Waggleview with Terri Webster Schrandt, leisure educator and blogger
The Dog Owner: Terri Webster Schrandt-University Lecturer. Retired Recreation and Parks Practitioner. Self-Published Author
Terri is a leisure educator, self-published author, blogger, and retired recreation and parks practitioner living in Northern California. Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is her blog about living a leisure lifestyle. She is also a dog lover and spends a lot of her leisure time with her dogs Aero and Brodie.
Dog type and Name: Aero: Boykin Spaniel/Terrier/Poodle mix 6 years old; Brodie: Boykin Spaniel, 4 months old
Q: Why did you choose these dogs? In early 2010, my daughter was given a terrier-mix puppy named Gideon by her best friend. Gideon was (and still is) a wonderful dog with a mellow temperament. He loved to play with my 13-year old dog Oreo. I asked my daughter’s friend where she got Gideon. She got him from her boyfriend at the time, who bred dogs (later found out it was a puppy mill!). Another litter was born a few months later and my hubby and I decided to get one of the puppies. Thinking our puppy would look like Gideon, although cocoa brown in color, we saw that he looked more like the spaniel side of the family. He was covered with fleas when we got him at 8 weeks old.
We chose the name Aero. My daughter pointed out that all our pets had “eo” in their names: Gideon, Oreo and our cat Leon. We thought if the pup were a female we could call her Cleo. He was a male, and we came close to the e-o part with Aero. We tell people Aero, you know, “Aerosmith, Aerospace, Aeronautic, Aerodynamic” …you get it.
I find myself calling him Aero dePerro.
In early January, I discovered the spaniel side of Aero is Boykin Spaniel. I’ve always assumed he was part Cocker Spaniel. Another blogger had posted a story about her daughter’s dog and lo and behold, a picture of a dog that looked just like Aero popped up. I NEVER see dogs like him. Boykin Spaniels are the state dog of South Carolina, bred in the early 1900s to retrieve water fowl, and to fit in small boats during duck hunting (so as not to rock the boat). They are also known as LBD “little brown dogs.”
I got terribly emotional about discovering Aero’s true genetic heritage. I don’t know why it hit me so hard, but as a result we knew that a dog of this breed needed to be part of our family.
We thought it was time Aero got a companion. My hubby started looking at the Boykin Spaniel website http://www.boykinspaniel.org/ and found the Facebook page of the only breeder in California. We sent a photo of Aero to her and she as much confirmed that Aero has a large percentage of this breed in him. Long story long, we decided to buy one of the puppies that were born Dec 10th.
Boykin Spaniel breeders can be reluctant to sell this breed to just “anyone,” and though we are not hunters or duck hunters, we do live active lives on the water, windsurfing, kayaking and stand-up paddling. The breeders agreed that Brodie would go to a great home.
We picked up Brodie (means Muddy Paws in Irish/Gaelic) on January 28 at 7 weeks old.
We are thrilled to be able to bring more of the Boykins to California. As a result of two Boykins Spaniel Facebook groups I follow, we have made new friends and have learned more about this amazing breed.
I had forgotten what it is like to raise a puppy “from scratch!” It is a LOT of work, but the timing was right for us to bring Brodie home this winter.
Q: Do you talk to your dogs? If so, what do you talk about?
Now that I’m retired and just work part-time, I do have conversations with Aero. He seems to listen. I know his vocabulary is extensive each time he cocks his head when I say his favorite words “walk” “delta” “home.” I usually tell him I’m going somewhere, and say “I’ll be back, see you later” when I let him out of the house when leaving for work or errands.
Since Brodie is still a toddler (in dog years), I spend a lot of time yelling “NO!” at him. But he is smart and learns quickly. Most of the time I tell him he’s “just the silliest thing” as I a pull one of my socks from his mouth.
Q: If they could talk to you, what would they say?
Aero would tell me that he wants his dinner at a certain time. He would ask when are we going for our walk and when are we going to see his brothers (either Woody or Gideon).
Now that rambunctious Brodie is in the picture and already outweighs little Aero by 20 pounds, Aero asks daily, “Why, oh why, did you bring this crazy pup into my life? Thinks were just fine without him!” This makes me a little sad, but Aero does enjoy their playtimes together. Brodie will soon grow out of this crazy-puppy phase he is in.
Q: If your dogs had a job or career, what would they be doing?
Aero has the temperament of a guardian, a watchdog. For a small dog, he has a powerful and sometimes staccato bark that can curl your hair. Dogs have 400 times the sense of smell of humans, but Aero’s seems to be 600 times plus! He is known to bark at the wind (usually someone walking up on the levee at our windsurf camp). He can be bossy, so a job in some sort of supervisory position where he is in charge would be appropriate.
Since Brodie is still a toddler, the jury is still out on his potential career. A retriever bred to hunt and fetch ducks, Brodie will take care of us in our older years, bringing home food and fetching things we need when we can’t get out of our chairs.
Q: What lesson in life have your dogs taught you?
Although Aero likes to be in charge, he has taught me about loyalty, joy and companionship. Last winter, when I was suffering a serious head cold, he laid by my side all day. When I get up, he follows me from room to room. Brodie does that, too. I’ll be working in my home office, with both dogs napping close by, and as soon as I get up, Brodie follows me. Aero sometimes gets a stubborn streak at bedtime, but after a long day, he is more than ready for bed and has his favorite place on the couch, until we head for the bedroom for the night.
Q: How do your dogs inspire you?
Their unbridled joy each time they see me! Coming home from an errand or from work, whether it’s been 30 minutes or 8 hours, they both run out of the door or gate and burst across the lawn. Aero looks like a 14-pound rocket, bootin’ & scootin’ across the yard. His joy simply demonstrates his happiness at seeing me. We all can learn a lesson from this act of unconditional love.
Q: Where is your dog’s favorite place to go with you?
Aero loves going anywhere in the car. He is a fantastic traveler. Before I got his special car seat, he preferred to sit on the center consul next to the driver seat, but that was potentially dangerous. His little car seat is perfect and is set in the middle of the back seat so he can still see out the front window. Must be the guardian in him! His favorite place to go? The Sacramento River Delta, where we keep a trailer in a campground for 5 months between April-September. This is our windsurf camp! He can pretty much run around free as long as he does not cross the levee road.
Brodie just started going to the delta with us, and rides in his travel crate for the hour drive.
Q: Who or what does your dogs find the most interesting?
Aero is always fascinated with dogs smaller than himself. When he is taller, he is in better control of the situation. At this point, Brodie finds everything interesting and will chew it up to prove it!
Q: What is the most annoying thing other dog owners do?
Most of our windsurfer friends have dogs, many much bigger than Aero and Brodie. Most of them are let loose around the campground and they like to come visit our trailer, especially when my hubby is cooking something on the grill. The dogs seem good around their owners, but when on their own, they do what any dog will do and run amok! Brodie is not shy or afraid of any sized dog at this point and his stocky frame is like a tank that will take a taller dog down. Retribution of sorts, I guess.
Q: What does being a responsible dog owner mean to you?
Taking care of the dog like it’s a member of the family. That means getting their shots, giving them appropriate veterinary care, and training them properly. We always carry poop bags when we take them for their walks. We trained Aero well and he has very good manners.
Q: Do you ever dress up your dog? If so, as what?
Yes, but my hubby doesn’t really like it. In the winter, I put a sweater on Aero, especially after he’s been groomed. In this photo, the groomer really cut poor Aero’s ears down and it couldn’t have been timed more perfect as a winter storm slapped us in mid-April when this was taken.
Q: How has your dog changed your life?
I think about how much Aero has impacted my life. Because he sleeps indoors and spends time in the house, he feels like a member of the family. My dog, Oreo, was a large, furry, Springer Spaniel/Aussie Shepherd mix and lived outdoors (slept in the garage). There were times when Oreo could have come into the house. When I think about Aero living for maybe another 9-10 years, I can’t imagine life without him. I have lots of reasons to be outside, taking him for walks, letting him explore , etc. He keeps me accountable in all aspects of my life.
Adding Brodie to our household has brought more joy and fun, in watching him grow and learn!
Q: Does your dog have a philosophy of life?
Yes! “Eat, sleep, and guard my mom and dad, while having fun!”
Q: I love my dog because they are unique!
WAGGLEVIEW®: These interviews are focused on leaders in business, the arts, the community, or at home. My hope in doing this is to present remarkable and respected people in their community with their beloved pets. Who can resist reading about pets and what these people do? This is a platform for people to display their talents; their own business, a new book, a deeply loved passion for a charity or their own job. It also shows their love for their pet!
Thank you Terri for taking the time to participate in the Waggleview®.
How do your dogs inspire you?
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