This is a picture of our first two Keeshonden, Nikki and Tasha, to the right, along with our Heinz 57's, Bianchi and Snowflake, and our son Soren Christopher at two years of age.
Nikki was a Keeshond purchased by Cindy from a recreational breeder who did not show or do any health testing. She had hip dysplasia and began having problems standing up at around thirteen years of age. The condition progressed to the point that she had to be euthanized two months shy of age sixteen. Nikki was Cindy's loving companion and can never be replaced. She was the alpha dog in the group and kept everyone in line, but she was very loving and gentle with our son, Soren, and was known to sleep under his cradle when he was a baby and would awaken us when he cried. Her intelligence was often surprising and she had a rather extensive vocabulary. It was necessary to spell certain words in her presence and even that did not work for long, after she figured out what was being spelled. She was the Queen Bee until the very end and has taken a large piece of Cindy's heart with her in her passing.
Tasha was a pound rescue Keeshond that was very poorly bred, but very much loved and very loving herself. She had a habit of wrapping her front legs around you and hugging you and would show the famous Keesie smile when in trouble or when caught being naughty. Tasha had hypothyroidism and developed allergies to just about every grass and tree found in Texas, where we lived at the time. It was not until she was close to fourteen years of age, when we moved to Colorado, that we discovered she was not allergic to the vegetation in Colorado and her life long battle with skin problems was over. Unfortunately, she only lived a little more than a year after the move and had to be euthanized due to having grand mal seizures resulting from liver failure, at around age fourteen and a half. A sweeter dog could never be found!
Snowflake was an American Eskimo mix we adopted from the Irving Humane Society in Texas at around age two. She had a habit of urinating submissively when petted, after having been raised with four small children, who were never taught how to interact properly with a dog. Within a few weeks of her adoption, and after a lot of patience, this problem all but disappeared. She spent the next twelve years with us and then, after the passing of her best friend, Bianchi, she decided she wanted to live with Cindy's parents, where she could get all of the love and attention, instead of having to share with all the Keesies, of whom she was not especially fond. She resided in Dallas, Texas with Cindy's parents and their daschunds Polly, who passed away in the Spring of 2007, and Abigail. Snowflake passed away in the Summer of 2007 at around sixteen years of age.
Bianchi was a Lab-Terrier mix Cindy found roaming loose outside a bicycle shop she and Soren frequented in a Dallas suburb back in 1991. She had no collar or ID of any kind and was around nine to ten months of age at the time. She became the first dog acquired by Cindy and Soren, jointly, and was named for the brand of bicycle Cindy rode. Bianchi was very sweet and gentle, as long as food was not involved, but was known to wound a couple of her pals over a treat or a meal. She was always a favorite of people when they first met the gang of four (Nikki, Tasha, Bianchi and Snowflake), because of her unique appearance and laid back temperament. Bianchi developed Cushings Disease at around twelve years of age and had to be euthanized at around fourteen years of age.
Our First Keeshonden