This is Foster. He's 7 weeks old and weighs in at 17 lbs. He is a very big lump. Except when you go on curvy roads. He whines about being rolled around in the crate and his sleep disrupted. Or when you don't let him play in the pond which he discovered today. He went a little berserk - a toddler trying to demand his way is THE way in the world and not being happy when he finds out that isn't the case. Pretty much par for the course for a pup. But a VERY big lump.
This is Baby Doll. She's a little over 3 years old, is AKC & CKC registered, weighs 130 lbs., and seems kinda tiny for a mastiff. She earns her name well though, she was unbelievably sweet and gentle. She came right up to us and said hi, happy to meet new friends and get petted. This was her 3rd, and likely last, litter of pups.
This is Samson, aka Sam. It was harder to get a clear shot of him, as he was very excited that there were new friends to be made and played with. Mr. Imes, the gentleman we got Foster from, had pig ears in his pockets for Sam & Baby Doll. Sam could smell them. New people to meet, pigs ears to eat ... who has time to stop and pose for photos??? Sam is also 3 years old, a little younger than Baby Doll. He is CKC registered and weighs in at 180 lbs. His height was much more impressive than his weight though. As you can see in the photo, he comes up to hip-height on us. And we're both almost 6' tall.
We went down to Kentucky on Saturday, stopping in Nashville to visit a brewery and a brew pub (check out http://www.soulonebrewery.blogspot.com/ for reviews!). After checking into the hotel we headed over to see the pups. Sunday morning we went back to pay the man, get Foster & head on home. We were well prepared with a collar & tag already made (Walmart in Kentucky on a Saturday night, folks), a leash we brought down, food, toys, blankets, and etc.
It was 9 hours each way. We were prepared for a long drive home, stopping often to let the pup out to potty. Turned out the lump slept most of the way. We stopped to wake him up to potty and try to entice him to eat some. Getting home was much quicker than getting down there.
For the fun record: On the way down there on Saturday, we spent 2 hours driving through VA before we hit TN. We saw 9 cops and one 50' tall cross. Driving through TN we saw one cop as we went through Knoxville. In Kentucky, on Saturday, we saw 0 cops. Sunday morning we saw the only cop we would see in Kentucky, and he was stopped at a car wash, washing the cruiser. We DID see 2 live turtles by the side of the road though (and one big dead one). It's odd, coming from VA, when you see more turtles than cops sitting by the side of the road.
Although Whiskey & Foster got off to a little bit of a rough start (he wasn't too wild about meeting her), within an hour or so they were cool. Here they are, out walking in the yard. Whiskey turned 10 in February, is starting to show signs of dementia, and weighs about 50 lbs. Mostly this photo was taken just so we could remember that Foster was once tinier than Whiskey.
The boys weren't told that we were getting a new pup. They spent the weekend with Grandma & Grandpa while Mommy & Daddy went out of town. I wish I could've captured their faces when we walked inside with Foster in our arms. They are in love. Tristan kept saying "he's cute!" This is a sigh of relief since Tristan is often wary of new dogs.
As usual, we had spent a lot of time reading everything we could about English Mastiffs before getting the pup. It surprises me how many people have reacted with"do you know how big he'll get?!?" as if we wouldn't know that he is going to be a big dog. Yes, we know. Male Mastiffs can weigh up to 200 lbs, and it isn't shocking when they weigh more than that.
They're also VERY gentle breeds. They're known as 'Gentle Giants.' They LOVE children (and not as snacks!). They are guard dogs, but they use their sheer size as intimidation, and are more likely to block an intruder or pin them down than to bite. They rarely bark, only when they think there might be an intruder or other need to, and are actually known as being good dogs for people who live in apartments. Really people, not all big dogs are CUJO.
Also for the record, for anyone curious, just how did we come up with the name "Foster"? We have Whiskey, named not for the drink but for the song 'Whiskey in the Jar'; and we had Jomo, named 'Jomo Lager' after the beer from Starr Hill Brewery in VA. So why "Foster"?? Couple reasons.
1) Bud Foster. -- We're big Hokie fans here. Bud Foster is the defensive coordinator for Virginia Tech. Our defense tends to kick ass. Bud Foster is the man.
2) English Mastiff are good guard dogs, making them good defense. Bud Foster = Good Defense. English Mastiff = Good Defense.
3) Foster is "Australian for BEER." -- Ok, I'm not really a fan of the beer, but it is a beer. And yea, so is Bud. (At least in theory -- please remember we are beer snobs and I wouldn't drink Budweiser if you paid me).
So there ya go. Foster it is. He will be in need of Hokie duds by the time football season rolls around. The Campus Emporium welcomes you bringing your dog in there to try on things, and since I didn't see a "MASTIFF" size in their selection, I think we'll have to do that.
If you'd like to see more photos from our trip to Kentucky, please click here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/funkymamataney/sets/72157624050524157/