Don’t believe what you see! This handsome boy looks dreamy; fluffy and calm, but if you only knew how this dude slimed his way into our hearts… It was 2005 or 6 and my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I went on our first Colorado vacation together, the one where we went with our slick snowboarding friends (I swear they could have been X-Gamers). While it was basically our first time skiing, I accidentally got on the triple black diamond snake bite death grip “advanced” slope – at the tippy top of the mountain. And if you ever wondered, yes, tears freeze. So really, meeting this poochy (as well as spending the rest of my skiing experience on the “Snowflake Hill”) was like Christmas morning.

In Colorado, my husband’s family raised these fabulous horses fit for the Queen as well as fine Old English Sheepdogs. When we visited, this huge sheepdog with paws bigger than flapjacks propped himself on my shoulders and with confident authority, started licking me to death. My face slimy and wet, I stepped back to look at this dog. He was the biggest/cutest thing I’d ever seen! Having been an ankle-biter dog person all my life, I was enamored immediately. “This is Danny Boy, the runt, and we’re trying sell him.” They explained that he was already almost full size and no one had purchased him yet. A runt?? He was HUGE. He was fluffy. He had pancakes for feet! He just had to come home with us.

My husband and his siblings had kept various pets; the kind that tweet, live in bowls or that needed to bask under heat lamps. Although I envy his diverse childhood pet experience, he never knew these cuddly foot-warmers as I did. This was his chance! Suddenly, these words: “Aren’t you just sooo in love with him? We’ve gotta take him home!” I actually only meant to think these words…. Luckily, we were offered to adopt Danny Boy and give him a good home for free. It was our first life-changing decision that we made together.

Okay, I admit. Danny Boy is dreamy, fluffy and calm – sometimes. He’s also a lightning bullet squirrel/car-chasing crazy man and goes berserk when he hears those little squeakies, gets a bath, runs on the hardwoods, or earns those fancy boutique dog treats made with organic carrots and livers.

Danny Boy is keeping my feet warm as I type this post. Unfortunately, he’s also cleaning his “gentleman’s regions” right now so he won’t be giving me any kisses for quite a while! I try not to think about that… he needs a bath anyway.

Have you ever owned a sheepdog? What’s your favorite breed?

Old English Sheepdog facts:

1. They do NOT shed. Bonus!

2. They are fantastic family dogs and they love to ‘herd’ you going down the hall; you get used to it.

3. They have huge paws like pancakes.

4. Loyal! Fuzzy! Wooly! Warm!

5. They need regular haircuts, baths, and brushings. But it’s worth it, and you will get better at bathing them…

6. They will steal your heart away! BFF!