Briardale's Dutchman (Dutch)
son of Anka and
Dutch was the last to be born in the much awaited
litter of 8. He was born right into my hands, a big, solid chunk
of a puppy and from that moment on - he was mine. I do not
know exactly what made me feel that this puppy is the one I was
going to keep from the litter... but every day, as the puppies
were getting bigger my attachment to this particular puppy grew.
I somehow felt that he was going to be a very special dog. He
did not disappoint.
The first glimpses of his future character were
showing up here and there while he was still a youngster. I have
collected many Dutch stories over the last 5 years. Here is a
typical Dutch story that stands out in my memory.
When he turned about 3-4 months old I bought him
a “Bad Cuz”. It is the toy that makes a horrid noise when
One day of that first summer of Dutch's life, my
husband and I decided to have dinner on our porch (the evening
was spectacular). My husband opened a bottle of wonderful wine,
insects were buzzing, light breeze was whispering in the grass…
It was the kind of balmy, quiet summer evening that one usually
thinks of when one remembers summers…
We brought all the food out and set down to eat.
The dogs settled by our feet. I completely forgot about the
blasted toy and damage control…Suddenly, as my husband took the
first sip of wine, the air was torn apart by an ear splitting
squeak. The poor man almost chocked and in a thunderous voice
yelled “what the %@# is this?!!!!” He looked under the table.
Dutch was laying there with this huge proud grin on his face.
The toy was laying right next to him. My husband pointed to the
toy and growled at Dutch: “get it and yourself out of here!!!”.
I was hiding my laughter and watching… Dutch actually grabbed
the toy and ran outside about 25-30 feet plopped on the grass
and began squeezing the toy like mad. My husband yelled: “not
far enough!!!”. Dutch ran to almost the end of the yard and
continued there… I was now openly laughing out loud and managed
to say: ”You really think he understands what you are yelling?
Stop it!!” He turned to me with: “He better understand me!” and
then he launched into a long tirade about ...well you can
I basically have heard it all before, and know
that it’s all bark and no bite, so I just kept dressing the
salad… A few seconds later Dutch showed up back on the porch
with the toy in his mouth. My husband looked at him and said:
“Don’t you even dare!!!”. Dutch plopped happily at his feet and
sat there very quietly for a few minutes. Then, suddenly he
launched back out ran all the way to the end of the yard,
squeezed the toy in gushes of rapid staccato ran back to the
porch and plopped at my husband’s feet.. He looked at me and,
frankly, the expression on my face was not any better than on
his…I shook my head and said to him: “ this is just a
coincidence”. We continued eating but we could not really
concentrate on any conversation. We were just waiting to see if
Dutch will do a repeat performance. He did not disappoint us. A
few minutes later he rocketed back out again and did exactly the
same thing. I must say that the rest of the meal was all about
Dutch entertaining us.. We completely lost track of our
conversation and just waited for these hilarious bursts of his.
It was so unbelievable and funny that there was not much else
that we could talk about…
He grew up to be the dog I dreamed about all of
my life. In some ways it is a blessing and in some ways a curse.
I now truly understand the saying: be careful what you wish for
- you might get it....
An adult Dutch has the personality and the
temperament of the old world Briard. He lives to work.
A dog like Dutch takes
life and his duty in it very seriously. He trusts his human
leader completely and gives his loyalty without holding anything
back. Such dog makes a diligent investment of himself into your
happiness and expects clear communication and fairness from you,
because he does his part by listening and watching, and
attentively trying to understand you and your wishes. He will be
deeply disappointed and wounded if he feels that his trust and
loyalty were betrayed. He can endure all kinds of unpleasantness
from you as long as there is a good reason for it and as long as
you communicate the reason to him clearly. He expects loyalty
and fairness back from his owner for the service that he makes
every attempt to provide…. Once you break that kind of trust -
it will be very hard to get it back from a dog like him.
Doing something for me is his hourly
preoccupation. Unfortunately for him - I do not own sheep and
cannot possibly come up with enough work to keep him satisfied.
Having a dog with that kind of temperament without work - is not
ideal. He is constantly looking for something to do.
Luckily enough - he is innately loyal and
really does want to please me, so turned out to be creative
about looking for work in very practical ways.
Here are a few more of Dutch stories:
the storm began in the south and we were just beginning to get
some occasional gusts of wind, one of my gates blew open. Dutch
was outside. My house is not far from the road and the back yard
is always blocked off by the fence. I was in my office. Suddenly
I hear Dutch’s ‘we have a problem’ call from a direction where I
cannot possibly hear my dog (dogs usually have different types
of voice and call for different situations).
when the gate blew open, Dutch ran around the house to the
window where I would hear him bark and called me. I ran out and
he ran back around the house and met me at the open gate. I
closed the gate and tied both gates with heavy rope to keep them
locked in the storm. Dutch ‘helped’ by sniffing the rope as I
was tying it… Storm raged and Dutch kept watching. He looked to
be on high alert.
A few days later, I had to get a small generator,
because living without electricity for a week may be possible,
but the many lbs of newly prepared dog food in my basement
freezer was going to rot. When the generator was first started
in our front yard, Dutch stood by the window and watched it. He
kept coming back watching it every half hour or so… After about
2.5 hours the generator began to choke (when running out of gas)
and finally died. Dutch watched us running out of the house and
filling the generator with gas, then turning it on again. About
2.5 hours later Dutch ran to the kitchen and began to call me
the same way he does when my food is burning. I followed him. He
brought me to the window where I could see and hear the
generator – it was just beginning to choke again. Dutch already,
from the first time, knew that it was not how it is supposed to
be and alarmed me. We filled the gas and that is how it went for
the next few days. Dutch called me EVERY time before I could
even hear the generator choking.
Finally, 5 days after the storm began,
electricity came back on…. I saw a change come over Dutch. He
rapidly relaxed, found one of his old ‘cuz’ toys and began
playing with it. He continued to blissfully play with that toy,
by himself for 2.5 hours. This is something he has not done in a
few years. He was looking so happy that I suddenly realized that
all this week he was actually ‘on guard’ and now finally felt
free to let go and have some fun. He was celebrating…
6 months old: