As many of the regular readers on this blog know, I am a huge lover of St. Bernards. Most recently I had two littermates—Dudley and Maggie—who I raised with my son John, and who were just like members of my family. You can read all about my journey as a breeder and self-proclaimed “dog-dad” in this post.
Seeing as they were littermates who grew up together, Maggie and Dudley were very close. So when Dudley died of epilepsy three years ago, Maggie took it badly. I knew we were going to need to find her another companion, but when we looked for another St. Bernard, none were available within even 300 miles!
Then, about a year ago, one of my St. Bernard breeder friends told me about some boxers that were available locally. I’d never owned a boxer before, but figured there wouldn’t be any harm in going to check them out. Long story short, we took Maggie to see the boxers, and ended up walking away with Reuben. They took to each other immediately! Reuben was a Grand Champion and one-time national champion, but one of his ears no longer stood up and the breeder just wanted a good home for him—a home we were more than happy to provide.
Being a Grand Champion is a really big deal. You have to win 15 or 20 dog shows, and three of these have to be “majors” (which means there are many competitors). Reuben won about 35 dog shows before he was even five years old. He’s a real specimen. Seventy-seven pounds and 25” at the shoulder. Six and a half years old, so he’s not too much of a puppy to bother our old Maggie.
However, since he was such a dog show star, nobody ever bothered to teach Reuben some manners—he really likes to jump up on people. But overall he may be the nicest, most affectionate dog I’ve ever had. (And that’s including around 25 dogs since WWII.) He uses 110-pound Maggie for a pillow and licks her all the time…which is exactly what we got him for.
He’s a great little dog who has changed all of our lives. He’s forever cheerful and happy; even when he lost an eye just before Christmas (herniated ulcer), he hit the ground running the next day.
If you’re looking for the next four-legged addition to your family, I couldn’t recommend either St. Bernards or Boxers enough. But the truly important thing to look for is a dog that fits into your home, loves your family, and has exactly the personality-type you love. Your local pet stores and animal shelters will have plenty of information available to you as well for figuring out which dog will fit your family the best! And if you need a smile, or more proof that big dogs and children were made for each other, check out this website.
Is your family a dog family? Tell us about your four-legged loved ones in the comments below!