Categories
Book Reviews

Life with a Labrador

This blog is primarily about Leonbergers and Leonberger books but sometimes I review books about other dog breeds. Today I am reviewing Lab Tested: The Layman’s Guide to Living With A Labrador – June 16, 2022 by Nick Embrey. I got the paperback version on Amazon. It currently cost $8.99 and the Kindle format cost $2.99. It is 168 pages, weighs ‎ 5.9 ounces, and the size is small with dimensions 5.06 x 0.38 x 7.81 inches. The ISBN number is 978-1739631307 and the ASIN number for the Kindle is B0B4B631S8. The book is comical reflections on the life with a Labrador, and you can find the book here.

Photo of the book Lab Tested: The Layman's Guide to Living With A Labrador – June 16, 2022 by Nick Embrey.
Lab Tested: The Layman’s Guide to Living With A Labrador – by Nick Embrey.

In this book the author is ruminating, with humor, on his life with a chocolate brown Labrador called Dudley. The pages are filled with fun discoveries, hilarious analogies, clever turns of word, and as a result laughter. The writing style comes across to me as very British and as I was reading the book, I imagined Hugh Grant narrating it in my head.

We’ve owned several dog breeds including a yellow Lab called Baylor and I definitely recognized Dudley’s voracious appetite, apt food thievery, and the sometimes less than palatable choice of nutriment. However, Dudley was worse than Baylor. Dudley and Gordon Ramsey would definitely have a disagreement. Our Leonberger Bronco also had a voracious appetite. Once he finished off 5lbs of roast beef meant for a dinner party. However, the difference between Bronco and Labradors such as Dudley and Baylor is that he left broccoli, carrots, and dip for the dinner guests whilst dogs like Baylor and Dudley wouldn’t have.

Like Dudley our Baylor loved swimming (see picture below) and so did our Leonberger Bronco. I knew that Leonbergers had webbed feet and are double coated but reading this book I learned that so do Labradors. In fact, several dog breeds do. I guess I did not pay attention to that. That explains why our Baylor and Bronco were our best swimmers.

Like Dudley our Baylor was mischievous, but I have to say that Dudley takes the cake. The always hungry and rambunctious Labradors can cause quite a bit of commotion, or as some call it “acts of dog”. I’m not trying to brag when I say that our Labrador was not as bad as Dudley. I just wanted to point out that’s how you get good stories. I highly recommend this witty and very entertaining book. I don’t have a photo of Dudley, so I am including a photo of our yellow Labrador swimming.

Photo of our Labradir swimming in our in-laws swimming pool.
Our Labrador Baylor swimming in our in-laws swimming pool.

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.
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.
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
Book Reviews

The Hay Bale Better Horror Than the Books of Blood

This blog is primarily about Leonbergers and Leonberger books but on rare occasion I write a review for a book or story that I find to be exceptional and therefore want to promote. Yesterday I read a horror story on my kindle that I found to be unprecedented and therefore I want to promote it. Incidentally, strange things happened today, which tells me this is going to be an interesting Halloween. The Hay Bale Kindle Edition by Priscilla Bettis is a short story that cost $0.99 or nothing if you have Kindle Unlimited, which I don’t. However, one dollar is quite frankly almost nothing. It is 42 pages, was released in January 2022 and the ASIN number is B09P4PJQLT.

Cover image of The Hale Bale by Priscilla Bettis a very creepy story. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the Kindle story.
The Hay Bale is a creepy short horror story that is better than any short horror story I’ve ever read. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the Kindle story.

Horror is not the literary category I primarily focus on, but I do like horror, and I’ve read a significant amount of horror literature including some classic horror, Stephen King’s books and several of Clive Barker’s books, such as Hell bound Heart and Mister. B Gone. I especially loved Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, which are collections of his short stories. I and my son are also inscribed into Dracula’s or Vlad III (Vlad the Impaler’s) family of protectors, which happened in a ceremony led by Dracula’s monk at the Snagov monastery in Romania. Therefore, horror is not a literary category that is foreign to me. It should be noted that the ceremony was a tourist ploy. We are not really vampires.

Photo of Books of blood, which was a large collection of short horror stories that really impressed me. Despite that fact “The Hay Bale” is the best short horror story I’ve ever read.
Books of blood was a large collection of short horror stories that really impressed me. Despite that fact “The Hay Bale” is the best short horror story I’ve ever read.

A few decades ago, Stephen King said of Clive Barker;  I have seen the future of horror and his name is Clive Barker. Considering that “The Hay Bale” is the best short horror story I’ve ever read and assuming Priscilla Bettis will continue writing great short horror stories I would like to say, “I have seen the future of horror and her name is Priscilla Bettis”.

The Hay Bale is creepy, disturbing, scary and odd. The main character Claire is a Microbiologist. She is separated from her ex-husband Dan, who seems to have emotionally abused her. She has also suffered several miscarriages and is unable to adopt due to her emotional state. To get away for a while she rents a home in rural Virginia for the summer. The setting is a bit “children of the corn” like, perhaps “midsommar” like, whilst the story development reminded me of some of the stories in the Books of Blood.

What Claire experiences is both creepy and bizarre but unlike many of Clive Barker’s stories it’s not too adult, which I personally appreciate. It also makes the story readable by both adults as well as teenagers. The story is fast paced, unsettling, atmospheric, and it’s full of creepy imagery. I read the story while drinking two Halloween themed Texas beers, which I almost forgot to drink because I couldn’t take my eyes of the Kindle. I should add that Priscilla has her own unique style. She is not a Clive Barker clone. I am very much looking forward to more of her stories.

Photo of Kindle displaying the “The Hay Bale” plus a Halloween Themed Pumpkin Ale called Rumpy.
Me reading the “The Hay Bale” and drinking a Halloween Themed Pumpkin Ale.
Photo of the Kindle showing the last page of "The Hay Bale" and a Halloween Themed Stout.
Finished reading the “The Hay Bale” and drinking a Halloween Stout.

I should mention that following my Amazon review for the story and me posting about it in a dozen beer groups with around 30,000 members something strange happened. It is possible someone played a prank on us. This afternoon my daughter and I saw a horror movie and then we sat outside in the backyard and discussed it, Dracula and this story. That’s when she noticed that there was an old rusty medieval axe in our backyard. Someone must have placed it into our fenced in backyard today. But who? The strange Axe is included in the photo below. Where is this axe coming from? Any suggestions?

Photo of rusty medieval axe, a Kindle and a Pumpkin Ale called Rumpy. After posting my review for “The Hay Bale” and talking about it on Facebook and Instagram a strange medieval looking rusty axe mysteriously appeared in our backyard. Is someone playing a prank on us?
After posting my review for “The Hay Bale” and talking about it on Facebook and Instagram a strange medieval looking rusty axe mysteriously appeared in our backyard. Is someone playing a prank on us?

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 page 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
Leonbergers

Support the Leonberger Health Foundation International

Purebred large dog breeds tend to have shorter life spans compared to most other dogs and they have more health issues. However, Leonbergers are  fortunate compared to other large breeds, especially those bred in North America, primarily for three reasons:

  • The Leonberger breed standard does not call for traits that can be detrimental to health.
  • The precise and restrictive breeding regulations of the Leonberger Club of America (LCA) and other Leonberger clubs.
  • The work of the Leonberger Health Foundation International or LHFI, have resulted in Leonbergers being relatively free of inherited illnesses compared to other large dog breeds in America.

Today I received my first payment for the sale of my book from Amazon (for the month of July) and I donated all proceeds to the Leonberger Health Foundation International like I said I would. Regardless of whether you get my book or not you can donate to LHFI. It is one of my favorite charities. LHFI “facilitate the solicitation and distribution of donations given to support health related breed-specific research.” The LHFI also administers a program that collects DNA samples from Leonbergers to share with universities and research institutions.

Among the organization’s achievements are the eradication of Addison’s disease among Leonbergers, the raising of nearly half a million dollars for research into conditions that affect canine health, including osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, glaucoma, cardiac diseases, thyroid diseases, and neurological disorders. Another notable achievement is the fact that since 2011, no Leonbergers with two copies of the LPN1 gene mutation, which causes Leonberger polyneuropathy, have been recorded in LHFI’s biobank (featuring 9,000 Leonbergers). Its research also supports healthful longevity and aging as well as population diversity.

One happy event for our family was when Bronco received his Grey Muzzle Award, which is an award given for longevity by LHFI. LHFI bestows the award on any Leonberger who has reached the age of twelve. To find out more about the Grey Muzzle Award click here. To see the 2019–2020 awardees video featuring Bronco click here.

Photo of Bronco receiving his grey muzzle award. Claudia is holding the award.
Bronco receiving his grey muzzle award.
Photo of the Grey Muzzle Award certificate from the Leonberger Health Foundation International.
Grey Muzzle Award certificate from the Leonberger Health Foundation International.
Photo of the Grey Muzzle Award from the Leonberger Health Foundation International.
The Grey Muzzle Award from the Leonberger Health Foundation International.

I can add that when Bronco passed away, we sent his DNA to the University of Minnesota to be used in research. This was facilitated by the LHFI.

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.

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

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
Photos

The Leonberger at the Mountain Top

We are visiting Sweden, specifically the High Coast. I am originally from here. This is a beautiful area with fjords, mountains and forests. We took a ski lift up to the top of a mountain called Skule Berget/Mountain. At the top there is a cabin that’s open for tourists.  You can also walk up the mountain on a steep long trail. In addition to visiting the cabin and watching the views from the mountain top we climbed down a cliff to visit a cave and after our visit we walked down the trail. It was a day filled with exercise. However, the highlight of the day was that we met a Leonberger, Amie, and her owner at the top of mountain.

Amie a female Leonberger at the Skule mountain top.
Amie at the top of the Skule Mountain.

We shouted, “look a Leonberger”, and Amie started wagging her tail and running towards us. She obviously loved attention. Her owner let us pet her and take a few photos of her. Amie was very playful, she rolled around and wanted to be petted. She was very friendly. She reminded us of our late Leonberger Bronco, but being a female she was a little bit smaller and more feminine looking.

Photo of Amie, a female Leonberger. She was playful but well behaved.
Amie was playful but very well behaved.

Amie is nine years old, which is old for a Leonberger. We were impressed that she walked all the way up to the mountain top.

Photo of view over the High Coast in Sweden
View from the Skule Mountain top
Photo of the cabin at the Skule mountain top
The cabin at the Skule mountain top
Photo of us walking back down from the Skule mountain
We are walking back down

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 it is also based on personal information.

Photo 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 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 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
Book Reviews

A Prehistoric Woman and her Loyal and Brave Dog

This blog is primarily about Leonbergers and our late Leonberger Bronco as well as the book I wrote about him and his dog friends. However, sometimes I review other Leonberger books and on occasion other great books. This time I am reviewing Born in a Treacherous Time, the first book in the Dawn of Humanity series – March 8, 2019, by Jacqui Murray. This paperback is 381 pages, ISBN‏‎ 978-1942101451, item weight 1.23 pounds, dimensions 6 x 0.96 x 9 inches. You can buy it from, for example, Amazon or Barnes and Noble, as a paperback or e-Book. The paperback version is currently $15.99 on Amazon.

Photo of front cover of the book Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book.
Front cover of the book Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book.

This book, “Born in a Treacherous Time” is the story of a Homo Habilis woman, Lucy, who lived 1.8 million years ago in Africa. The book also features a large, loyal, and brave dog “Ump” who reminded me of our large, loyal and brave Leonberger dog Le Bronco von der Löwhenhöhle.

Lucy suffers many great losses, she travels across a great rift, she is very resourceful, she is a huntress and a healer, and she survives many potentially deadly challenges. She interacts with many interesting characters and experiences many harrowing adventures. She is a survivor but a survivor with a good heart. The characters in the book are compelling, and they will touch your heart despite being of a primitive human species. The many action-packed adventures in the book, makes it difficult to put it down.

The depiction of life in the early Quaternary is realistic, which some may have a problem with. The characters in this book hunt and kill, and they are hunted and killed. They don’t eat pizza and hot dogs with relish and mustard. Life back then was brutish, cruel and short and food was raw and whatever you could get. In this book there’s loss, sadness, starvation, violence as well as a lot of adventure. So many of us hide behind our modern comforts. We eat meat without considering the destructive environmental impacts of factory farming or that the animal providing our meal was treated much more inhumanely than any free running animal killed by a hunter. We forget how harsh life used to be. I prefer realistic depictions over Disney like fairy tales.

The same is true for Ump, the friendly and brave prehistoric dog that became one of Lucy’s companions. Their friendship began after Ump’s tragic loss of his family. He did not want to move on but Lucy, having suffered so much great loss herself, encouraged him to move on. Ump was very loving and fiercely protective. Perhaps he carried a Leonberger gene? Fossil records show that prehistoric dogs and hominids came across each other in Africa 1.8 million years ago. Any domestication might have been unlikely but that doesn’t mean the story about Lucy and Ump couldn’t have happened.

Just like some of Jean M Auel’s work was made into a film, I think this book and the rest of the series could be made into a film, or a TV series. There are so many fascinating stories in this book. I should mention that Jean M Auel wrote about a time period about 20,000 years ago towards the end of the last glacial period and it was taking place in Europe. Jacqui Murray is writing about a time period 1.8 million years ago at the beginning of the ice age (Quaternary) and the first glacial periods and it is taking place in Africa. So, the setting is quite different. Like Jean M Auel Jacqui Murray did her research. I highly recommend this thrilling and enlightening book of adventures and I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series.

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 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 image is 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
Photos

Photos of a Senior Leonberger

Our Leonberger Bronco or Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle lived a very long life for a Leonberger. Large dogs do not live as long as small dogs and giant breeds such as St. Bernards, Great Danes, and Leonbergers have much shorter life spans. The average life span for Leonbergers is 8 years. Bronco died two weeks short of 13 years. He got a so called, Grey Muzzle Award, from the Leonberger Health Foundation International, and we submitted his DNA to a lab for research. The Leonberger Health Foundation International is an organization that support health related Leonberger-specific research. They fund research on various illnesses common in Leonbergers as well as the longevity of Leonbergers. This research benefit other giant breeds as well.

Dogs are considered senior after they pass 2/3 of their expected lifespan (5.3 years), which means that Bronco technically was a senior for more than 2/3’s of his life. This posts, feature 20 photos from his old age.

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco sitting in the front lawn.
Our Leonberger Bronco sitting in the front lawn.

In this photo our Leonberger Bronco is eleven years old and standing in front of our hallway. Old age is starting to set in. In this photo he has already had squamous cell carcinoma a toe-skin cancer and he has amputated a couple of toes.
In this photo our Leonberger Bronco is eleven years old and standing in front of our hallway. Old age is starting to set in. In this photo he has already had squamous cell carcinoma a toe-skin cancer and he has amputated a couple of toes.

In this photo our Leonberger Bronco is eleven years old, looking a little bit scruff and getting grey hair.
Our Leonberger Bronco eleven years old, looking a little bit scruff and getting grey hair.

Bronco with our pug Daisy whom he protected with his life. He saved her life by intervening when a lose German Shepherd went after her and he even shared food with her he had stolen from me.
Bronco with our pug Daisy whom he protected with his life. He saved her life by intervening when a lose German Shepherd went after her and he even shared food with her he had stolen from me.

Photo of Bronco and Daisy in our bug red sofa. Bronco loved our big red sofa. It was great for him but too deep to be comfortable for humans.
Bronco loved our big red sofa. It was great for him but too deep to be comfortable for humans.

Photo of Bronco and Daisy in the backyard.
Bronco and Daisy in the backyard.

Bronco is welcoming a new puppy, a mini-Australian Shepherd called Rollo.
Bronco is welcoming a new puppy, a mini-Australian Shepherd called Rollo.

Rollo loved playing with Bronco. He walked all over him, sat on his head like a hat and dangled in his tail. Bronco was patient.
Rollo loved playing with Bronco. He walked all over him, sat on his head like a hat and dangled in his tail. Bronco was patient.

Two buddies in the backyard.

Photo of Bronco's face. Bronco is hungry and is coming to get my attention.
Bronco is hungry and is coming to get my attention.

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco in Grandpa’s bushes.
Our Leonberger Bronco in Grandpa’s bushes.

Our Leonberger Bronco is twelve years old in this photo, a quite respectable age for a Leonberger.
Our Leonberger Bronco is twelve years old in this photo, a quite respectable age for a Leonberger.

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco with sunrays shining down on him. Our Leonberger Bronco was a saint. He saved Daisy’s life, he might have saved the life of our Labrador Baylor as well, when he sniffed out an oncoming insulin shock before it happened.
Our Leonberger Bronco was a saint. He saved Daisy’s life, he might have saved the life of our Labrador Baylor as well, when he sniffed out an oncoming insulin shock before it happened.

Photo of our Leonberger Bronco in front of a broken fence. Bronco has a bandage with a ziplock bag around it. A tornado ravaged our neighborhood, smashed our chimney, ruined our roof, and partially damaged our fence. It was not Bronco huffing and puffing. He had just had a toe amputation due to a reoccurrence of squamous cell carcinoma. He has a bandage on his leg, which was protected by a one-gallon zip-lock bag when he is walking outside.
A tornado ravaged our neighborhood, smashed our chimney, ruined our roof, and partially damaged our fence. It was not Bronco huffing and puffing. He had just had a toe amputation due to a reoccurrence of squamous cell carcinoma. He has a bandage on his leg, which was protected by a one-gallon zip-lock bag when he is walking outside.

Photo of Bronco with his Grey Muzzle Award. He received the award for living longer than 12 years, a rare feat for a Leonberger. It is the Leonberger Health Foundation International that give out this award.
Bronco’s Grey Muzzle Award has arrived. He received the award for living longer than 12 years, a rare feat for a Leonberger. It is the Leonberger Health Foundation International that give out this award.

Our Leonberger Bronco with the, so called, cone of shame. Well, it was a soft cone for comfort and the largest size to match his size. Unfortunately, he swung that cone around sometimes clearing tabletops.

Photo of Bronco barging into the bathroom with his cone and all. He didn’t like being alone.
Bronco barging into the bathroom with his cone and all. He didn’t like being alone.

Photo of old Bronco sitting in the backyard.
Old Bronco sitting in the backyard.

Our Leonberger Bronco was almost 13 years old in this photo.
Our Leonberger Bronco was almost 13 years old in this photo.

Among the last photos of Bronco. After this photo he passed away from a heart failure. He always had a heart of gold but even hearts of gold don’t last forever.
Among the last photos of Bronco. After this photo he passed away from a heart failure. He always had a heart of gold but even hearts of gold don’t last forever.

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
Book Reviews

The Dog Father Leonberger

This blog is primarily about Leonbergers and our late Leonberger Bronco as well as the book I wrote about him and his dog friends. However, sometimes I review other Leonberger books. This time I am reviewing The Dogfather: Dog wisdom & Life lessons: Leonberger book ~ Leonberger gifts Paperback – May 12, 2020 by Alex Luther. This paperback is 285 pages, black and white, ISBN‏‎ 979-8645268923, item weight 13.4 ounces, dimensions 6.34 x 0.65 x 6.34 inches, so fairly small. You can buy it from Amazon but exist only in paperback format. It is currently $18.99 on Amazon.

Photo of the book The Dogfather Leonberger book by Alex Luther. Dog wisdom & Life lessons.
The Dogfather Leonberger book by Alex Luther.

We’ve owned many wonderful dogs, but our Leonberger was the most amazing dog I’ve ever come across. He passed away two years ago. Leonbergers were originally bred to be large companion dogs and they are in tune with your feelings, and for that reason they make great therapy dogs. They are double coated and have webbed large paws, making them excellent swimmers, and they are sometimes used for water rescue. They are smart, very strong, they have an excellent sense of smell, they are big, about the same size as a St. Bernhard, and they are excellent guard dogs as well. Our Leonberger became the protector of our smaller dogs. He saved our pug’s life one time. He also found and brought back our hamsters when they escaped their cage. He noticed (smelled) that our Labrador, who had diabetes, was about to have an insulin shock and alerted us to it. One time he chased away a peeping Tom who frequently trespassed on our property and threatened us as well as our neighbors. Contrary to what the trespasser might have believed he did not try to eat him. After that the trespasser never came back. Above all he was very loving, very social, and sensitive to our feelings.

I thought this book looked interesting and might be worth reading at the same time as I expected a lot of sayings I’ve heard before and maybe silly jokes, but as I read on, I found the book to be better than I had expected. It is a very touching collection of sayings that were all new to me and the poetic wisdom words captured the personality of a Leonberger very well. Whoever wrote this must have owned and loved a Leonberger like us. A few examples: “I think Leonbergers are the most amazing creature; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.” “One reason a Gentle Lion can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why.” “The reason a Gentle Lion has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue” and my favorite “Sometimes I think I like Leonbergers more than I like humans. The only time a Gentle Lion has ever betrayed me…was by dying.”

In the middle of the book there are two pages of advertisement and a web link for buying stuff. So, this book is partially advertising. However, I thought that was OK. It was just two pages, and useful in its own way. I believe this book is mainly directed at a young audience, but it is also great for somewhat sentimental adults. I gave it five stars on Amazon, and I recommend it.

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
Photos

Our Leonberger and His Japanese Chin Friend

This blog post is focused on Ryu one of the dogs that Bronco grew up with.

Photo of Ryu a Japanese Chin. He was our Leonberger Bronco's little brother.
Ryu a Japanese Chin

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.

Photo of our daughter Rachel with Ryu her Japanese Chin. They are sitting on a chair at the dogpark.
Rachel and Ryu, the Japanese Shin at the dogpark.

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.

Photo Ryu a Japanese Chin. He is ready to sing or howl, whatever.
Ryu the howling opera singer.

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.

Photo of Ryu standing with Rachel. Ruy loved dancing and singing and Bronco partially visible on the left was his big brother and protector.
Ryu loved dancing and singing and Bronco partially visible on the left was his big brother and protector.

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.

Left to right in photo, Daisy a Pug, Ryu a Japanese Chin, Bronco a Leonberger.
Daisy (Pug), Ryu (Japanese Chin), Bronco (Leonberger)

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.

Left to right in photot Daisy (Pug), Ryu (Japanese Chin), and then our Leonberger Bronco.
On the left Daisy (Pug) and Ryu (Japanese Chin). On the right Bronco our Leonberger.

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.

Photo of three dogs resting thinking up mischief. Ryu a clever little dog enlisting big brother's help. Ryu is a Japanese Chin, Daisy a Pug, and Bronco a Leonberger.
Three dogs resting and probably thinking up mischief. Ryu a clever little dog enlisting big brother’s help.
From left to right in photo; Bronco a Leonberger, Ryu a Japanese Chin, Daisy a Pug.
Bronco our Leonberger was very protective of his little siblings Ryu our Japanese Shin and Daisy our Pug. He saved Daisy’s life when he got in between her and an attacking loose big dog.
Ryu a Japanese Chin is licking Daisy's ear. Daisy is a Pug.
Ryu loved Daisy
Photo of Ryu (Japanese Chin) and Daisy (Pug). Bronco our Leoberger is partially visible on the left.
Daisy and Ryu, Bronco in the corner.
Photo of a Pug (Daisy) and a Japanese Chin (Ry) sleeping.
Sleeping little dogs
Photo of a table with a cake for the dogs and Bronco and Ryu are ready to eat.
Ryu’s birthday. Bronco is helping with the celebrations.
Photo of Ryu a Japanese Chin being under the weather.
Not every day was great.

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.
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