Why Yes, This Does Make Me Certifiable. Thanks for Asking.

Awhile back, I posted about how I was very close to cracking under the pressure from my children to purchase a dog.  We had been searching out a hypoallergenic dog that wouldn’t cause Granuaile to itch like mad, tear like crazy, and proclaim herself allergy free, but sleep deprived.  Fortunately, Benedryl was a good remedy for sleep deprivation, too.

So, after interviewing potentially perfect pooches, I put it on the back burner until I thought we were at a point where the family could raise a puppy, give it attention, and properly train it.

And then there were two.

Harper the Havanese and Lusi the Lagotto

We found the Havanese puppies quite accidentally, as they don’t turn up on every list of possibly hypoallergenic dogs.  Right after finding them, we saw a Dog 101 clip on them from Animal Planet, and I was smitten.  I knew this would be the breed that finally caused me to cave.  We looked around, found a few un-reputable breeders and a bit of frustration, and then we found Harper.  She’s four pounds of pure adrenalin puppy power – keeping up not only with the kids, but with Jim, with me, with the neighbors, with her soap operas – she’s 110% energy, and the rest is pure personality.

Literally days after we decided to bring Harper home, Jim got an email from a breeder in Italy.  Jim had hoped to find a hypoallergenic breed that was a little bit bigger than the ones I was finding – one that he might be able to train and work with as a service dog.  We considered poodles, but having lived down the street from Mrs. Kelly’s kid hating, snarling, growling, nasty poodle as a child, I quickly removed poodles from the list.  (please write me and tell me how amazing your poodle is – I do want to know that they don’t all turn out to be evil, Satanic, snarling flesh eaters)  We interviewed an Irish Water Spaniel (epic fail on several levels there) and then the Portuguese Water Dog (Jim wasn’t terribly appreciative of their association with a democratic government), and then found the Lagotto Romagnolo.  Sweet, adorable, and nearly completely unavailable in the US.

Jim got on a waiting list, and, as this long story goes, just after we chose Harper, a Lagotto became available.  Jim jumped at the chance to bring Maria Luise (Lusi) to the United States, and she is now considered AKC Foundation Stock here in the US.  She’s loud and proud.  And Loud.  Did I mention loud?

And then there were two.  Oh, I said that already.

And I agreed that there should be two.

I know there is a padded room, waiting for me somewhere.

6 Replies to “Why Yes, This Does Make Me Certifiable. Thanks for Asking.”

  1. You can do it! They are both so cute. They will keep each other company and help each other cover up their crimes. We have three and had four at one time. After you take the leap with one, it’s all clear sailing. Good luck. Learn to laugh at them as you do with your kids. It makes things much more fun.

    1. They really do play well together, and they tend to wear each other out – but I think they wear each other out too early! They are too pooped to party by 8 PM, but then wide awake again by 2 AM! Harper had just settled into a nice nightly routine and a nice, long bedtime (sleeping from about 10-6) – now she thinks she’s missing something when Lusi wakes up at 2, so they both get up. Poor Jim is dragging!!!

  2. we are in the same allergic, said no for years, has to be a great family dog boat — and our story reads much the same. our “venn diagram” of puppy parameters also ended up exactly with porties, lagattos, and havanese in the center :0) I think that the porties might be too much dog for me (perhaps needs too much exercise and too much mental stimulation — heck, with 3 kids I can barely get a logical sentence out, and it ain’t getting better). Our (read: my husband’s) concern w/ a havanese is the small size, and it is smaller than I had been considering, but they seem to be truly great pets. We plan to see a real live lagotto this weekend (!) for an allergy test romp and then come to a decision. I’d love to hear your view on their temperaments/personalities/needs since you are living my parallel existence!

    1. It really does sound like we’re riding the same allergy wave!

      We met with a woman who bred Porties, and the dogs were really sweet, but they were definitely outside dogs, with free run of acres of land up near the Pocono Mountains PA. We don’t have the luxury of that kind of room.

      Harper Vee is our Havanese, and she is as sweet as she can be, but she is definitely her own mind. She’ll do any trick you ask her, with the proper motivation. She will sit with you quietly on the sofa or lay on your pillow in bed, but she isn’t a kisser. You know if Harper licks you, you had something on your cheek.

      Lusi is our Lagotto. When I tell you this dog was made to please, I do not exaggerate one iota. LuLu is the kind of dog that asks how high when you tell her to jump. The other day when I was working with her, and I gave her the “down” command. She was so quick to jump from a seated position to down, that she flew both of her front paws in the air and then smacked her chin on the wood floor when she went down. She is pure, unadulterated, unconditional love.

      I wouldn’t trade either of them, but in retrospect, if we going to do this all over again and only choose one dog, I think Lu would win, hands down, with everyone except my middle daughter. She and Harp are best friends.

      One thing we did not know when looking at some of the hypoallergenic dogs – they tend to have allergies. Go figure, right? We feed both of our dogs a white fish based food with very little grain to combat skin irritations and hot spots. The food is more expensive than what you might normally find, but well worth it. We didn’t know when we got Harper that she was prone to skin issues, and she itched like crazy. The switch to the fish based food was the best thing we ever did. Treats, too, have to be carefully chosen.

      If you’re at all close to the South Jersey area, you’re welcome to come check out our girls! Good luck in your search – let me know what you decied – AND what you name your new family member!!

  3. Sorry about the double post – I didn’t think that the 1st one took (see what I mean about being smart enoough for a Porty?!).

  4. Thanks so much for the info – I am keeping my fingers crossed for a successful lagotto visit (I guess I can’t cheat w/ a starting shot of Benadryl?). I’ll absolutely let you know how we do 🙂

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