I decided to write about dogs because I’ve realized they have somehow hijacked a few plot twists. Thus, here’s to their dog’s lives, some rant.
Bri, the Rottweiler (Retriever)
Bri is Aaron’s puppy, a 10-week old Rottweiler. I wanted a reportedly-aggressive dog for this, and I actually ran a
completely biased and statistically insignificant poll through people I knew about what breed they considered more aggressive, a Doberman or a Rottweiler. Lately the pitbull breed has been gathering some evil reputation, but Rottweilers and Dobermans? Nightmare material for many. The point is that when I got tired of asking, Rottweilers had been marked as the most aggressive and dangerous dog.
Behold the blood-thirsty beast, and its adult version:
The American Kennel Club [link] describes the Rottweiler as a compact medium-large robust and powerful dog, with a characteristic black and brown coat. The Rottweiler’s normal temperament is calm, intelligent, self-confident and courageous, with an inherent desire to protect home (which makes it a good guardian dog). When introduced to strangers it comes across as aloof, but it is highly adaptable and has a strong willingness to work.
So what’s the deal with the super-killing machine? A fit Rottweiler is all muscle, and has a big head. It is a strong dog and has a strong bite. Does it make it dangerous? Only when the owner is stupid and can’t take care of it and properly train it, I think, but no more dangerous than say… a German Shepherd, and let me tell you, a pissed-off German Shepherd biting hurts. But German Shepherds got Rin Tin Tin as ‘role model’, and Rottweilers are evil-guy dogs. I have seen terribly aggressive toy poodles , but a poodle bite is laughed of. If a huge Rottweiler bites can cause a lot of damage, and then the breed is spawn of the devil.
There were a few mean Rottweilers in Retriever, i.e. Rottweilers trained to attack and cause damage. I wanted Bri to exist because it is not the breed what makes the dog “evil”, because I believe there are few “evil” dogs (not zero, there are some lost cases, I am sure), but many stupid owners who make the dog aggressive out of training.
Ima, the black Labrador Retriever (Osaka Guardians)
Ima could have been a Labrador as much as he could have been a Belgian Shepherd, but in the end I decided on the “stereotypical” helping dog. According to the American Kennel Club [link] Labradors’ temperament is a trademark of the breed. They are gentle, outgoing, eager to please and non-aggressive; they are considered very intelligent and adaptable.
Labradors are the typical seeing-dogs for the blind, they are human-dogs (the same way there are dog-people XD), easy to train, hard-working and loyal. It is amazing seeing one of them ‘at work’. However there are many more things dogs can do. While checking for dog-therapy, I found the Psychiatric Service Dog Society (PSDS) [link], and the amount of things a dog can do for a person is… almost unbelievable. Dogs can be part of the therapy for major depression, bipolarity (manic phase), panic, anxiety, agoraphobia, social phobia, post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, double personality and schizophrenia. Of course, it is not only Labradors that can do these tasks, but I know what Ima is up to…
… in the future, maybe, because right now he only cares about three things, tennis balls, shoes and his human… then again, caring for his human is the base of all the psychiatric rehab work, right? ^^
Taki, the Landseer Newfoundland (You & I)
I am not really sure whether the Landseer is a sub-breed (is it even called that?) of the Newfoundland or just a coat-color denomination. The standard Newfoundland has a solid-colored coat (usually dark), while the Landseer is white with black markings.
They are large dogs, and the AKC [link] describes them as sweet as their main trait. They are also gentle and capable of draft work, and apparently possess natural lifesaving abilities. I read somewhere that they are known for standing between kids and bodies of water if they don’t “judge” the human pup capable of handling themselves in the water.
They are very protective in an… unmoving way. They won’t jump and bite but… stand. Unmovable. Even if they are big dogs they can be kept in an apartment, they tend to become lazy and overweight if they don’t walk regularly though, and they drool and shed. Huge dog with huge mouths, lots of space to generate drool, and lots of coat to shed hair.
Taki is a bit bigger than the average Landseer, so he was a huge fluffball when he was a pup; the owner of the Kennel could not sell him and was going to kill him. Fortunately he got adopted. His mission at home is to turn both his owners crazy, and to remind one of them that food and sleep must come regularly. Aside from real psychological therapy, dogs can provide a huge time anchor, giving a person a routine.
He is a slow-motion dog, but he is terribly stubborn. When he sets his mind into anything, whether it is ‘food’, ‘sleep’, ‘walk’ or ‘you shall not pass’, he sets his body on it, and stares. He can either tug on sleeves or just stand in the way, with utter calmness.
I wanted Taki to be a huge dog from the beginning, but usually large dogs are high-energy dogs who need lots of exercise. I had not even heard of the Landseer variation until I started doing research on the topic; originally he was set to be a Sand Bernard, and I don’t really remember why I discarded that idea, maybe because of the energy thing.
Just out of curiosity… Taki’s best friend is a female cat called Princess Cleopatra. You can guess how spoliled she is.
Well, that was it. I actually wrote a long time ago about a mongrel in a short story, and the dog had more personality than its owner, but as I said it was long ago, and that story was lost one of the times I moved ^^”
All images used in this post are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license and have been obtained from Wikimedia Commons. Attribution: Landseer [link]; Rottweiler – Adult [link]; Rottweiler – Pup [link]; Labrador Retriever – Adult [link]; Labrador Retriever – Pup [link].