By Jeff Toff
This is Logan who was born on St. Patrick’s day! 5 years ago. He was a champion show dog, winning every show he entered except one. He retired from the ring and became my hiking buddy. Logan is the gentlest giant around. When other dogs–big or small–growl at Logan, he just wags his tail and gets excited. When another dog tries to bite Logan, he merely jumps out of the way and comes back for more. Despite the fact that Logan is still “intact,” has never growled or shown any male dominance or aggressive behavior. As a matter of fact, he ran at full speed away from two “attack” cats and one kitten. He chases anything that runs, but then again, doesn’t know what to do when he catches up with his prey. When another dog comes into Logan’s dog room, Logan watches patiently as the other dog eats all of Logan’s food.
Logan sleeps on a full size mattress. To create a dogie door, we had to remove the entire bottom of the door, up to the door knob. Even though he is unfenced at home in the woods, he never leaves the house unless I am there to take him for a walk. On hikes in the high country, he runs around and explores the sites and sounds but never ventures too far from me.
He is quite shy with strangers. When riding in the car down to San Diego, an 11 hour trip, Logan never makes a sound or becomes anxious. He watches the view from the back of the van, drools on my shoulder when it gets too warm and generally relaxes during the trip. He loves to hike as long as there is a lake or stream in which he can cool down. He prefers water not more than 2½ feet deep so that he can lie down and keep his head out of the water.
When playing with other dogs or people, he lopes like a big lion. However, at times, when he decides to chase something, he gallops on those long legs like a gazelle. It has been reported that Irish Wolfhounds, part of the greyhound family, can run up to 30 MPH–when they want to. When he goes to a dog park in San Diego, he gets intimidated because immediately, almost every other dog in the park run over to Logan and begin sniffing and nuzzling him like he is royalty.
He eats about 6 cups of dry food per day but drinks gallons of water. Many times he won’t eat his food or dog bones unless someone is next to him while he eats. A string or ribbon tied across the hall keeps him from exploring the rest of the house. When it snows, you would think he was just served ice cream. He runs and jumps and rolls in the snow. Many times he would prefer to lie in the snow rather than come into the house. He almost never barks. He thinks he is a small, lap dog. He is the perfect companion.
Jeff is a local attorney in Grass Valley, CA