Our four-legged family history...
About 7 years ago, we decided that we needed a dog! After much research we decided on an Old English Mastiff, the largest dog in the world. Pretty soon, Hugo Hoffman arrived, 6 weeks old and only 6 pounds. He was adorable. He averaged gaining a pound a day. My husband would say that when he came in at night he could see that Hugo had grown in the time he was away. He topped out at 239 pounds and was truly a gentle giant. Hugo passed away at the young age of 5 1/2. He was loved my our family every day of his life.
After a year and a half without Hugo in our lives we decided it was time to move on. This time I decided on the breed and chose a Harlequin Great Dane. Our family has always had BIG dogs and I grew up with two Saint Bernard's. After much searching locally and on the Internet, we chose a puppy from a kennel in Indiana. Shaq was flown in and our family eagerly awaited his plane to arrive at the airport the first night of Chanukah, December 9, 2001, 10 weeks old and 19 pounds. What a present! I must say it was LOVE at first sight! The very next day Shaq had his ears cropped. The pics on the Meet the Artist page (and below) were all taken on Day one and Day two of Shaq's arrival. Shaq is amazing. As I write this, he has just turned 16 weeks old and weighs in at 50 pounds. That's right, 30 pounds in just 6 weeks or an average of 5 pounds a week. For friends and family who live far away, as well as interested customers, this webpage will show periodic updates of our life with Shaq!
I am deeply saddened to tell you that we had to send Shaq back to the breeder. Although we loved him the minute we saw him at the airport, the story ended at the same airport where we picked him up just 8 months earlier. Shaq was biting and not just puppy teething. He was growling and trying to bite. He bit the groomer, my mother and the vet. We could no longer trust him around the children without total supervision. This was a potential tragedy waiting to happen. The breeder agreed to take him back. Shaq was beautiful and maybe in the right environment, will do fine. Our family, unfortunately was not that environment. After we dropped him off at the airport, I was pretty much hysterical and screaming to my husband to never allow me to do this again. The pain of watching him leave was unbearable. As I write this, it has been about 6 weeks and although it still hurts a lot, I did not want my children, especially my sons, to grow up without a dog. Dogs and boys go together.
I did another search on the Internet, this time searching for what we knew was a great breed, a gentle giant of a dog, the Old English Mastiff. We had loved Hugo our first mastiff so much. His temperament was incredible.
We wanted to duplicate that experience as closely as possible. I came upon a breeder who had what we were looking for. The last two dogs we had flown in. This breeder lives near Nevada and because of the heat, the puppy could not be shipped. Besides that, this time I was determined to "pick out the puppy" and see how he interacted with the litter mates etc. I needed to be sure we did not get another aggressive dog. The Peterson's of Pets 4 You - Pedersen Ridge English Mastiffs Website - The most beautiful Mastiffs you have ever seen! agreed to meet us on the Nevada/CA border with three puppies to choose from. I was VERY CLEAR that we wanted temperament first and size second. They assured me that they could do both! It took us about 5 hours to get there and it was well worth the trip. Three adorable mastiff puppies were sitting in a plastic wading pool in the back of their car. We took them all out under a tree and watched them closely for about 1/2 hour finally choosing our boy!
The five hour ride home was filled with excitement with the new member of our family sitting safely in the arms of our children. Immediately the name BOSCO was chosen. It was unanimous so that was easy. We picked up BOSCO on August 25, 2002. He was born on June 10 so he is 10 weeks old. I write this on the 5th day after he arrived and the whole family is in love again.
He is adorable and I will keep the website updated as he grows and grows and grows!