We always like having a large dog for both our own entertainment (they’re so goofy) and for security reasons. Usually our large dogs are big sissies but no one else needs to know that. When it became clear that Ozzie wasn’t going to make it to Africa we knew it was just a matter of time before we got a new large-breed puppy.
At first we wanted to get a Rottweiler because my son Alex’s Rottie, Kala, is the sweetest nanny dog ever (think of the book, “Good Dog Carl”). She totally changed my perception of Rottweilers (I thought they were like pit bulls).
Our veterinarian here, a wonderful woman named Dr. Oparaocha, is quite a character (and we adore her!). She works 24/7 and was at the airport waiting at 6:20 am when we arrived and carried Buddy to us in her arms in the baggage area (leaving the crate outside). Anyways, she is very sure of her opinions so when we asked her where we could find a Rottweiler puppy she said, “No, you will not get a Rottweiler. They are too aggressive here. You want a Boerboel.” A Boerboel? We’ve never heard of that breed of dog but okay, we knew better than to argue with Dr. Oparaocha so we started looking for a Boerboel.
Through a little research we found that Boerboels are a South African dog breed developed to defend the farm and family and to fight lions. “Boer” is Afrikaans for “farmer,” hence, Boerboel mean’s “farmer’s dog.” They apparently were created about 350 years ago through cross-breeding Mastiffs with local domesticated indigenous dogs. Looking at photos of full-grown Boerboels, they look just like Rottweilers but they are fawn-colored with black muzzles.
So, about ten days ago we called a little ad we saw on the grocery store bulletin board regarding Boerboels for sale. We picked up the owner at a close-by supermarket and then drove and drove and drove (in the pouring rain) and finally arrived at a gated house with two eight-month-old Boerboels, one three-month-old Boerboel and a Great Dane.
We fell in love with the three-month-old female Boerboel and ten minutes later were driving away with our new puppy on my lap.
When we got her (photo below) she was about Buddy’s size but weighed almost ten pounds more than him. She’s a fat little butterball of snorts and licks.
She even fit in Buddy’s crate.
Now, a week later, she doesn’t fit! The size of her paws give a clue as to how large she’ll be.
I brought Coco to Dr. Oparaocha and she immediately cooed, “she’s gorgeous!”
Of course, Buddy Big Boy is still the king of the house and Coco knows it. (Thanks to Kristi Valla for the great photo below taken in the valley behind our flat in Rome.)