After we lost Coda I knew we would get another dog but I wasn't sure what breed it would be. Was I willing to risk getting another Giant? Coda's epilepsy had drained our savings and our emotions.
Of one thing I was certain. The dog, no matter the breed, was to be from working lines. My goal would be Schutzhund.
The two breeds on the top of my list were the Belgian Malinois and the Giant Schnauzer. I wasn't ready for a puppy yet so I decided to foster one of each to help with the decision.
Along came Rebel the Malinois, a personal foster for a friend. Rebel had been held back as a puppy because he had megaesophagus. Seeing him growing up in a run I offered to look after him until he found a home.
Chevy the Giant Schnauzer was from the same breeder as Coda. At first he offered me a puppy at half price which I politely declined. He then offered us a young male who was returned to him for aggression issues. We declined that as well.
Soon after that we got another call from the breeder... He had another proposal for me. I went in to meet with him and was introduced to Chevy, a dog he was planning to show but who wasn't doing well in his kennel set up and was spooking at everything. He asked if I would take him, train and socialize him. Chevy would go back for showing and breeding but would spend the rest of his time with us. I think he was truly shocked that I turned down the 'free' show dog. I did however offer to look after Chevy for a while and get him out into the world.
So for a while I had two Belgians and a Schnauzer. Rebel found a home in Saskatchewan and Chevy went back to the breeder.
Rebel and Ceilidh colliding with Chevy laughing at them.
Since I don't have a Malinois you already know the conclusion... a Giant Schnauzer named Bullet. Something I've never regretted.
While I'm continually drawn to the Malinois like a moth to a flame, my experiences with Ceilidh (a post for another time) and stories of other Belgians I know personally have made me cautious of going there. That could change. Aamer from our club will be bringing home a new Malinois puppy this year and I'm looking forward to seeing it grow up.