A few more thoughts and words on dogs, and some new renderings of Murphy and Scruffy - our two household K9 pals. I always loved the way German Shepherds were so loving and adopted me as the Alpha person with their loyalty. They were beautiful, fun, and gentle with kids and all my cats. There was, however, always an aloof trait to these dogs. They didn't often make eye contact, and I sometimes imagined them gazing off in a daydream, seeing their ancestors and imagining the days when they ran wild and hunted prey for survival. Furthermore, they have been so shamelessly inbred for dog shows in the last several decades that their bones and bodies have become brittle, and a purebred typically dies on you with one medical problem or another after 8 or 9 years - 10 or 11 if you're lucky. Recently, I'd had enough of losing great friends and companions so quickly, and began to think about trying out some other kind of dog. After decades of loving and living with the large German Shepherd breed, my wife and I rescued two small dogs three years ago. They have grown into "larger small" sized dogs, and have been been fun to raise and train.
I've newly discovered that small and medium/small dogs are quite different, yet at times marvelously engaging. My two are not Alpha-attaching dogs, and will instantly give their love and affection to whomever has dog biscuits or dinner bowls in their hands. Otherwise though, they generally love to hang with those who feed them most of the time and sometimes let them escape their crates and get up on the bed for a time. Moreover, they'll look you in the eye, cower at times if you look displeased, yet get highly excited over sundry moments of approval. They try to be lap dogs if you let them, then settle for sitting at your feet. While it was probably just less obvious with my German Shepherds - seemingly endlessly loving and dedicated - these smaller breed dogs seem to more openly read and dial into to us, and demonstrate their thoughts and feelings with great expression.