Categories
Photos

Leonbergers On Postage Stamps

Today I received a nice gift from a couple of friends, six stamps from Grenada and Grenadines featuring six dogs, a Leonberger (upper left side), a Newfoundland dog (upper right side), a boxer (mid-left), a St. Bernard (mid-right), a silky terrier (lower left side), and a miniature schnauzer (lower right side). I was very happy receive this gift, especially since one of the dogs is a Leonberger. FYI: The Grenadines is a chain of small islands that lie on a line between the larger islands of Saint Vincent and Grenada in the Lesser Antilles.

Postage stamps from Grenada and Grenadines featuring dogs including a Leonberger.
Stamps from Grenada and Grenadines featuring dogs including a Leonberger.

Out of curiosity I decided to search the internet and I found that not only are stamps featuring dogs common but stamps featuring Leonbergers are common as well. I found Leonberger stamps from Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti, Congo, Niger, Monaco, Malawi, and Christmas Island. Below I am showing a few of them.

Image of postage stamp from Monaco featuring Leonberger and Newfoundland dog.
Stamp from Monaco featuring Leonberger and Newfoundland dog.
Image of postage stamp from Malawi featuring Leonberger.
Stamp from Malawi featuring Leonberger.
Image of postage stamp from Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti, Congo, Niger and country I can’t make out featuring Leonbergers.
Stamp from Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti, Congo, Niger and country I can’t make out featuring Leonbergers.

When I was a kid, I collected stamps from around the world, but I stopped doing it and I gave away all my stamps. As of today, I have a reawakened interest in collecting stamps, Leonberger stamps.

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 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 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.
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
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
Photos

Photos of our Leonberger Swimming

This post presents various photos of our late Leonberger Bronco swimming. Leonbergers have webbed paws and they are excellent swimmers. They are therefore used in water rescue. Some Leonbergers are trained to jump out of helicopters and into to the ocean. Bronco did not jump out of any helicopters, but he jumped into White Rock Lake in Dallas almost every weekend. Bronco loved swimming and he loved chasing ducks and egrets in the water, as well as fetching sticks in the water. Click on any of the photos below to read about Bronco’s water adventures.

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco swimming in White Rock Lake. Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.
Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.
Photo of our Leonberger Bronco swimming in White Rock Lake. Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.
Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.
Photo of our Leonberger Bronco swimming in White Rock Lake. Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.
Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.
Photo of our Leonberger Bronco swimming in White Rock Lake. Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.
Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.
Photo of our Leonberger Bronco swimming in White Rock Lake. Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.
Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.
Photo of our Leonberger Bronco swimming in White Rock Lake. Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.
Click on the photo to read about Bronco’s swim adventures.

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

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.
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.
Image depicting 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
Book Reviews

Leonberger

Previously I have not posted any book reviews on this blog. However, there are a lot of great Leonberger books out there, not just mine. I am starting with Leonberger, a comprehensive guide to the Lion King of breeds, by Caroline Bliss-Isberg, ISBN 978-1943824243. You can buy it from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and it exist in both printed version (hardcover) and e-Book (kindle/nook). It is expensive $109.95 for the hardcover version and $34.99 for the kindle version (nook a little cheaper). However, it is a masterpiece. It is 422 pages, in large format (8.5 x 1.25 x 11 inches, 3.62 pounds) and it contains hundreds of high-quality color photographs.

Photo of the book Leonberger, by Caroline Bliss-Isberg
Leonberger, by Caroline Bliss-Isberg

The Leonberger is arguably the most interesting dog breed in the World. As you know we owned a Leonberger, Bronco, who passed away a couple of years ago at the age almost 13. That’s a long life for a Leonberger. Those 13 years were the best years of my life. Bronco was my best friend, so kind, so strong, so brave, so loving towards children and towards smaller dogs. He saved our Pug Daisy’s life from an attacking unleashed German Shepherd, and that’s just one of the amazing things he did. Leonbergers are truly amazing dogs and we are considering getting another one. Unfortunately, they don’t live that long, 8 years on average. Due to his age our Bronco got a longevity award called the Grey Muzzle Award.

What I didn’t know before reading this book was how incredibly interesting their history is. The research that’s been done on the breed, its origins, health, etc., is also fascinating. All of this is described in great detail in Isberg’s book. It was Isberg’s book that made me realize that the Leonberger is arguably the most interesting dog breed in the World. Isberg’s book also dispelled some of the Leonberger myths that I believed. Searching the internet and taking for granted what people tell you will often lead to misunderstandings and erroneous beliefs. For the case of the Leonberger breed this book will help you rectify that. In addition, Isberg’s book also inspired me to write something about Leonbergers myself. My shorter book is more focused on our Leonberger stories, but it also contains interesting Leonberger information.

In addition to history, this book presents the breed standard, how the breed standards have changed several times throughout history, and it feature a critique of how we breed purebred dogs. The how and why is very much part of human culture and history. The book discusses the Leonberger dog in detail, it feature Leonberger dog sports, dog show information, information on breeding, Leonberger organizations and their history, health, and genetics. The research effort that must have gone into this book is astounding. The book features hundreds of color photos, many of them incredibly beautiful. There are drawings in the book that are hundreds of years old, old newspaper clips, research paper excerpts, and full-page color photos of Leonbergers in action. It is an expensive book, but if you are up to paying the price, it is a great investment for any Leonberger enthusiast.

Finally, below is my book. Check it out!

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.
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.
These are 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
Book

Print Version and eBook Bundled

Here is one more post about the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. This time I am announcing that the book is now available on the Nook and the printed version and Kindle version has been bundled on Amazon and the printed version and the e-Book version has been bundled on Barnes and Noble. Therefore, it is not necessary to list e-Book versions separately (see links below). I would also like to take the opportunity to thank those who have written reviews or have rated the book. Thank you very much!

This is a picture of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". You can click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book. 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". You can click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is the back cover of the book. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is an image of the endorsements for the book. "A wonderful tribute to the author's beloved Bronco. The stories are heartwarming as well as informative - a true glimpse into life with a Leonberger" - D'Nae Wilson, President, Leonberger Health Foundation International -- "A lovely tribute to Bronco, with lots of resources for general Leonberger information" - Julie Schaffert, LCA breeder since 1992. You can 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.

I have updated the list where you can find the book (see below). 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.

Categories
Book

Proof version of the book

Here is the second proof version of the book. This one might be it!

This is the Proof version of the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle. Front and Back cover.
Proof version of the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle.

I received the second proof for my book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle. All the content looks good, the front and back covers seem to be ready. This might be the final version. Even if we go (me and my editor) with this version, we have already decided that the book will be released on July 3rd, 2022, which would have been Bronco’s 15th birthday. The book will be available on Amazon, including many international Amazon websites, Barnes and Noble, as well as many other bookstores.

The ISBN number for the print edition is 978-0-9980849-5-4

The ISBN number for the e-book edition is 978-0-9980849-6-1

These are endorsements for the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle by Thomas Wikman. 

“A wonderful tribute to the author’s beloved Bronco. The stories are heartwarming as well as
informative—a true glimpse into life with a Leonberger.”
—D’Nae Wilson, President, Leonberger Health Foundation International

“A lovely tribute to Bronco, with lots of resources for general Leonberger information.”
—Julie Schaffert, LCA breeder since 1992
Endorsements for the book

I will add more detailed information about the book and the links to places to purchase the book at this location. Which is the same as clicking “The Book” menu item at the top.

Finally, seven selected book spreads

Page 6 and 7 from the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle by Thomas Wikman
Page 6 & 7
Page 24 and 25 from the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle by Thomas Wikman
Page 24 & 25
Page 92 and 93 from the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle by Thomas Wikman
Page 92 & 93
Page 102 and 103 from the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle by Thomas Wikman
Page 102 & 103
Page 108 and 109 from the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle by Thomas Wikman
Page 108 & 109
Page 148 and 149 from the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle by Thomas Wikman
Page 148 & 149
Page 174 and 175 from the book The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle by Thomas Wikman
Page 174 & 175
Categories
Bronco's Adventures

The time Bronco accidentally pushed Baby into a storm drain

I am rescuing our German Shepherd Baby from a storm drain while holding our Leonberger Bronco.
Me handling a difficult situation. Illustration by Naomi Rosenblatt.

Among the 100+ stories I have about Bronco, this is one of the shorter ones. However, it is an amusing one. At the time our Leonberger Bronco was still young and somewhat misbehaved. We also had a well-behaved older female German Shepherd, Baby, who loved Bronco very much.

On this occasion I was walking Bronco and Baby. We met a man and his dog walking on the other side of the street, heading toward us. Bronco started barking at the dog, and the other dog responded. Both dogs worked themselves up into a frenzy. Bronco began pulling on his leash and even jumping. Baby remained quiet. But with all his carrying on, Bronco accidentally bumped Baby into a storm drain, which we happened to be standing right in front of.

To save Baby, I lay on my stomach and grabbed her around her abdomen with one arm—all while holding Bronco’s leash with my other hand. He continued pulling, jumping, and barking as I gradually dragged Baby up out of the drain. The guy on the other side of the street looked at us with big eyes, as if he had seen an evil clown peering out from the storm drain. He lifted his dog up in his arms and ran as fast as he could in the opposite direction.

Meanwhile, Bronco had calmed down, and I was able to drag Baby back onto the street. She loved Bronco, but after this incident she showed us in her own way that she’d rather not take her walks with him. We respected her wishes, and I walked them separately from that point on.

Categories
Bronco's Adventures

Our Leonberger Bronco

The following story is an excerpt from an upcoming book about Leonbergers and especially our Leonberger Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle and his many crazy adventures.

The photos below is of our Leonberger Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle. In the left photo he is three months old and in the right photo he is soon to be 13 years old. Due to a misunderstanding his name on the original pedigree certificate from the Leonberger Club of America was even more interesting: “Lets do le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”—yes, without the apostrophe.

The Leonberger is a noble and relatively rare breed, and purebred Leonbergers typically have a long pedigree that can be traced back to the beginning of the twentieth century. This means that if you buy one, you and your dog will become part of a special community, and your dog’s name will reflect that. Bronco’s last name, von der Löwenhöhle, means that he originated from Kennel von der Löwenhöhle.

During an email exchange with the person writing up Bronco’s pedigree certificate, we were informed that because our dog was born in a litter identified by the letter L, his official name needed to begin with an L, too, even though at home we could call our dog whatever we liked. We knew we wanted to name him Bronco, which we thought was appropriate for a Leonberger, so later Claudia wrote, “Let’s do Le Bronco,” intending that the dog’s name would begin with the word “Le,” fulfilling the kennel’s requirement.

But when we received a copy of Bronco’s pedigree, we saw that our correspondent had misunderstood and included the words “Let’s do” as part of the name! Well, “Let’s do” starts with an L, too, so it fulfilled the pedigree requirement. And that’s how Bronco’s official full name came to be Lets do le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle. I should mention that we later got this corrected.

We got our Leonberger, whom we just called Bronco, from a breeder in Canada by the name Julie Schaffert. She is a responsible breeder and is recommended/endorsed by the Leonberger Club of America. She was among the first Leonberger breeders in North America. She got started in the 1990’s. I should add that it is important that you get your Leonberger from a responsible breeder for the sake of the breed and your dog’s health. The Leonberger Club of America maintains a list on their website where you can find LCA recommended breeders.

During his lifetime Bronco did a lot courageous and amazing things. He saved our Pug’s life, he sniffed out an oncoming insulin shock in our Labrador before it happened, he found our runaway hamsters, he chased off a guy who was trespassing and threatening my wife and other women in the neighborhood at night, thus protecting the entire neighborhood. He also did a lot less great but funny things. We have 100+ stories that I will be adding to this blog.

For a Leonberger Bronco lived a long life. He died two weeks short of 13 years old and the average life span for a Leonberger is 8-9 years. Because he reached an advanced age for a Leonberger he was awarded the Grey Muzzle Award, given by the Leonberger Health Foundation International, which bestows the award on any Leonberger who has reached the age of twelve. The Grey Muzzle Award is also given to breeders, because they are partially responsible for the dogs’ longevity.

Our Leonberger Bronco at the age of three months (left) and at the age of almost thirteen (right)