Categories
Leonbergers

Ten Leonberger Myths and the Truth

In this post I am stating and correcting ten Leonberger myths that I’ve seen on various websites and in various Leonberger books. Websites featuring incorrect information include Wikipedia. It is always good to remember that googling is not research and that a lot of information on the internet is wrong. In the list below I avoid stating the myth and then correcting it. Instead, I am trying to implicate the myth as a myth from the start or begin the sentence with the truth. The reason for doing this is psychological. Research has shown that if you state something false and then correct it, people tend to remember the first thing they saw, which was the myth, instead of the truth.

This embedded old historic photo of a Leonberger is from the AKC website.

To correct many of the myths regarding Leonberger history I am referring to the book Leonberger by Caroline Bliss-Isberg. If I am not specifically stating the source in a listed item it is from her book. Caroline Bliss-Isberg is a recipient of the Heinrich Essig Award and the Leo Heart Award and a very prominent leader in the Leonberger community. With the help of other prominent leaders of the Leonberger community as well as expert researchers she attained documents, illustrations and photos never before published and from it she created the most extensive (several hundred pages) and accurate account of Leonberger history.

Photo of the book Leonberger, by Caroline Bliss-Isberg. Click on the image to go to my review of Leonberger.
Leonberger, by Caroline Bliss-Isberg. Click on the image to go to my review of Leonberger.
  • If you want to spay or neuter your Leonberger it is best to wait two years, so do NOT spay or neuter a Leonberger at six months as some erroneously state. The neuter at six months claim is not very common, so it is perhaps not a real myth in that sense. However, I’ve seen it in some books and there are some organizations that insist on spaying./neutering even giant breeds. To learn about the reasons and the research behind the two years wait for Leonbergers click here.
  • Heinrich Essig was NOT the mayor of the city of Leonberg. Heinrich Essig was a prominent citizen of the town, and he was a successful businessman, farmer, innkeeper, horse and dog trader, large-dog enthusiast, dog breeder, and town councilman, but he was never the mayor of Leonberg. About half the Leonberger websites and books that I’ve come across get this wrong and the other ones get it right. However, it is the research by Caroline Bliss-Isberg that sets this straight as can be seen on page 20 of her book.
  • More than two dogs were used for creating the Leonberger. It was not just a St. Bernard and a Newfoundland dog as a few Leonberger books I’ve come across erroneously claim. See next list item for more information.
  • It is not entirely true that the following three dogs were used to create the Leonberger; the St. Bernard, the Newfoundland dog and the Great Pyrenée dog. This is a common claim based on the Essig’s claim that he bred the Leonberger from long haired St. Bernards, the Newfoundland dog and the grey-yellow wolfhound from the Spanish Pyrenees. However, the Pyrenean wolfhound is not likely to be what we call a Great Pyrenée dog. Moreover, these dogs did not look like they do today and there was a lot of breeding back and forth going on and Essig did not keep records. Therefore, the story is likely to be a lot more complicated. The bigger story is explained on the pages 23, 41, 45, 48-49 Caroline Bliss-Isberg’s book but it is also more briefly explained in my Leonberger History page on this website.
  • There were definitely more than five Leonbergers alive after World War One despite several Leonberger books and websites erroneously claiming only five survived. I should say that many of the more reliable websites get this right. It is true that World War I was tough on the breed. It didn’t help that Leonbergers were used to pull ammunition carts and cannons. However, more than five Leonbergers survived the war. After the war, Karl Stadelmann and Otto Josenhans, worked hard to save the breed, and they were able to find twenty-five Leonbergers whose owners were willing to cooperate in reestablishing the breed. Of these, only five were suitable for breeding. That is still a pretty significant genetic bottleneck.
  • There is a common erroneous claim associated with World War II as well, stating that only eight Leonbergers survived World War II. There was indeed a “genetic bottleneck” of Leonbergers in the 1940s. This was largely because people repeatedly bred the dogs they thought were the best specimens in a misguided attempt to improve the breed. Scientific pedigree analyses demonstrate that the Leonberger has twenty-two founder animals, or animal ancestors unrelated to one another (ten males and twelve females). Again, that is a little bit different from “only 8 survived”.
  • Another World War II myth is that Leonbergers were used for pulling ammunition carts in World War II just as in World War I but there is no proof of that.
  • Another incorrect claim that I’ve seen on websites and some books is that the Leonberger dog first appeared in North America in the 1970’s. As Caroline Bliss-Isberg describes in her book in several places, Leonbergers were introduced in the United States and Canada on several occasions during the 19th century and at the beginning of the the 20th century. However, it was typically just a few Leonbergers and the population was not maintained. It was not until the 1970’s that Leonbergers a permanent population was established in North America.
  • The lifespan of a Leonberger is on average 8-10 years not 6-8 years or 7 years, which is old data still reported by some websites. The Leonberg Health Foundation International have been successful in eradication several detrimental genes in the Leonberger breed. I should say the reliable websites typically have this information correct.
  • I’ve come across a few Leonberger books which grossly understate the size and weight of Leonbergers, for example, claiming that a male Leonberger weigh between 45 and 60 pounds. The weight of a male Leonberger is 120 to 170 pounds. Luckily the vast majority of books and websites get this information correct.

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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.

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 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 location for the book.
Categories
Leonbergers

Some Generic Advice on Good Food for Leonbergers and All Other Dogs

In this post I am reviewing a Leonberger book that only exist as an eBook/Kindle, The Leonberger Good Food Guide Kindle Edition by Laura James, published May 28, 2012. It is a very shorty book, 23 pages, ASIN: B00874NVY8. You can buy it from Amazon for $6.43.

Image showing the book the Leonberger Good Food Guide by Laura James. Click on the image to go to the Amazon location for the book.
The book The Leonberger Good Food Guide by Laura James. Click on the image to go to the Amazon location for the book.

Below I am posting my Amazon review of The Leonberger Good Food Guide. Click here to see my original Amazon review. BTW I gave the book two stars.

Not specific to Leonbergers and with some misinformation

This short book cover food, diet and nutrition for dogs. I say dogs because I could not see much Leonberger specific content in the book. In general, I think the advice was good, but the book avoided anything breed specific such as suggested calory intake, the size of food portions, or nutritional requirements for growing giant breeds (more protein and fat). Admittedly it is difficult to say much that is breed specific on the topic of dog food but that’s after all the topic of the book. The only really breed specific information I could find in the book was wrong. The book stated “Leonbergers fall within the medium to large size range with females weighing in at 35 to 50 pounds and males generally at 45 to 60 pounds.” The weight of an adult male Leonberger is between 120 to 170 pounds. Therefore, it is questionable whether this book is of any additional help over a general dog book on nutrition. However, the advice was good, even though it was generic, and as far as I could tell, the book seemed to be well edited, therefore I give it two stars.

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Finally, if you would like to learn more about my book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle” and find out where to buy it, you can click here or here. If you click on the image to the right you will be taken to the Amazon.com location for the book.

Categories
Leonbergers

Three Leonberger and Wolf Videos

In this post I am posting three videos that I like, first, an interesting informational video about Leonberger dogs Second a song video featuring a Swedish lullaby about a wolf. Wolves are after all close relatives of dogs and our Leonberger Bronco was accused of being a wolf. The third video from the Britain got talent show, feature a Leonberger, Hagrid making a world record in sausage eating.

First video: It is an AKC informational overview of Leos featuring Leonberger breeder Alida Greendyk, von Alpanese Leonbergers. The video is 4 minutes 25 seconds.

AKC video with Alida Greendyk, von Alpanese Leonbergers

Second video:  This music video, feature Vargsången or the wolf song, a Swedish or Nordic Lullaby. Dogs, Canis Lupus Familiaris, are descended from wolves Canis Lupus, and they have a lot in common. Our Leonberger Bronco was accused of being a wolf by an alarmed boy at PetSmart. We handled it well, so don’t worry. Bronco has been accused of being both a wolf and a bear, but as far as I can remember not a lion, despite the fact that Leonbergers were bred to resemble the Lion on the coat of arms of the town of Leonberg. I guess Germans are bad at drawing lions.

The song is about a woman protecting her child from being eaten by a wolf, but notice that despite that, there is empathy expressed in the song for the hungry wolf and his aching stomach. The existence of the stomach creates conflict between creatures in our world, and it’s been that way billions of years before humans entered the picture. The landscape is from northern Sweden where I am from. The singer is Jonna Jinton. The video is 4 minutes and 20 seconds….notice to get English subtitles you may have to change your YouTube settings.

Varsången with Jonna Jinton

Third video: is about a Leonberger named Hagrid who appeared on Britain’s Got More Talent in 2017, and other places. Hagrid was attempting to set a new Guinness world record for catching the maximum number of sausages in his mouth in the shortest period of time. You can watch Hagrid’s attempt below. The video is 4 minutes and 46 seconds.

Hagrid setting sausage eating record

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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.

This image shows 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 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 location for the book.
Categories
Leonbergers

New Favorite Dog Stories

This is a wonderful review of my book “The life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Thank you so much Jacqui Murray.

For those of you who love dog stories, you’ll want to check these out

  1. The Life and Times of Le Bronco… — The care and love of a 165 pound rambunctious dog who looks like a bear and acts like a best friend
  2. Standing Dead–I won’t give away what this means, but this is another good story of Mattie and her working dog, Robo.
–a note about my reviews: I only review books I enjoyed. I need to be inspired to write. That’s why so many of my reviews are 4/5 or 5/5

The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle: Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger

by Thomas Wikman

It’s obvious from Page 1 of Thomas Wikman’s non-fiction The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle: Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger (2022) that the author loves everything…

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Categories
Leonbergers

My Leonberger Blog Goals for 2023

I launched this Leonberger dog blog in March of 2022. The purpose of the blog was to promote my upcoming book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, stories and tips from thirteen years with a Leonberger” and to spread the word about Leonbergers, a rare but very special breed of dog. They are very large, friendly, unafraid but sensitive and loving, protective and strong, energetic and funny, especially when they are young.

Photo of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle at three months old.
Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle at three months old.

In addition, Bronco was a very special Leonberger. Purebred Leonbergers typically live 8-10 years, but Bronco lived almost 13 years. He was two weeks short of 13 when he died from heart failure. Therefore, he received an award for longevity from the Leonberger Health Foundation International and we donated his DNA for research. I can add that I donate all royalties from sales of my book to the Leonberger Health Foundation International. It is a great organization that has improved the health of Leonbergers and other giant dog breeds substantially.

Image showing Bronco’s Grey Muzzle Award presented by the Leonberger Health Foundation International. He received this award because he lived longer than 12 years.
Bronco’s Grey Muzzle Award presented by the Leonberger Health Foundation International. He received this award because he lived longer than 12 years.

My on-line friend Alex Diaz-Granados, who is an experienced blogger (see “A certain point of view”) helped me get started. He suggested that I use wordpress.com, and here we are. I can add that Alex and I have been on-line friends for a long time. It started with epinions.com, a review site that paid reviewers for writing reviews. I joined epinions.com in 2008. He had joined a few years before that. I focused on software, travel, books, computer hardware and electronics. He focused on books, film, travel, and I think on-line stores and a few more topics. He can fill me in. I can add that sometimes epinions.com paid pretty well, so after a while it became more than a hobby for me. It became a source of supplementary income. I joined twitter and Facebook in 2010 and he was already there, and we both eventually joined Instagram. Unfortunately, epinions.com went belly up in 2014.

In March of 2022 I invited friends and Facebook friends to visit and follow my blog if they wished to do so, and many did. I had some traffic and comments in the beginning but then it died down, and it didn’t seem like search engines picked up my blog. In July of 2022 I released my book in honor of Bronco’s birthday on July 3rd. In the beginning I sold many books, well for a Leonberger book anyway, and I also had more visitors to my blog, but after a while the activity on my blog as well as book sales died down.

Alex suggested that I visit, comment and like the posts of other bloggers and in August I started doing that using Alex’ blog as a starting point and now I was getting more visitors and a lot more comments and likes, and search engines started to pick up my blog a lot more. Lately I even had a couple of posts go sort of viral with thousands of visitors in a couple of days. Those unknown visitors tend not to leave comments (or likes) but other wordpress bloggers do. That was not the best part though. The best part was meeting other bloggers and authors on-line, reading their blogs, reading their books, typically great books. This was fun. Blog visits and book sales became secondary. Blogging is now a hobby.

Photo of Bronco in my wife Claudia’s lap.
Bronco in my wife Claudia’s lap.
Photo of Bronco a few weeks after his first heart failure heading towards the end of his life.
Bronco a few weeks after his first heart failure heading towards the end of his life.

So, what are my goals for my Leonberger blog in 2023?

  • Continue my Leonberger blog and keep promoting my book on the blog for at least six more months.
  • Virtual Book Blast For Natural Selection with Jacqui Murray on February 13 2023.
  • I still have a lot to learn more about wordpress.com. I don’t know how to do inline images, I don’t know how to store images for later use, I don’t know how to make those little icons, hearts and clover, etc., that people put in comments, I only know the basics of the 20/20 template, I don’t know other templates. I have a wordpress book that I am planning to read. I need to learn more.
  • I will read more books by authors I know online. Knowing an author and reading their book(s) is a completely different feeling compared to reading someone you’ve never talked to (I have a long TBR list).
  • Post 20-30 book reviews on my blog. I don’t post all my book reviews on my blog. Most of my book reviews are only for Amazon (or Goodreads). On my blog I just post reviews for Leonberger books and reviews for books by fellow bloggers that I love and want to promote.
  • I want to start a second blog that is about facts and insights that could have a high impact on someone’s worldview and yet may not be well known, understood, believed or are controversial, yet are fully backed by the expertise in that field. As someone who have studied modern physics, loves gapminder, and have read a ton of books on all kinds of topics, I’ve come across quite a few, and I have radically changed my view of the world several times. However, I am hoping for good suggestions from visitors so I can expand the collection. I can be in charge of the fact checking, at least to begin with.
Image showing the Leonberger breed standard from the Féderation Cynologique Internationale.
In case you are interested. This is an overview of the Leonberger breed standard from the Féderation Cynologique Internationale.

I wish you all a Happy New Year and a Great 2023!

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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.

This image shows 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 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 location for the book.
Categories
Leonbergers

The Leonberger Is a Rare Breed

The worldwide dog population is estimated to be 900 million, including 471 million dogs kept as pets, 200 million stray dogs. There are also village dogs, federal dogs and there are many millions of wild dogs such as wolves, coyotes, jackals, dholes, foxes (35 species). In the United States, 69 million households own at least one dog. There are at least 3 million Labradors around the world. The AKC currently recognizes 197 dog breeds. A close cousin of the Leonberger, the St. Bernard comes it as the 53rd most popular breed in the United States whilst the Leonberger comes in at place 102.

Below is an excerpt from my book

According to an estimate prepared by BioMed Central, there were around 30,000 Leonbergers in the world in 2020. See Anna Letko et al., “Genomic Diversity and Population Structure of the Leonberger Dog Breed,” Genetics Selection Evolution 52, no. 61 (October 2020)

There are around 3,300 Leonbergers in North America, 2,300 in the United States and 1,000 in Canada. The five countries with the most Leonbergers, in order, are France, with nearly 8,000; Germany, with more than 4,000; and Great Britain, the United States, and Sweden, with approximately 2,300 each. The country with the highest number of Leonbergers per capita is Finland, with nearly 2,000 Leonbergers among a population of 5.5 million people. (Information from the October 2018 LeoLetter).

In summary, the Leonberger is a rare breed. However, a few times in history the Leonberger was not just a rare breed but close to extinction.

Photo of a Leonberger pulling a cart with guns and ammunition
Leonberger pulling a cart with guns and ammunition

World War I was tough on the breed. Some Leonbergers were used to pull ammunition carts and small cannons during the conflict, and others were left to wander unattended. Often, these dogs starved to death. But after the war, two Leonberg businessmen, Karl Stadelmann and Otto Josenhans, worked hard to save the breed. They scoured the countryside looking for Leonbergers who were still alive. They were able to find twenty-five of them whose owners were willing to cooperate in reestablishing the breed. Of these, only five were suitable for breeding. None of the Leonberger clubs had survived, so they founded a new one in 1922 called Deutsche Club für Leonberger Hunde (DCLH), and Stadelmann created an updated version of Albert Kull’s breed standard.

I’ve read that World War II was even more devastating to the breed. Supposedly there were only eight Leonbergers left in the world after the end of the war, and all Leonbergers today are descendants of those eight surviving Leonbergers. That’s once again a fascinating and simple story that’s easy to remember and spread, but the truth is rarely simple.

The Leonberger, like so many other dog breeds, was devastated by World War II—kennels were destroyed; dogs were left unattended or used for food—but Leonbergers weren’t used in the war effort itself, and there were more than eight left afterward. However, there was indeed a “genetic bottleneck” of Leonbergers in the 1940s, meaning that the population was greatly reduced in size, limiting the genetic diversity of the species. This was largely because people repeatedly bred the dogs they thought were the best specimens in a misguided attempt to improve the breed. Of course, for breed (and species) health, you need diversity. Scientific pedigree analyses demonstrate that the Leonberger has twenty-two founder animals, or animal ancestors unrelated to one another (ten males and twelve females).

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco at 3 months old, in black and white
Our Bronco at 3 months old, in black and white
Photo of Leonberger in a snow covered forest
Leonberger in snow (purchased from shutterstock)
Our Bronco standing in a kiddie pool

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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 showing 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
Leonbergers

Book Review: ‘The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle: Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger’

Below is very well written and supportive review of my book by my old online friend Alex from epinions.com

A Certain Point of View, Too

My friend Thomas Wikman wrote a loving tribute to his Leonberger, Bronco.

(Photo by the author)

Reviewer’s Note: Thomas Wikman is one of my long-time online friends from Epinions, a now-defunct review site where we both wrote product reviews. Additionally, I adapted this review from an original version that I wrote on the book’s Amazon product page.

Isn’t he cute? Bronco, aged three months. Image Credit: Leonberger Life/Thomas Wikman

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.” Milan Kundera

In 2007, Thomas Wikman, an automation, robotics, and software engineer and resident of Dallas, TX, bought a Leonberger puppy for his son’s upcoming 14th birthday.

Wikman and his family, which also included his…

View original post 982 more words

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Leonbergers

Todays Featured AKC Breed is the Leonberger

Today (November 14, 2022) the American Kennel Club is featuring the Leonberger. Click here to go to their Facebook announcement.

This is the AKC Leonberger page.

This is an introduction to the Leonberger breed.

Overview of the Leonberger breed standard
Overview of the Leonberger breed standard

Note: I temporarily lowered the price of the Kindle version of my book to $4.99.

For your information the ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR and the ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

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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 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
Leonbergers

Leonbergers and World War I

Today is Veterans Day, a day with roots in Armistice Day from World War I. Did you know that the Leonberger dog almost went extinct during World War I? Below is a short excerpt from my book.

World War I was tough on the breed. Some Leonbergers were used to pull ammunition carts and small cannons during the conflict, and others were left to wander unattended. Often, these dogs starved to death. But after the war, two Leonberg businessmen, Karl Stadelmann and Otto Josenhans, worked hard to save the breed. They scoured the countryside looking for Leonbergers who were still alive. They were able to find twenty-five of them whose owners were willing to cooperate in reestablishing the breed. Of these, only five were suitable for breeding. None of the Leonberger clubs had survived, so they founded a new one in 1922 called Deutsche Club für Leonberger Hunde (DCLH), and Stadelmann created an updated version of Albert Kull’s Leonberger breed standard from 1895. To find out what a breed standard is click here.

Note: I temporarily lowered the price of the Kindle version of my book to $4.99.

For your information the ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR and the ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

Below are some Leonberger photos from World War I that I came across. Notice; Leonbergers looked a little bit different back then.

Photo of Leonberger with owner from the time of World War I
Leonberger pulling ammunition cart in World War 1
Photo of Leonberger with handlers from the time of World War I
Photo of Leonbergers with handlers from the time of World War I
Photo of Leonberger with handler from the time of World War I

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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 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.
This is an image of 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
Leonbergers

My Leonberger and Me

I updated my “About Me” page and made a 20 second video for an upcoming Indie-author day. I am also turning my updated “About Me” into a post:

Welcome to my website! My name is Thomas Wikman. I am a retired software / robotics engineer with a background in physics—but this blog is primarily about Leonbergers, an unusual and fascinating dog breed that is known for its size, affectionate nature, and intelligence.

I know a lot about Leonbergers because my family was lucky enough to live with one for thirteen years. His name was Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle—but we called him “Bronco” for short.

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco and me. He was an extremely affectionate dog.
Bronco our Leonberger was an extremely affectionate dog.

Bronco wasn’t our only dog, but our world wouldn’t have been the same without him. For instance, he once saved the life of our pug by fending off an attack from another dog. He probably saved our Labrador’s life, too, by sniffing out an impending insulin shock before it happened. Then there was the time he scared off a trespasser who’d been terrorizing my wife and other women in the neighborhood.

My 20 second video presentation for Indie-author day.

Bronco is no longer with us, but even in his passing he was distinctive. Leonbergers tend to live less than nine years—but Bronco came very close to reaching his thirteenth birthday. In fact, he received an award for longevity called the “Grey Muzzle Award.”  We already knew he was a special dog, but we sent his DNA to two labs for research anyway.

Image showing the back cover of the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle.
Back cover of The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, which was released on July 3rd, 2022. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book.

As for me: in addition to being a dog lover, I am a craft beer enthusiast and brewer, an amateur astronomer, a student of French, and an avid reader. From time to time, I may write about these or other subjects here, in addition to writing about dogs. I live in Dallas, Texas, but I am originally from Sweden. I am married to Claudia, and we have three children: Jacob, David, and Rachel.

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy!