I have received several requests to write about what breed of dog Melissa is, where she came from etc.
Melissa is a 4 month old Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound). The Borzoi is a sight hound, which means they rely on their sight to hunt rather then their scent. The latter are the Bloodhounds,the Basset Hounds, Dachshunds,to name just a few. Some of the other sight hounds breeds are Afghans, Greyhounds, Basenjis, Salukis, Whippets and Pharaoh Hounds. Sight hounds need a fenced yard as they will chase squirrels, birds and blowing leaves, it's just in their genes. It is what they were bred to do. Even though our 12 1/2 year old Borzoi Catera is content to lie on the couch most of the day, just this morning some leaves skittered across the top of the snow and she was off chasing.
At Melissa's young age the desire to chase is already seen, I use her predisposed chase behavior to play specific games with her. A game to search for a treat hidden in the house is not for Melissa, but chasing a fuzzy toy on a long line is!
When choosing a dog, whether it be pure bred or a mix-breed, do some research on what the breed (or combo of breeds) was bred to do. A terrier is more apt to bark and dig. Retrievers like to carry things and swim. A Borzoi likes to chase objects (even leaves!) and they need space to run in a fenced area. Different breeds have different needs, and each call to us in a specific way, choose wisely. You are making a commitment for 10 to 12 or more years.
Melissa was born in Sweden, bred by Lize Edland and Rickard Sellin of Borscana Borzoi. My friend Margie and I flew to Sweden in mid-October to look at the litter and choose the puppy that would come home with me. We had the opportunity to see many of Melissa's relatives that we have only seen in photos. Wonderful substantial Borzoi with super personalities. Several of my friends in the US have Borzoi from Borscana and I have always admired their dogs' structure and temperament.
Why did I chose Melissa? Her color? Her structure? Her expression? Something that drew me to her from the photos Lize sent to me? I think a little of each. Lize had sent me several photos of the litter, one of Melissa specifically drew me to her, I have included it here. But I wanted to hold off with my decision until I met the entire litter. When I met her in person I knew she was the Borzoi for me. Some dogs just 'speak' to us....and Melissa did to me.
Melissa was 8 weeks old when she flew back with us. We had made a reservation for her to go in cabin with us...and held our breaths that she would be permitted. She was larger then I had anticipated, and I wasn't sure if they would accept the carrier we had ...which barely fit under the seat. But Swedish Airlines was excellent. From the time we entered the airport until we landed in the US on the direct flight home the entire staff was friendly and accommodating. As for Melissa...she slept most of the way home.... Photo courtesy of Margie Milne www.wideviewdesign.com