Wednesday 3 September 2008

This could ONLY happen in our family!!



Our beloved pup.

She is my baby, my one true love.. she is my night and day!

Furry and I adopted her as a 2 year old from the Burwood RSPCA. We adopted her against the advice of the keepers there, but as soon as I looked into those beautiful, mournful eyes, I KNEW in my heart, she was my girl.

We were told not to adopt her as she had a severe phobia of men.. I mean she really REALLY hated them, and I have a husband and 3 sons. But I just knew that it would all work out.

The RSPCA told us she was a wire-haired pointing griffon, and for the past 5 years that's what we thought she was!

So, after 2 years of her puddling whenever one of the kids raised its voice, or her falling to the ground and wetting herself in fear when my husband stood up from the couch, we had a breakthrough.

Every night for TWO YEARS, Furry would lie on the floor, with a treat for Stella in his out stretched hand, no eye contact, just lie there, and she never, ever took it.. until one night there was a horrible thunderstorm and she came running thru the house and LAUNCHED herself into Furry's lap...

And there she has stayed for the past three years!

She is a devoted, loving dog, with the sweetest nature. She adores our kids, and Furry and I tell everyone she is BEST DOG IN WORLD!

Our friends are jealous of her, and tell us constantly that she is a testament to our limitless love and patience!

She still puddles if she sees as gun, or a choker chain, and is still very shy with strangers, but she no longer puddles all over our bed if a strange man comes to the door!!

So, last week hubs and I were talking about Stella, and wondering WHO would abuse a dog so badly, and I decided to find out more about breeders, and maybe get some info..

We thought she was a wire haired pointing griffon, remember??

So, after a week of detective work, we had her picture shown to some Australian judges of Wired hared pointers, and they all agreed that she wasn't a Griffon, she was a Briard!!


And kudos to Lea from Briard Lovers, who came over on the weekend to confirm Stella's Briard-osity!

What is a Briard, you might ask??

Early tapestries of the eighth century depict these large shaggy dogs with the Emperor Charlemagne and in the eighteenth century Napoleon was also reputed to have Briards. Unfortunately, shepherds were not renowned for their writing skills and little is available during this time on the history of the Briard. In fact, it is from the United States of America that some of the early documentation comes. In 1789 the Frenchman, La Fayette, introduced Briards to Thomas Jefferson who became one of the first breeders in the USA. Jefferson was a man with a keen appreciation for the usefulness of dogs and of the Briard he wrote 'they are the finest house and farm dogs I have ever seen'.
Back in France in 1897 the first official description or "standard" governing the appearance of the Briard was drawn up by Le Club Francaise du Chien de Berger. The work of the herding dogs is so specialised that the work demands specific qualities of the body and spirit and especially attitude. These characteristics were defined in this early French Standard and revisions in 1908, 1924, 1925 have led to the current standard in France.
The Briard has been the official dog of the French Army and is somewhat rare today because so many were lost in World War 1. He was used to carry supplies to the front lines and served as a sentry dog. Due to his keen hearing, reputed to be the most acute of any breed, he was used by the medical corps to search for wounded soldiers. The reports stress the amazing ability of the Briard to lead the corpsmen to those men which still had a spark of life in their bodies. It was said that any man a Briard passed by was beyond assistance.
The Briard is not a breed created by modern zoology but rather is the natural descendant of man's first helper, the dog of pre-history. He has evolved through time by natural selection for the qualities needed in his work.
Today this dog of the plains is more elegant than he used to be, devoted breeders have kept him not too shaggy or too big and have retained all of his original characteristics, especially his alertness and his tractable temperament.


So, only in the House Of Fur and Purple Love, would you get a dog that was adopted as a stray, living under an assumed identity as probably the RAREST breed in Australia, turning out to be the breed that is actually the National Dog of France... and (more importantly, as this is a food blog)...



Stella Bella give mer her best Devil-Dog look for referring to her as a WHPG for all these years!!


Madame Mouse and Stella Bella decree30th August Stella's Briard Birthday!!


Stella assumes her fave position for back-scritchings


**happy sigh**


Ran said...

what a beautiful dog PG. Congratulations on being such a good dog mummy (and being indirectly related to Brie)

Anonymous said...

So much for the wittness relocation programme - thanks heaps.

Worked well for 5 years 'til you got all curious.

Snr Sgt Notsobright

Anonymous said...

That's nothin'. My dog is related to stinky cheese.

Anonymous said...

Best lookin cheese dog in the world! Mmmmm... Cheese dog...

Jazz said...

Ha! I knew it! I knew Stella was French, she understood Mr. Jazz and I when we spoke to her didn't she? And she wasn't shy with us... She recognized the French!

Belle petite Stella d'amour chou...

Griffin said...

Ahem, just cos she's related to Brie... do remember not to try milking your dog. The dog won't like it and neither will you.

Mr. Rush said...

Nice looking dog!