Tiba, Fast asleep on the bed. They woke me up to take this photo!!!

They told me to Guard the Rhubarb! Even when I refuse to look into the camera.
I keep telling Mo I do not like being near water!!!
And even when I'm drying out, everthing still feels wet!
I'm under orders to stay put until I'm fully dry!
And this is my French cousin, Ralph!

Local enquiries yielded simply no such dogs available, so I advertised for a mature German Spitz Klein bitch on the internet. In less than week, i got a call from a chap in Barnsley, who needed to sell his family pet. Reasons were not too clear, but having seen emailed images we realised this was indeed the smaller version of the same breed as Ralph, a German Spitz Klein named Tiba.

I agreed a price with the seller and after a couple of false starts we set out on the 300 mile round trip to Barnsley to pick up our new best friend. And what a little darling she was, so friendly, craving human company, and immediately bonding with Mo, absolutely loving being cuddled on the 3 hour homeward journey. Sadly, she was not used to car journeys and was quite nausious, but it was always going to be a traumatic day for the little mite and we just had to get it done and dusted.

Note, I say "little mite", because Tiba is smaller than our cat and this immediately exposed our first problem. She would escape the house via the cat flaps and on the first night I was awakened by her mournfully baying at the moon outside my bedroom window. Fortunately, the garden was fully enclosed, so no worries there then. We then made the mistake of denying her exit via those pesky cat flaps and it took Tiba whilst it took a few weeks to settle down and we also had a bit of a problem with her 'house training' .

Eventually we twigged that the cat flaps could be safely used for her 'convenience' too, and the problems immediately ceased. She was not a neglected dog in her previous home, but Mo is fussy about condition so after a couple of deep cleaning bathing sessions and loadsa grooming, she really started to impress family and friends with her good looks and charming disposition.

We consulted the vet to be sure her injections were updated, got her chip data and had claws trimmed. Her teeth were affected with tartar/plaque and Mo spent many weeks pinging it off with her fingernails, and later with a set of dental tools I bought off Ebay. Tiba loved this and it got to be a classic routine, every evening at about 8.00pm she would jump on Mo's lap, turn turtle and open her mouth as if to say - "tooth cleaning time please". An absolute hoot!

I tried to do some "Pedigree" research but ran up against a wall of silence from the Kennel Club because whilst I had no paperwork for what was an obviously Pedigree animal, without permission from the last registed owner (not the seller of Tiba) I could not prove legitimate ownership. Eventually I did persuade the chip registration authoritty that I was the new legitimate owner, because if Tiba has not been reported lost or stolen, why were they worried about my claim. So when the penny dropped, I got to be her owner - officially.

Not so, with the Kennel Club, unfortunately, and in the end all I could establish was that Tiba was the product of a registered German Spitz Breeder in Rochdale. Her given name was Paris and that she and her litter of siblings were not registered with the K.C. Reason unknown! Perhaps it was an acidental mating or there was a genetic throw-back - who knows? At that point I gave up trying to establish provenance. We had no intention of breeding with her anyway so it was an acdemic issue, not worth the hassle. The dog is loads more important than the paperwork, dont you think?

When we bought her, Tiba still had all her bits and we had quite a job protecting her when she came into season, so, not wanting an untoward pregnancy owning such a small dog, taking the best advice we could get from our vet and others, Tiba was eventually spayed. Not that it made any difference to her character, best described as loving, brave and feisty. Out walking she stands her ground against dogs six times her size and weight, yet indoors runs from the Dyson. She dominates the cat and digs holes. So just another dog, I reckon!

Mo grooms Tiba twice/thrice weekly and she gets a bath every four/six weeks. She hates water, won't go anywhere near the river or lakes and seems only to tolerate bathing due to her being in the minority and too small to object. Mind you the effect is stunning.

Tiba, Just after being groomed on the kitchen table!!!

When Shadow, our Black German Shepherd bitch died on Saturday 12 September 2009, both Mo and I were bereft at the loss of our bestest friend. For her story - click here:

Before long, however, for many reasons, we both realised that we had to get ourselves another dog, but I had serious reservations about taking on another German Shepherd. Reason being, mostly, if we had another typical G.S. 10 year life span then I would be in my 80's and with the best will in the world, probably unable to handle such a big animal - so down-sizing was imperative.

Our son, Carl, who lives in France, and whom we visit twice a year had recently acquired a very handsome German Spitz dog, Ralph, and we decided that we would like one just like him.

Click any Image to Enlarge

Right from the get-go, Tiba was never too happy when travelling in a car, and was invariably sick. Eventually we resolved the problem by making sure she could see out of the windows which seemed to enable her to avoid travel sickness.

We have not yet ventured into taking Tiba on holiday with us though, mainly because of the hassle required when travelling abroad, dog passports, vets etc, but its no never mind, because Mo's sister Marilyn is completely besotted with Tiba, and vice versa, so she has a ready made second home available whenever we decide to take off. Indeed, so close are Tiba and Marilyn, that its a close run thing that we ever are able to regain ownership after we get home. When the time comes for us to pop our clogs, everyone knows who gets first dibs on Tiba.

Ramon Alban


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