats at Claudia. When his face was planted in front of our window, he was just two or three feet away. This was why the voice felt so close. This had been going on for two weeks. We were happy to have finally figured it out, but we realized we had a problem.

Drawing of Peeping Tom outside our bedroom window at night, illustration Naomi Rosenblatt.
Peeping Tom outside our bedroom window at night, illustration Naomi Rosenblatt

We talked to our neighbors about the situation, and they told us that the trespasser had terrorized them as well. He had been quite busy looking through bedroom windows at night. People in the neighborhood were scared. I called the police, who told us they could do nothing unless the man was caught in the act or he committed a crime other than trespassing.

Therefore, I decided to hire private investigators. I found them in the phone book. Phone books still existed back then.

The investigators told me that they typically spy on people suspected of cheating on their spouses, so this would be a more interesting job for them. The plan was for them to hide behind the bushes in our backyard and in a dark car parked on our street. When the man appeared, they would record him on video. They had a lot of fancy equipment and instruments, including big microphones, cameras, and metal detectors. They reminded us of Ghostbusters with all their technology and enthusiasm. They clearly loved their job. Unfortunately, though, the trespasser didn’t show up, so after a couple of days I decided to let the investigators go.

However, I soon figured out who the trespasser was. I started paying attention to what was going on in the neighborhood, and one evening, I noticed a strange looking but relatively young man, apparently homeless, who seemed to be stealthily roaming our neighborhood. I did not confront him, because I had no proof.

But a few days later, I heard shuffling noises outside our bedroom window. The trespasser was finally back. This time I sent Bronco out to chase him, and he did. Like the detectives, Bronco was enthusiastic but didn’t catch him. Still, he chased the man off. Having a big bearlike dog rushing toward you at night is probably a bit unnerving, even if the dog just wants to lick you. We never experienced or heard about the problem after this event, so Bronco may have helped the entire neighborhood.

Drawing showing Bronco chasing off intruder at night, illustration Naomi Rosenblatt
Bronco chasing off intruder at night, illustration Naomi Rosenblatt.

A couple of weeks later, while walking Bronco on a neighboring block, I saw the homeless man across the street, at a bit of a distance. He stared at us in fright. Bronco just calmly looked at him without barking. The man was clearly terrified of Bronco, and he ran away.

But despite the nightmare the homeless man had inflicted on us, I felt sorry for him. My guess is that he was suffering from mental illness and that he had had a very tough and lonely life.

Photo of Bronco with a sun ray shining down upon his head giving him a saintly look. Saint Bronco saved us and the neighborhood.
Saint Bronco saved us and the neighborhood.

Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers.

Image of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
Image showing the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Categories
Bronco's Adventures

Baby Protects Bronco from Dogs Walking Off Leash

This story is an excerpt from the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle” (see below). This story is about when our German Shepherd Baby protected our Leonberger puppy Bronco from dogs walking off leash. It is a violent and scary story, but also a story about the mother instinct and of bravery. The moral of the story is; always use a leash when walking your dog in public.

Baby was our second family dog. She was a German shepherd and was also a rescue. (Although we were told that she was a purebred, we didn’t have a certificate.) First Claudia’s sister Marianne adopted her, but when Marianne moved to France, we adopted Baby. Baylor and Baby became good friends, but sometimes Baby got annoyed with Baylor when he stole food, especially when it was hers. She liked to lie at the entrance to the kitchen and tell the other dogs, particularly Baylor, “You shall not pass.” It wasn’t because she wanted the food for herself. She just didn’t like other dogs stealing it, so she tried to prevent it, like a good kitchen police dog.

Photo of our German Shepherd Baby at the dog park.
Baby was always a little wary at the dog park.

Baby was quiet and well behaved. She was well trained and easy to walk, but she wasn’t fond of noisy places. She was a bit anxious and less social than our other dogs, and she didn’t like dog parks, though she tolerated them. We were told that she had been mistreated by her first owners, and the first months of a dog’s life are very important for his or her mental health.

Photo of our German Shepherd playing with our Leonberger puppy Bronco.
Bronco, at the age of four or five months, would soon outgrow his playmate Baby.

Even though Baby was a shy and anxious dog at first, once we got Bronco, her personality changed. She loved Bronco, and she took on the job of being Bronco’s adoptive mom. She played with him; she watched him; she was fiercely protective of him. Bronco was her puppy. She seemed rejuvenated, as if she had found an important job to do—a purpose, if you will. It was beautiful to see her take care of Bronco and play with him. She became happier and more confident, and Bronco loved her.

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco from when he was around three months old
This photo of Bronco was taken when he was around three months old, soon after we got him.

One day I was out walking with Baylor, Baby, and Bronco. Bronco was very young, maybe four months old. We met a man walking two medium-size black dogs off leash. Suddenly, one of the dogs attacked us. There was nothing I could do. As I watched helplessly, the black dog made the monumental mistake of going for Bronco. If the dog had attacked Baylor or Baby, either dog would certainly have put up a courageous defense, but going after Bronco was nearly suicidal, not because of Bronco himself but because of Baby.

I heard a loud explosion of barks that lasted only a few seconds, and then I saw the black dog flying five or six feet up into the air. Baby had bitten him in the side and tossed him skyward. It was surreal. I almost couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.

The black dog lay in the street. The man knelt before him and started crying. He said his dog’s back was broken. I was mortified, and I said, “I am so terribly sorry.” He said, “It’s not your fault. I was the one walking my dogs without a leash.” It was gratifying for me to hear that under the circumstances, but it was no less tragic.

Then, to my astonishment, the black dog stood up and quickly walked back to the other side of the street. The dog was in shock, but he was fine. The man calmed down, and we said goodbye to each other on good terms.

It wasn’t the only time Baby protected Bronco, but it was the most memorable. Thinking about it still sends chills down my spine. Years later, after Baylor and Baby passed and we got our small dogs, Bronco would take on the role of their protector. He would save lives.

Picture of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle".
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
Image of the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle".
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
Image showing the endorsements for the book.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Below are a few of the places where you can buy it. Click on a link to buy it from your favorite store.