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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