My history with dogs began when I was about one year old. Back then my parents thought, "The child needs a dog", and so we got a white, adult Pomeranian.
Unfortunately the dog and I didn't get along and we sent the dog away – we were without for another fourteen years.
My efforts to get dog as a companion for our home all were in vain. Instead, bit-by-bit, moved in a budgerigar and several cats (one after the other).
For my confirmation my biggest wish was once again: A DOG!
This time my parents agreed and we went to the shelter, where we got a 3 months old mixed-breed between beagle and shepard and named him Schargo.
I loved this dog and had to carry most of the responsibility. Unfortunately, back then, there was no further education for dogs (that I knew of) and therefore it stopped at the classic commands: Sit, Down, Heel. This dog knew that his family stood beside him and was a sly old dog. As an uncastrated dog he often went for strolls, until one day he didn't come home again. The scent of a female dog (bitch, wenn du willst) in heat had blinded him for the danger of a train track crossing.
He was only six years old.
Many years passed by in which school and job education were more important than getting a new dog. Also we started a family and took the opportunity, back then already with a child, to move from a 3-room-apartment on the second floor (AE)/ first floor (BE) to a house with garden.
Right then it was clear to me: we have to get a dog!
Just like that we found our Ayla, also a mixed-breed. Her mother was a finrench, two-colored basset hound, who had been saved from a breeding farm and was taken temporarily by a boarding kennel. Unfortunately, or rather luckily for us, a cocker spaniel couldn't resist this dog lady. After our planned vacation in October 1993, Ayla moved in with us and stayed until September 2009 – 16 long, wonderful years. Ayla did everything with us: going for walks, hiking, riding bicycles, swimming, taking the chairlift, and going on vacation (no matter if it was winter or summer). She was known in our neighborhood and in later years developed the ability to independently find her way around the neighborhood and return home safely. She loved children and other dogs. When we had to put her to sleep after a quarter of the year in which she grew more and more sick, it left a huge hole in our family.
A house, our house, without a dog …
Three months later my husband asked the relieving sentence: "Don't you think we should get a dog again?" - Yes, Yes, Yes, of course – but which? Back then we were really spoiled from Ayla and desired to find another like-minded dog.
So I started the search online. I liked the petit basset griffon vendeen very much and that's why I was looking around on the pages of the breeders and what I saw there on a picture, I hardly could believe it – there was a dog, that looked like our Ayla. I contacted the breeder and asked her about it. The answer was: that is a basset fauve de bretagne – the breeder lives in Hamburg".
Now it was time to get to know the breed, which meant watching videos online ("look, puppies – they are so cute"), reading the characteristics of the breed, thinking if this kind of dog fits our family, getting our children on board (what was not really difficult) and of course contacting the breeder.
Now of course we wanted to see the breed in-person – which was not possible here in Munich. Fortunately we had planned our christmas vacation on Rügen and were able to stop by in Hamburg on the way back for a coffee after confirming this with the breeder.
Our first contact with the breed was uncomplicated and promising. Vio (Mother of our Ruki) laid down next to our sons on the sofa and put her head on their legs, enjoying herself. It was like we were visiting good friends and the dogs had known us for a long time. Between this and the hearty contact with Sabine, as well as the description of the characteristics from the breeders themselves, confirmed our decision: Our next dog would be a basset fauve de bretagne.
So we joined the queue of the interested and were informed that a family from Munich was also interested in a puppy.
We had to wait and wait and wait – the puppies were finally born at the end of the following May and we had to wait again (the list of interested people was really long and we were really far down) – but everything worked out and a female dog was being reserved for us. We quickly had a name - Erin (vom Annenfleet) was what we originally wanted to name her – but she ended up simply as "Ruki".
Since Hamburg is not around the corner, we could only watch her growing and flourishing through pictures. The picking up took place the "Wallner"-way, typically pragmatic and well-planned. Our next vacation was in August – Rügen again – and it seemed sensible to take the same route to Hamburg again - pick up the puppy and take her with us on out vacation.
A few might say. "How could you?"– the puppy has to settle in at home. But we had two weeks' time to dedicate to our puppy. What better is there for a puppy than to get to know his humans so deeply? "Where" isn't so important and a blanket can be put down anywhere.
Our Ruki grew wonderfully and is a really great dog. She loves other dogs and people – which was the reason why we decided to get another fauve for our pack. Since I couldn't breed with Ruki, I wanted a puppy from the same line. So we contacted Pierina Heidelberger in Switzerland, who has a female dog (Dolly), who is one year older than Ruki and has the same parents.
The following year, around Ruki's birthday, it was time and we were able to pick up our Isa Ginny (vom Stapferstein), called Ginny.
This fauve is a whirlwind of energy and is sly but also loving and sociable
Two dogs living together is a challenge but we mastered them and those two got along well from the very beginning.
But we are not at the end of our story yet - all good things come in threes.
And so it came to pass that two and a half years later we took in a third fauve but this time it was a poor dog from France, Carcasonne, to be precise. When he had been in the shelter there he was called Scapin.
This male dog was picked up as he was wandering around the region at the beginning of December 2014. How long he had been on the run alone, no one knew exactly. I discovered him on the Fauve Rescue page on Facebook and knew it – this fauve is the one I want to add to our "pack". But before we were able experience the joy (to expand our pack) we had to work and sweat hard. That meant finding the best way to bring this dog to us to Germany. After long chats on the internet with the caretakers there, lots of planning on our end, weighing and evaluating possibilities we decided to go to Carcassonne (it was only 1200 km each way), spend one or so days there, and then take Athos (this name we had chosen) home.
This way – which wasn't an easy one, but that's another story – Athos arrived in Oberhaching on 29.12.2015. A male basset fauve de bretagne around two years old, who just had been neutered. Extremely intimidated and skittish but friendly and without aggression.
Now Athos is a devoted fauve who loves his two girls and settled in wonderfully in our pack and family.