My extended family has coexisted with dogdom. It can even be said that some members of my family only existed due to the loving intervention of some canine. Oh, the intervention might not be on the physically grand scale of "Lassie" or "Rin Tin Tin ". Still, even the treatment of a not-so-minor anxiety can be heroic. And through such treatment, a human life can literally be saved… by fur wonders.

The fur wonders? The dogs of my family? Well, they have been an incredibly varied mix of canine representatives. German Shepherds, Terriers, Pekipoms, Poodles, Chihuahuas, Mincer Pincers, Huskies, Dobermans, and the wonderful Heinz 57 have all existed and coexisted within segments of my family. And then, of course, there is my one and only neighbor - with a Dalmatian and then three generations of Golden Retrievers and even a Golden Lab! After all of that wonderful dog input, including guidance by my German Shepherd surrogate mother TweeDee (see "Raised by Wolves"), I can still honestly say that there is…absolutely…nothing…like a Keeshond. A trite phrase…yes. But it is said with deep intent, and an admiration that is based upon my most basic understanding of how the 'truly good soul' of all proverbs might appear and perform in this world.

For thousands of years, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years, Mankind has been searching for some way to live with, or even within, the wolf. Ignoring the fables that stressed the negative or horrific, identifying only those portions of humanity that wanted some positive relationship with the wolf, one can follow many attempts at wolf life through the dogs that we developed. Every dog exhibits its own special portion of the wolf image:

    One may be of the wrong color, shape and personality, but have the hunter's sense of smell.
    One may have the aggression and size, but not the general look or the intelligence or the pack sense.
    One may have the intelligence and little else to identify it with the original wolf, and so on…

We were waiting for some nebulous combination that would get us safely into the pack. Along the way, some of us became attentive to and satisfied with the dogs that represented only a specialized portion of the traits that started the pursuit. And that, as they say, is another story.

The star of our story is the ultimate combination that got us safely to the original goal, the fantasy miniature wolf that would look like only the most glorified dream (real wolves have a hard life and are fairly scraggily). Besides an appearance that has kinship to a most beautiful wolf, it would have an incredible intelligence. This would not be the kind of intelligence that favors rote memorization, but rather the kind of intelligence that can play animal chess with its owner. And the personality, well don't forget the alpha wolf that our ancestors must have observed. Our little wolf would have that independence of mind that we were supposed to respect. And when we respected it, it would do the same of us - without commands to do so… And it would stare into our eyes, unafraid, and we could look into its eyes, unafraid. Neither animal would need to look away. And the little wolf would choose to let us in its pack. And it would play with us as an equal. The crescendo to all of this? This little wolf would never have hunted for blood sport, would never have been trained to hurt any animal, and, if healthy in mind and spirit, would never use its teeth to purposefully hurt a human. All this, and more, is the Keeshond…einen kleinen Wolfen.