I am amazed how different our two dogs are! I guess dogs are in a way just like humans. Their similarities are many: they are both miniature pinschers, both born 2000, both get the exact same exercise and same food options... Yet they are quite different physically and mentally.
We got Bob, the red one in fall 2000. I had no whatsoever experience with dogs, in fact I have always been more of a cat person, but with an allergic husband, a dog was my only option. I wanted a breed that was as much as a cat as I could find, hence the miniature pinscher (dvärgpinscher). I had never actually seen a real live min pin, but after extensive research I knew it was the kind of dog I wanted. I also kept hearing "don't get a dog at the pet store, you only support all the horrible puppy mills", so I looked for a professional breeder. I was also dead set on finding a red min pin, rather than settle for the more common black and tan... I finally saw an ad in the paper and went all the way to north Florida to pick up Bob! (That is 9 hours back and forth!) He was registered with the AKC, and his parents were on the premises, his father was a handsome champion, very strong and sturdy looking.
Bob went on to be a pretty sickly dog (we are kindred spirits, he and I!). He should have been dead, really, but he is doing remarkable great!
A year later I decided to add another min pin to the family, but this time I was happy to have learned about the Miniature Pinscher Internet Rescue Organization. If you ever are looking to get a dog of a specific breed and don't want to go trough the regular pound or humane society, please, please look up that breeds rescue organization! There usually is one for any breed, sometimes several in one state. These organizations have dedicated foster care parents that put a lot into rescuing these animals. You usually have to go through an adoption application to ensure you are a good candidate (we even had our home checked!), but their fees are usually very reasonable and most likely will include neutering/spaying, vaccinations and micro chipping. Through them I was able to adopt Stan, who was at the time 18 month sold, just a few months older than Bob. (By the way, the husband named both dogs, I got veto right on any name for our first born).
These guys are a horrible nuisance ;-)! Stan can jump 5 feet straight up in the air, getting things off of the kitchen counter is a snap. They are like mischievous little kids. I love them!
What is so special is how different their personalities are. Stan lives for love. He has a psychological disorder. If you don't pet him he will force you. He can be a pain in the but. But it is a nice disorder to have! He always comes if you call him, hoping you will touch him somewhere... Bob might come. If you have food. He is not the snuggle type. Stan sleeps between the husband's legs at night, Bob sleeps on a pillow on a chair in the living room. He can't stand when it is too hot! (Plus he snores like an old man, so he is kind of banished from the bedroom...)
Stan is slim and in great shape. Bob has two distinct fat rolls on his neck and butt. And stretch marks on his belly. And a slight resemblance to a pot bellied pig. Stan can tolerate any torture from the daughter, he will pretend to get mad and dole out a wet bite, no teeth. Bob hates being messed with, and he bites as if his life depended on it! Stan loves new people and will sit on anyone's lap. Bob will not stop barking as soon as any visiting male opens his mouth... They both have a special spot in my heart, they truly are family!