Someone e-mailed me a photo of this dog, asking if he might be a Bouv or part Bouv. I thought maybe, maybe not. Another breed rescue person had offered to foster him and still another to transport him from the shelter ; however it looked like they were going to have some difficulties making the connection. The shelter director said he was a very nice dog, with totally irresponsible owners who refused to keep him confined to home and yard. So I offered to foster him, at least until better arrangements could be made : the plan was that if he proved to be a Bouv , I would continue to foster him, but if not then we would try to transfer him to other foster care.
Well , soon as I met him , I knew he was not a Bouv or even a "Bouv pretender" , but he was a sweet dog. So I took him home and studied him a bit to try to figure out the "ingredients". Ungroomed, he looked to me like possibly an oversized Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, so I asked some Wheaten people to take a look. They say he might be part Wheaten, though that is debateable. He also kind of looks like photos of the smooth-faced version of Pyraneean Shepherd (a herding breed esteemed in France), but of course that is very unlikely as they are very rare in this country. Most likely he is some kind of terrier mix.
Anyway, he has now been here a week (as of 7/02/04) and he is now neutered, current on shots, and current on heartworm prevention. Everyone who has met him, including the vets and students at the UCD VMTH , think he is adorable. He is a very sweet and affectionate dog and he is very very smart and fairly willing to please. Very cooperative about grooming. Catching on quickly to walking on leash nicely and to coming when called. Because he has a history of playing "catch me if you can", I am taking his "Come" training very seriously ; I'd recommend keeping him on a long line for many months whenever he is outside the home so that every "come" can be made into a success that can be praised and petted and , occasionally, gvien a food treat.
He seems to be OK with other dogs, and was reported to be so by the shelter. He loves to play games whre other dogs chase him, and he loves to play wrestling and "fencing" (grabbing at each other with wide open mouths) games. He seems to be friendly with all people, but I have not yet gotten to see him with children. I have no idea how he would be with cats.
For a photo of him after grooming, see below. As you can see, he is absolutly cute enough to die for ! In size, he is about 20" tall at shoulder and should weight about 50 lbs when at correct weight (currently he is underweight).
UPDATE : Poirot is spoken for and will go to his ADOPTER on 8/13/04. They met him a week earlier, but I wanted to keep him until his neuter stitches were out and wanted to get him housebroken (which was almost instantaneously) and get him used to coming when called. Poirot is one of the absolutely nicest and best behaved dogs I have ever fostered, as well as one of the cutest. His adopters are getting a real TREASURE !
UPDATE : oops, I spoke too soon. I took Poirot to his new home as planned, but the prospective adopters' dog did not like Poirot and found his play style incompatible. So he came home with me. He is still AVAILABLE for adoption.
UPDATE (9/01/04) : Once he really settled in here, he has become very very playful with my other dogs, especially with Pixel. Poirot loves to race in circles and figure eights , especially if he can get someone to chase him. Often he will have grabbed up a stuffed toy , or a pillow off the sofa, and use it to try to tease a dog or myself into chasing and trying to take hold of the item, so that he can play "dodge 'em". He also loves to play the canine equivalent of a fencing match : with open mouths and a particular type of sound effect the two dogs try to score "hits" on each other's bodies. The action looks furious but the actual "hits" tend to be very light, ie just enough to score points. He also likes wrestling games. He would be enormously enjoyed by any dog who also loves vigourous play, but he could be overwhelming for a dog who is intimidated by same. He has even gotten Shady to play with him. He tries to get the 3 ancinet dogs to play, but of course they ignore him.
He also really loves to swim. When we go to the creek, he would love to stay in the water and swim substantial distances. Yesterday, he came back to me with a very large and very dead fish in his mouth. I didn't need to take its liver temperature to know it had been dead a long time. But he dropped it when I told him to. If he goes to a home that likes to walk or hike near creeks and rivers, he will be in his element ; but the adopters would need to be as safety conscious regarding swift currents and other dangers as they would be for a child.
And he has become reasonably responsive to being recalled , something I have emphasized in view of his history of playing dodge 'em with people. Sometimes takes him a while to arrive if he is swimming, simply because he may be a fair distance away.
Poirot is a delightful dog, one of the best that I have ever fostered. He does dig more than the average dog , bit more often and deeper, but I have found that the old remedy of putting dog turds in the hole will cause him to abandon that hole from further excavations. A bit of digging and picking soft items up to run around with and try to get you to play dodge 'em are his only faults, if faults they be. He does seem to need more food than aveage for his size, but that is easy to understand given that he is more active than most. For more information and for an appointment to meet him, please phone me at (530) 765-2997 between 10 am and 6 pm , California time.
UPDATE : 4/03/05 Poirot has been adopted and moved into his new home on April Fool's Day ! His adopter reports as follows :
Things are going GREAT with Poirot! He is doing so well, and has really settled in already! We took him out yesterday to Petsmart and he was WONDERFUL with every dog and person he met. Later in the afternoon, he met his new friend Riley (the terrier) and the two of them played "wrestling" and a little bit of chase. He let Riley jump all over him and they got along brilliantly! Today we are going to go to the dog park together with Riley. He has slept on his bed next to ours both nights. This morning he came up and cuddled with us on the bed - he is so cute!
When you left the first night, he was a bit sad, but he is doing great now. As soon as he woke up on Saturday and we played and went for a walk, he was fine. He is also doing very well without a gentle leader. I have taken him out several times, including to Petsmart, and he has walked very nicely on the leash, not pulling. I think the first night, he was just trying to look at everything, because since then he has been wonderful.
Thank you for the collar and leash. It does reflect at night really well. I have attached some pictures we have taken of Poirot relaxing and playing!
Poirot at home on his adopters' sofa.
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