The Versatile Vizsla

The Versatile Vizsla

Vizsla PillowThose of you who either are personally acquainted with me or have looked through my website (or both) know that my Vizsla Irae is a major force in my life. We hike, swim and cross-country ski together; he sits in on my psychotherapy sessions; and in general he has made me a better person. He turned six about a month ago and although he’s getting a bit white in the face, he’s still full of energy. I don’t think there’s anyone on earth as happy to see me as he is (a great feeling). I never had a dog when I was growing up, although I do have vague memories of finding one and bring him home, only to be forced to get rid of him. I did have canaries and parakeets, but I confess, I got bored with them. That taught me an important lesson – that I wasn’t yet responsible enough to take care of a pet.

So jump ahead more than fifty years (that’s how powerful a lesson that was) and I finally felt I was capable of having a dog (I never really warmed up to cats). I had the space for a dog and I thought the patience and capacity to care for one.

My first attempt was a total disaster. My 5-month old Irish Setter Fela was hit by a speeding van up the road from my house right before my eyes. I really believe he took the hit for me since I could have easily been hit had I backed up just a little bit further. It was and remains one of the most traumatic events in my life.

Before I turned sixty, and shortly after Fela’s violent end, I knew that if I didn’t try again then, I would never do it. So I remembered that about 30 years previously I had been walking down 5th Avenue in Manhattan in the Twenties, an area that used to have lots of Oriental Rug places. There resting quietly on a rug inside one of them was a pair of the most beautiful, elegant dogs I had ever seen. The owner told me they were Hungarian Vizslas.

I decided that life was too short not to give myself some of what I fantasized about and when it came time to getting another dog I wanted a Vizsla. After doing extensive research, I found a breeder in Upstate New York whose bitch was having a litter within a week. She interviewed me (the breeder I mean) as did all of her other Vizslas and I was accepted.

I met Irae when he was two days old (although out of the 6 males I didn’t know which one I was getting). I visited regularly and watched him grow until he was ready to come to his new home at 8 weeks old.

I’m not saying he hasn’t been challenging. I wasn’t as ready as I might have thought. However, we muddled through, took several obedience classes and developed a strong bond.

Nevertheless, I never appreciated ALL of his wonderful qualities (in addition to his beauty, spirit and craftiness).

He also makes a wonderful PILLOW! (click on photo). Although he thinks of us as HIS pillow most of the time, sometimes he returns the favor. I can think of many instances where this will come in handy – when we need to have our heads elevated but warm; when we need to feel a heartbeat close by; when we need not to feel alone. A bit more expensive than even the most costly synthetic pillow for sure, but oh so much better.