Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Caucasian Ovcharka

     I have wanted a Caucasian Ovcharka (Ovcharka is Russian or Hungarian for mountain dog so the English name for the dog breed is "Caucasian Mountain Dog.  From here on I'll refer to the breed as CO) for about 4 years.  Finally this summer my wife (Brandi) and I decided that now was as good a time as any to look into getting one.  After looking into the very few breeders in the States and the options for having a puppy imported from Europe, (more specifically Hungary), I decided to go through a puppy broker, or exporter or whatever it may be called.  The only problem was that after all this time, research, and then after finally deciding to go ahead and get a CO the puppy broker had a couple of litters, I guess from different breeders, but not one that I was really excited about.  They were all nice looking pups but some of the parents were not the size I wanted the pups to grow into, some were just not fluffy enough, and some looked just dumb.  I had figured that if I was gonna pay the money that i was and commit to being responsible for the life of an animal for 10-14 years I should do my best to insure I was gonna get a pup that matched the picture i had had in my head for the past 3 or 4 years.  Then just when I was ready to go from "looking" to "buying" the broker had posted a litter from another breeder.  The new pups looked great and the parents, (mainly the sire), looked almost exactly like what I had imagined my CO would look like all those years, and is a champion in Hungary.  So now the hard part was picking one from the litter,  after going back and forth between two particular males and asking Brandi her opinion I decided on "Ivan", the one which in my opinion most resembled the sire.
     After that all that was left was the price which covered shipping and crate, vet check-up and shots, microchip, and then I sprung a bit extra for the FCI registration which allows me to keep the option of showing and breeding open.  After making deposits and payments the full price was finally payed some time in mid July with the pick up date the first week in August.
     Ah, ok so the day finally came to pick up "Ivan" who had now been renamed "Buka Enzio Romick" which in Russian means "surly".  After keeping Buka a secrete from my two boys, (which seemed harder than Christmas), Brandi and i rode to Hartsfield International Airport early that Friday morning and picked up our new little bear.  I remember being more excited than I was that morning I think 3 other times in my adult life, when I married Brandi, and the birth of each of my boys.  I was like a kid who had finally got that...well that puppy that he'd always wanted, I finally had a CO after all this time probably the longest time I had wanted one thing, (I rarely want more than what the Good Lord has already blessed me with that being my beautiful family...and maybe a cold beer every now and then).
     The first thing I did when we got home that morning was let him out of the crate, let him explore and take in his new home, while Brandi, and I ooo'd and ahhh'd and looked him over making particular note of his giant paws, lack of ears, (they snip the ears off early on), and his beautiful fur, like how his two front paws look like he's wearing socks with one drooping a bit, and the patch of white fur on his chest just like his dad's, and also the white fur around his eyes that make it look like he's sporting sun-glasses giving him a "too cool for school" look.  After exploring outside and "doing his business" I carried Buka inside and upstairs to give him his first bath in the United States, since for some reason the pup in the course of his flight from Hungary to France to Atlanta was is not allowed to be removed from the crate to use the doggy facilities, so naturally a bath was in order.  The bath turned Buka into a 30 pound, brindle coated cotton swab,  the women in the house fell in love.
     After drying the pup and in turn being soaked as he shook his left over bath water in all directions I fitted him with his new Harley-Davidson collar that read "Bad To The Bone" in white reflective lettering, (as to serve as warning to those unfamiliar with the CO breed that one day like his father and mother this "adorable" 30 pound cotton swab will some day in the not to distant future weigh in somewhere in the 200-220 pound ball park and be highly suspicious of strangers).  Next Brandi and I loaded Buka and ourselves into the family mini-van and headed off to pick up our boys from their Nana's house.  Buka seemed to enjoy the short trip, (and since then he comes along most places we go as long as he won't have to be left in the van alone), to surprise the boys, popping his head up between the two front seats and lounging on the spacious van floor.  When we got to Nana and Papa's house I told the boys that I had brought a surprise, I opened the sliding door and Buka, with a little urging, jumped out to a round of cheers from the boys.
     The rest of the first week or so has gone well, we've been trying to get Buka on some kind of schedule feeding once in the morning and then again in the early evening with at least a walk after dinner, (though usually another earlier on in the day), plenty of play time outside when the weather permits it, and working on  house training which as what I believe to be a sure sign of intelligence is going well to the point that any in the house accidents lately have been just that accidents.  Besides all of that, deterring nibbling, crate training, teaching of basic commands such as come, sit, shake and of course his name have occupied most of my time lately.  Buka definitely has a personality of his own, he enjoys car rides, and meeting new people, (socializing the puppy is key to the puppy growing into a well rounded extra-large dog),  as long as the meeting is controlled and non-threatening to his new family members who he is already protective of, he is very playful when the boys or our french bulldog wants to engage him in that sort of thing but seems completely happy to lie at my feet or somewhere that allows him to keep an eye on the family while positioning himself between us and the doors already demonstrating the brave guard-dog characteristics that are inherent in the great Caucasian Ovcharka breed and one of the main reasons I decided on this kind of dog, what better combination than a loving family companion and a fearless, loyal, and intelligent family guardian.

     To anyone who has taken the time to read this first entry in Buka's Blog thank you for your time, I am aware it was a lengthy post and will try my best to keep future post less long winded.  This is a learning experience for me both raising Buka and blogging so please bear with me and my grammar errors.  Thanks again.