He is technically a mongrel: a mix of two breeds. He is half Springer Spaniel and half Greater Swiss Mountain dog. He is the perfect companion dog, and since the day we met him has done perfectly in car rides. He picked up his leash manners very quickly too.
It is very important when thinking about what dog is best to do a little research. So, a little on the selection process:
1) Know a bit about breed traits, and narrow down what you want. I knew I wanted a high-energy dog, and that a Springer would fit my desire to have that energy level. I also knew I needed something easy to train, since it was my first dog who wasn't a family pet. But I also wanted something big, and at about 25 lbs, a purebred Springer just wouldn't cut it for me. I knew right away I was looking at a mix.
4) Nail it down to a couple dogs. I was torn between Cody and a Husky/Pointer mix. She had blue eyes and tons of freckles, but Huskies and Pointers can be challenging to train. My choice was narrowed to Cody when the Husky/Pointer was adopted.
5) Contact a shelter/adoption agency/rescue organization. The sooner, the better. Make sure to communicate all of the policies with the agency and talk directly with whomever currently has the dog. They'll be best able to talk about personality and make sure the dog is a perfect fit.
Getting Cody entailed a little bit of work on my end. I knew the breed, characteristics of what to expect, and a lot of general information about him. After talking to his foster mom, I knew he was the perfect fit. There was one obstacle to getting him: he was four hours away from where I live in Minneapolis down in Waverly, Iowa. Since I couldn't meet him before committing to adopt him, I sent several emails, saw tons of pictures, and spoke with his foster mom on the phone.
So, at 7am, my then boyfriend - now husband - and I got into the car and drove four hours down to Waverly to get him. I met his foster mom in person, got to watch him run around with one of his playmates, and we proceeded back to Minneapolis. It was the greatest eight hours in the car I've ever had. He was calm, and learned very quickly the importance of staying in the backseat.
Now, he's absolutely great! He pulls me on rollerblades, is great on walks, hikes through the woods, and even goes fishing. Fishing does get hims a little excited! I couldn't be happier with such a sweet disposition and laid back personality. He's always content and eager to please.
I can't thank Waverly Pet Rescue enough for the care they gave him, and the opportunity to have the perfect dog!
So, here is a link to their website via Petfinder: http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/IA143.html
The last picture was the main photo on his online profile. To see a bit on his life before he came to me, here is a link to his adoption profile: