My fondness for fluff – how I stumbled upon the world of Old English Sheepdogs

Royal Canin Canada is Passionate for Pets! Scientific evidence shows the numerous benefits pets bring to our lives – to their owners and also to society as a whole. This blog post is part of a series that showcases the important role pets play in peoples’ lives by providing companionship and support, and enabling social connections.

Passionate for Pets - Momo

If you told me 11 years ago that a visit to an urgent care clinic would change my life in a wonderful and shaggy way, I’d have probably laughed at you. Hard.

But it’s true!

After spending 5 minutes in a follow-up visit to check on a healing injury, I spent another 45 minutes discussing my doctor’s after-work-hours life as a breeder of Old English Sheepdogs. I decided I wanted a puppy, but the breeder suggested a better introduction to the breed – adopting an eight year old female who needed a home.

Beautiful Momo belonged to a gentleman who had to return to Taiwan from Canada. He couldn’t take her with him, and was surrendering her to the breeder, who was also doing rescue placements. Though I had small dogs growing up, they were really ‘family’ dogs – if I got Momo, she would be my first dog as an adult.

The introductory visit took place at my home, and I really wasn’t planning on keeping her, just meeting her to check things out. The gentleman brought Momo over, and as I walked towards the door, I saw her sitting outside, nicely groomed, wearing yellow winter boots. Looking at her from inside, I knew. “This dog belongs here,” I thought, without even opening the door.

It was love at first sight – I was smitten with this energetic troublemaker. When I first let them in, she was like a tornado, running up and down the stairs, checking out the house. Momo was a ball of energy, and she loved to steal and eat food from the counter – a real professional food thief. Her face was so sweet, it was impossible to get mad at her.

Passionate for Pets - Momo2

As time passed, I kept in contact with original owner, sending him pictures and updates. He had taught her words in Mandarin, and every time we walked by a neighbourhood Chinese restaurant, Momo always wanted to go in. When I moved into an apartment building, Momo had a habit of leaning on my Chinese neighbors, looking at them with love in her beautiful brown eyes. 

Momo’s original owner returned to Canada for a visit, and asked if he could come and see her. Even though Momo and I were very close by this time, I was afraid Momo would want to go back to him. When he came over, she went to him, but she didn’t remember him right away – not until he started speaking to her in Mandarin. Then her face changed, her eyes got wide-and-wild, and she spent two hours licking him while he sat with her on the floor. He said to me, “You love her the same way I love her. I was worried when I had to let her go – I’m not worried anymore.” It was the best compliment I could have ever gotten.

Passionate for Pets - Momo3

In our years together, Momo was with me during a very difficult breakup, and she helped me survive during a very dark time. When I would have been perfectly happy to become a recluse, Momo forced me out of my hermit-zone. She needed to walk, and you can’t get far with an Old English Sheepdog without people stopping to talk to you and the dog, asking questions and petting her. Momo loved the attention, and was such a clown, she brought smiles to my face and laughter to my life every day. If it weren’t for her, I’d have stayed indoors in solitude. 

Momo saved me.

Momo reminded me to live in the moment…that the past is the past; there is so much to look forward to. Momo brought out the best in me, helped me make new friends and introduced me to a whole new world – the wonderful world of Old English Sheepdogs.

Chantal is a sales rep, dog rescuer, painter and dog trainer who loves life, sharing hers with three Old English Sheepdogs.