Categories
Leonbergers

Getting a Leonberger the Interview

I think it is awful when people return dogs. Barring some very special circumstances, such as severe illness or death, this is not something that should happen. If it does happen a reputable breeder will take the dog back. A Leonberger, well any dog, should never be turned into a shelter. The Leonberger Club of America and the Leonberger community in general are very concerned about the wellbeing of all Leonbergers. Therefore, you often have to go through an interview before you can purchase or adopt a Leonberger. Are you fit to be a Leonberger owner? Would you pass the interview? Below is the interview we went through including our answers.

Kennel von der Löwenhöhle Questionnaire and our Answers

Why do you want a Leonberger?

We have a dog book, and while looking at dogs we came across the Leonberger, a gorgeous dog from Germany. We also had the opportunity to meet some Leonbergers, a mother and her puppies, which were wonderful. We have read that Leonbergers are great with children and good guard dogs, which is something we’d like. We have two dogs, but we have not raised them as puppies. We have never had a puppy and would like to have one.

What do you like about the Leonberger and what do you know about its characteristics? Do you prefer male or female? Why?

They are very beautiful and love to swim. We have a huge pool, and my children love to spend their summers swimming. Leonbergers also make wonderful pets and are good guard dogs, and best of all they don’t drool. We don’t prefer a male or a female dog.

Are you aware this is at least a ten-year commitment?

Yes. We have two other dogs, and of course we are aware that they live up to ten years—hopefully more.

Do you have any other pets? Have you had any experience raising a giant-breed puppy?

We have a Lab and a German shepherd. We have two dwarf hamsters, Moldova and Montenegro. My son also keeps a baby ball python in a cage in his room (UGGH). As I said before, we have never owned a puppy, but we met some Leonberger puppies from a breeder who resides in Houston.

Where will your dog be kept—indoors or outdoors? Backyard or kennel?

Our dog would be kept mostly indoors. (We live in Texas, and it would get too hot outside.) At night we take all our dogs for walks and for occasional swims during the year. When the dog is still a puppy, we would keep it in a puppy playpen and take it out every half hour to go to the bathroom (until obedience training). We do have a fenced backyard the puppy can play in, and we have a dog run with a dog door so the dogs can come and go as they please.

Is your yard fenced?

Yes. Our yard has a seven-foot-high solid wood fence all the way around

How many hours will you be out of the house? Where will your Leonberger be while you are gone?

I am a stay-at-home mom, and we would almost always have someone in the house, such as our housekeeper, children, and family. If we are gone for a long periods of time, we have a dog sitter who comes to our house to take care of our dogs.

Do you have children? If so, what are their ages?

We have three kids, ages thirteen, ten, and eight. Two boys and one girl (in that order).

Describe a typical day at your house now. How do you think it will change once the puppy arrives?

On a typical day, the kids go to school, and I like to take a long walk. I go through some paperwork, I prepare dinner, then everyone comes home. On weekends, my younger kids have sports, but my oldest kid stays home (he plays during the week).

I would be with the dog most of the day and would do my shopping while the housekeeper is there. I do not plan on leaving the puppy for any long period of time. I’m sure that having the puppy will be like having another child. We have been told that the puppy will be quite rambunctious for the first three years of its life.

Have you observed any obedience classes in your area? It is very important that Leonberger puppies start obedience classes by sixteen weeks of age. Would you attend such classes?

We have not observed any obedience classes yet. However, we are interested in the International K9 training facility in Dallas and would absolutely attend these classes.

Von der Löwenhöhle puppies start their crate training at our kennel. Will you continue this training? If not, why not?

Yes, we would continue crate training at our home. We will follow your advice and that of our veterinarians in regard to further training.

What plans do you have for your Leonberger—e.g., showing, breeding, obedience, family companion, therapy? If you plan to show or breed, what experience, if any, have you had?

Our major purpose for wanting a Leonberger is to have a family companion.

Please add any other information you feel will help us pick out a puppy for you.

We would like a dog that will fit in well with our family.

The front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle"
The front cover of the book (click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book).
This is the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle"
This is the back cover of the book. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
Endorsements for the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle"
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is an updated list of where you can find the book. 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

My email is : thomaswikman@msn.com

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

Print version

E-book version

Categories
Book

Lets Do Le Bronco von der Lowenhohle

On social media I’ve been posting faulty book covers with Bronco’s full name misspelled. A Facebook friend of mine pointed it out. Thank you Guido! Well, it’s not the first time Bronco have had an issue with his name being misspelled, just look at his original birth certificate.

Image of snippet from Bronco's original certificate from LCA “Lets do Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”.
Bronco’s name on his original certificate “Lets do Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”.

You may have figured out from the title of this book that Bronco’s full name was Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle. However, 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. How did that happen?

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.

There were other mistakes on the certificate, too: Bronco was classified as female, and our last name was misspelled as Wickman. We later got these mistakes corrected in the Worldwide Independent Leonberger Database, and some mistakes were corrected on the registration certificate from the American Kennel Club, which we got in 2010, after the Leonberger was recognized by the AKC. But none of that mattered much to us: we knew his name; Jacob knew his name; Bronco knew his name. Plus, we got a good story out of it.

Photo of Bronco's original (birth) certificate from LCA. We were surprised to see Bronco’s official name as it appeared on his pedigree as well as the other mistakes.
We were surprised to see Bronco’s official name as it appeared on his pedigree as well as the other mistakes.

So, what about my social media faux pas. Well below you can see the two front page covers that I have been using for front page cover images and I did not even notice the difference. The one that says: “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle” is the correct one. Luckily the book has the correct front cover. It is just my social media posts that got messed up. Another difference between the two front covers is his photo. On the correct front cover his photo is from when he was 12 years old. On the incorrect front cover his photo is from when he was a month short of 13 years old.

The correct front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle".
The correct front cover (click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book).
The faulty front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Löwenhöhle spelled Löwenhöle.
The faulty front cover (click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book).
Back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle".
This is the back cover of the book. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
The endorsements for the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". 

A wonderful tribute to the author's beloved Bronco. The storiesn 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.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is an updated list of where you can find the book. 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

My email is : thomaswikman@msn.com

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

Print version

E-book version

Categories
Book

Number One New Release in Dog Breeds

I would like to report that yesterday my book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle” became the number one best seller for new releases in the category “dog breeds”, and it seems to remain so today. It does not have any reviews though, which is not surprising since it’s only been two-three days. However, if you bought the book and read the book and you liked it I would certainly appreciate a review. Also remember that all proceeds from book sales are donated to the Leonberger Health Foundation International.

Screenshot from Amazon showing that the book is the number one best seller for new releases in the category “dog breeds”.
The book is the number one best seller for new releases in the category “dog breeds”.

In my last post I announced that my book  was available on Amazon and other places. At the time it was not available everywhere it should be, not yet. However, the book is spreading throughout the various on-line bookstores and now it is available in many more places. Therefore, I have updated the lists with the links below. However, 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

ISBN number for the e-book edition: 978-0998084961

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

My email is : thomaswikman@msn.com

Below are a few of the places where you can buy it. Click on a link to buy it from your favorite store. Note some locations are not yet available as of this writing.

Print version

E-book version

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

The Five Most Liked Blog Posts

This is my 25th blog post and I decided to make it a collection of my five most liked posts. Most of you cannot like posts. You need a wordpress.com account for that. That’s just the way wordpress.com does it to incentivize people to get an account. I don’t like that, so I am not going to ask anyone to get an account. However, everyone can comment, and I like both likes and comments. So what do you think about these five posts?

Post-12: A Shocking Walk

A young Bronco (Leonberger) at the dog park. A bit gangly but still big and brave.
A young Bronco at the dog park. Our Labrador in the background. Bronco is a gangly adolescent and hasn’t filled out yet. Later he would start looking the way you expect a Leonberger to look like. He was still very big and very brave at the time. He was probably 120 pounds in this photo. Click on the image to see the “A shocking walk” story.

Post-13: Bronco the Great Swimmer

Bronco our Leonberger is swimming in White Rock Lake outside Dallas.
Bronco swimming in White Rock Lake outside Dallas. Click on the image to see the corresponding story.

Post-16: Bronco the Very Big Dog Bites My Behind

Our big Leonberger Bronco (167lbs) sitting in Claudia's lap.
Bronco our Leonberger was a big dog with extremely powerful jaws. Once he bit my behind. Find out why. Click on the photo to read the story.

Post-17: When Bronco Swallowed our Neighbor’s Head and Teaching Dogs How to Greet People Properly

Our big and fluffy Leonberger Bronco is standing in front of the Hallway. Bronco loved greeting people. However, the head in the lion mouth circus trick is not how you greet people, something Bronco needed to learn.
Bronco our Leonberger standing in front of the Hallway. Bronco loved greeting people. However, the head in the lion mouth circus trick is not how you greet people, something Bronco needed to learn. Read this story and how to teach Leonbergers not to jump up on people by clicking on the photo.

Post-21: The second proof version of the printed book was very close to final version. The final print version is finally done. Now we are doing fixes to the eBook version.

The front and back cover of the second proof of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”, stories and tips from thirteen years with a Leonberger. Click on the photo to read about this proof and the book release.
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
Book

How to Publish a Dog Book on Amazon (and elsewhere)

Front cover of The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger.
Front cover of The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger.

Yesterday I received the first proof version of the book I’ve been working on. It will be released on Bronco’s birthday July 3rd (he would have been 15 years old). There are still some fixes that needs to be done including that the two endorsements I got both need to go in the back. However, it is getting close to being done. Therefore, I am writing a brief post on how this came about.

Page example from The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger.
Page example from The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger.

I just started writing about our beloved Bronco and his crazy and amazing adventures and I added lots of color photographs. Little did I know that creating a real book is very different from writing a long essay and then printing it at Kinkos. For starters, printing a book in color is very expensive and unlike Kinkos you cannot print some pages in color and some in black and white. Amazon has three choices; the entire book in black and white, the entire book in standard color, and the entire book in premium color. That’s it! The cost per page for 206 pages 6X9 inch book is 1.2 cents for black and white, 3.6 cents for standard color, and 7 cents for premium color. Then there is an 85 cent costs for every book. Printing a 206 pages book in black and white is $3.322, standard color $8.266, premium color $15.27.

Black and white: X = 0.85 + 0.012 * 206 = 3.322

Standard color: X = 0.85 + 0.036 * 206 = 8.266

Premium color: X = 0.85 + 0.036 * 206 = 15.27

In addition, Amazon wants 40% of the price of the book and they leave the rest for you as royalty to the author. In my case I am donating all of that to the Leonberger Health Foundation International. So, if the price of the book is $10.95 the royalty to the author is

Black and white: Y = 0.6*10.95 – 3.32= 3.25

Standard color: Y = 0.6*10.95 – 8.266= -1.70

Premium color: Y = 0.6*10.95 – 15.27= -8.7

So that did not work out unless you choose black and white. Let’s say the price of the book is $19.95

Black and white: Y = 0.6*19.95 – 3.32= 11.97

Standard color: Y = 0.6*19.95 – 8.266= 7.02

Premium color: Y = 0.6*19.95 – 15.27= -3.3

This time standard color leaves some for the Leonberger Health Foundation International but premium color still does not work out. There is no printing cost associated with the kindle e-book so in that case you can choose whatever price you like, and Amazon gets 40% and author royalty is 60%. It is not possible to have a negative royalty with the e-book. I should also mention that if you work with a real publisher as opposed to self-publishing or working with a publisher you pay for, they will take care of all of this for you. However, the vast majority of author’s today, especially unknown authors, self-publish.

For additional information check out this page (https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201834340)

This is information I did not know before I wrote the book that would have been really helpful when planning the book.

Front and back cover of book. The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle. Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger.
Front and back cover

Printing cost and royalty calculations are not the only things you need to worry about. You also need to consider the size of the book, how the cover should look like, the type of paper you want to use, and you may want to get endorsements. Unless your English is perfect you probably need an editor. If you are first time author you most likely need help with book design, buying an ISBN number, creating the bar code, creating an author page and book page on Amazon, etc. Book design is when you take your word document, preferably written in Times New Roman 12, and turn into a pdf file where paragraphs and photos are laid out to fit together nicely on a rectangle corresponding to the book size you picked (6X9 in my case). Then you need to upload your files to Amazon and other bookstores. I wrote my book and then I considered all of this. If you are writing a book for the first time you may want to plan for all of this before you write your book. This blog post was focused on the price. I will post more about the concerns another time.