I met Hobbs almost one year ago when Marc's niece brought him home after she and her boyfriend "found" him. He was a small, cute as a button lab mix with little white spots on his nose and a sweet sensitivity that made anyone and everyone want to cradle him. It was soon after that we realized that where they "found" him was an acquaintance's house where labrador/dalmatian mix puppies had just been born. Knowing that this was a large responsibility, most of the family tried to convince them to give Hobbs up. He was so cute and loved however, that their attempts were futile. So for the past year, he's been part of the family. He's become very special to Marc and I in particular. For the past 6 months or so we've been taking him out periodically to train him and get him some exercise. Months ago, we knew that there was something different about him - he wasn't quite labby. Sure, he liked to play fetch, but there was another overriding characteristic that we couldn't quite figure out. Now we've come to understand that his dalmatian mix parent was a dalmatian/heeler of some kind. Man, does this boy like to herd things. He's got all of the skill and technique - including the herding nip. This was never so clear as it was on Friday when we took him out with Orion. He's always been very protective of us, but he stayed on top of Orion all day long, getting in between him and other people and watching other dogs diligently. Since we've figured out a little bit more about him, Hobbs has become especially near and dear to me.
In the past, I've owned many types of dogs - a Lhasa, a Rhodie/Great Dane mix, a Cocker, and of course my beloved labs Hooper and Amadeus. Though I've become quite partial to Labradors (this is why we were certain about where to look when we got Orion), I've ALWAYS loved and adored herding breeds. Unfortunately with work schedules, school schedules, and trying to find time to write I've never had the time to designate to owning a herding dog. Hobbs has made me remember that it would be a mistake (and maybe even a disaster) to try and love a dog when you're not ready to take care of them the way that they should be. Thankfully, even in my younger years, I was smart enough to realize that I couldn't possibly try to make that work. One day in the future, I hope to have the time, space, and patience to love a dog that needs so much attention - because what they give back is so extraordinary.
Knowing Hobbs for this short amount of time, and though he doesn't live with us, I've fallen in love with his intelligence and his desire to please. Not to mention, he's just as handsome as any dog I've ever seen. It's easy to see that he and Orion have become fast friends.
To see more pictures of Hobbs and Orion, check out Orion's Photo Gallery.