Una ( the puppy formerly known as Ballinka), arrived at Logan International Airport on February 15, 2011 on board Lufthansa Flight LH422. Met at the plane, accompanied through Customs (…”this puppy does not speak English?! hrrmph, that will never do! her Passport, yes of course…everything is in order… Welcome to the US!” ) the Bohemian Shepherd formerely known as balla, was driven to her new home in Rhode Island.
This is the first in a series of articles describing the experience of raising a puppy of the Breed Chodsky Pes aka Bohemian Shepherd.
(In the spirit of the fair use doctrine), some back information on the breed:
The Bohemian Shepherd is a medium-sized shepherd, length marginally exceeding height. The dog has long, thick fur and a rich undercoat, allowing him to withstand harsh weather. He has an exceptionally harmonious build. Body is compact and well-proportioned. Typical characteristics for the breed are as follows: erect ears, small, pointed, and high set. An elegant, long neckline, also marked by long, rich fur. The gait is fluid, light and unhurried. All Bohemian Shepherd puppies look almost identical and don’t really start to show their adult coloring until they are about 6 or 7 months. Some have medium length coats, but most of them have very very furry and fluffy coats. They are also a medium sized dog – maximum 25 kg in the breeding standard, minimum 16 kg. The only allowed coloring of its long coat is black and tan.
( http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/bohemianshepherd.htm )
Wikipedia tells us that the breed, Chodsky Pes has been traced back as far as the 14th in the country now known as the Czech Republic, “…possibly also one of the predecessors to the German Shepherd.Chodsky pes is known to exist in the Czech lands as far back as the 14th century, and having been professionally bred as early as the 16th century”. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohemian_Shepherd )
Quite the family tree for the star of our series of articles. We made transportation arrangements through a service, Jet-a-Pet ( http://www.jetapet-international.com/ ).
This company handled everything from picking up Una at the breeders in the Czech Republic to ‘walking her through Customs’ in Boston and finally delivering her to our door in Rhode Island. Totally professional service, do not hesitate to give them a call.
Now, the logistics of puppy transport, while interesting, is probably not what is generating the question in your mind. Even allowing that the long history of the breed, with the suggestion that this breed is the ancestor to the modern German Shepherd dog is not the primary question. The question is not ‘what’ or even ‘how’, the question is ‘why?’
Why this breed and not a German Shepherd or a Belgian Shepherd or an Australian Shepherd? (or even an Alan Shepherd! sorry, caught in the shepherd thing there).
To answer the question of why requires a little background on our family history with dogs, specifically German Shepherd dogs.
Our family has always had German Shepherds(GSD) as the canine family member. Our second dog, Bella, died last year. Eventually the time came to find another dog, I could not imagine not having a GSD, my wife who is much more practical suggested a ‘small dog’. Her reasoning was simply that when Bella became too sick to jump into the car, Phyllis had to lift all 85 pounds of German Shepherd into the car. Thinking ahead, Phyllis suggested that when our next dog ‘needed lifting into the car’, we will both be 10 or more years older. Maybe not so much fun lifting an 85 lb dog.
I could not imagine a small breed having the qualities of the GSD, so I went in search of a ‘small German Shepherd’.
Chodsky Pes. As soon as I saw the photos, it was clear that this was the dog. The same self-assurance, the intelligent and good nature, with a maximum adult weight in the 55 to 60 pound range!
I also found out that there are no breeders in the US, and so the adventure began.
Articles to follow: Raising a Czech dog in the our American culture…