Big and Small
Living with Both
I always considered myself “a big dog person.” When I began my training career, in competition obedience, I shared my home with a Weimaraner and a Doberman. I’d take them and all their gear to dog shows and training events. I started thinking about lightening my load and getting a small dog for superior portability. Admittedly, my bias impeded high expectations for a toy breed, beyond the “cuddle factor.” At the shelter one day, I met a strange alien-looking creature and learned it was an Italian Greyhound. After research and much anticipation, I brought home a little IG puppy. My 10-year-old Weimaraner was a gentle big brother to the IG, and soon to his new sister, a Chihuahua.
Living with big and small together was fun but presented challenges, as care had to be taken to prevent accidental injury to the little ones. Feeding was always done in separate spaces, and the play was supervised. When not at home, the big and the small were in separate areas of the house. As the years went by, my big dogs passed, and I downsized my abode to a townhouse. So the next two dogs to join my family were small and medium-sized. I suppose I was once a “big dog snob,” underestimating the trainability and true connection one could have with a small dog. My Italian Greyhound shattered those preconceptions as he took to training like a pro. The traveling we did together over the years by car and by plane, built a deep trust and cooperation.
Even my little Chihuahua surprised me with her huge personality and her enthusiasm for fetch & retrieve. Time being relentless, my small dogs are now starting to pass. Recently I realized that my current house and yard can accommodate that Rottweiler occupying my wish list. Once again, I’m living with big and small, each with their own quirks and virtues, loving them all the same.