You may or may not have noticed by now that I’m a teeny bit obsessed with my dog.
I mean, she’s pretty much the most beautiful, smartest dog I’ve ever seen ;)
Reese is a purebred Rhodesian Ridgeback that I acquired during my first year of vet school (shortly after I started dating my boyfriend). Her breeder is a veterinarian as well who graduated from my school just a few years ahead of me. She’s very serious about her breeding program, and breeds first and foremost for temperament. She always says that the most important quality in a dog is a good temperament, because you have to be able to live with your dog.
I did quite a bit of research into breeds and breeders before I settled on the ridgeback. I looked for a dog that would fit my lifestyle. I needed a dog that was low maintenance, not only in grooming but also in exercise requirements. I wanted a dog that would be energetic enough to go running with me while I’m marathon training, but also calm enough to hang out around the house when I get busy with school. I also prefer a dog with a coat that doesn’t require endless brushing and won’t shed everywhere, because I definitely do not have the budget to pay for routine grooming or a maid. I looked for a dog who would be able to handle the heat of our summers, and also a dog who would be calm and quiet around the house.
I searched for all of these qualities that were most important to me, and I came up with the Rhodesian Ridgeback. They’re energetic dogs, willing to go on very long runs (provided you build up their endurance appropriately!) and also willing to be complete couch potatoes. They are extremely loyal, and tend to be one-person or one-family dogs. They’re not barkers (for the most part) but will question intruders in the house. They have an extremely low maintenance coat, and they also handle heat very well, being from South Africa originally. When I went looking for a breeder and found a veterinarian from my school, living in my hometown, I thought it might be meant to be.
The first thing I did was go visit the breeder and the parents of my unborn pup (I highly recommend this).
These two dogs were super sweet and well behaved, and were exactly what I was looking for. I paid my deposit and waited eagerly for my puppy. On March 8, 2010, my little bundle of joy was born :)
Of course, at that point I didn’t know which wrinkly little pup she was. I received the photo updates weekly along with the rest of the prospective owners, and waited for the day that I could go pick my pup up. (She’s the one with the white mark on her chest.)
I was so excited when I finally got to bring her home. I have never once regretted my decision to get her, and she is literally the best dog anyone in my family has ever owned. She gets special privileges at my parents and my boyfriend’s parents’ house :)
She’s my running buddy.
And my snuggle buddy. (And study buddy.)
She puts up with a lot of practicing for school.
And has successfully competed in the show ring.
She is my best friend and the best example of what good breeding, training and research can get you. I wish every dog owner could have the same experience I have had when they decide to get a dog. I’m not saying that Ridgebacks are the perfect breed, God knows they can be stubborn as hell sometimes, and she has definitely gotten her little butt in trouble.
But she has been the perfect dog for my lifestyle and for me.
So, after that lengthy explanation of why I love my dog (you’re welcome), here’s my exciting news.
We’re planning puppies!!! :D