This blog post is focused on Ryu one of the dogs that Bronco grew up with.
Around a year after we got Bronco, we got a fourth dog, a Japanese Chin. He was a gift for our daughter, Rachel, who named him Ryu after a Japanese ninja warrior. Ryu was a very energetic dog, quick and brave—except that he was terrified of thunderstorms. At seventeen or eighteen pounds, he was bigger than most Japanese Chins, but he was still a small dog. He got along very well with Bronco.
One of the things that stood out about Ryu was his singing. Japanese Chins are famous for their singing—well, actually, it’s closer to howling, but Ryu’s was a beautiful howl, and he was very proud of it.
As soon as he discovered that he got a lot of attention for it, he started doing it quite often. Whenever we came home, he would sit politely, look at us intently—it seemed like he was clearing his throat too and howl. Like an opera singer, he would slowly turn his head to look at us, as if he were performing. In fact, I think Ryu’s howling sounded just like a night at the opera—especially when the lyrics are sung in Italian.
We would say, “Good boy, Ryu,” and clap, and he looked mighty proud. Other people thought it was cute and wonderful, too, and they gave him lots of praise, and of course he loved doing it and got good at it. When Rachel played the harmonica, Ryu would howl along. They made quite a duo.
“Good boy” might not be the kind of praise Andrea Bocelli would want, but Ryu was perfectly happy with it.
The interaction between Ryu and Bronco was sometimes truly amazing to watch. I remember one instance in which Bronco was sleeping in the house and Ryu was outside in our fenced backyard. The door to the backyard was open. I heard Ryu bark a few times. He had evidently seen something he wanted us to notice—or something he wanted other people to notice.
Then I saw Ryu running in through the back door. He was a fast runner. He ran to Bronco, jumped on his stomach, and barked at him. Bronco woke up, looking drowsy and confused. Ryu waited for Bronco to shake off his grogginess and get up, then he ran out the back door with Bronco in tow. They both hurried to the gate that leads to the street. Ryu yapped, and Bronco barked his loud, booming bark. Ryu had enlisted help to multiply his bark power.
Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers.
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