Showsight Presents The Pumi

LIVING WITH MY PUMI by Tammy HaLL

I t’s a typical day. The sun is still asleep, but my body says it’s time to rise. As soon as I realize I’m awake, I feel three sets of Pumi eyes fixed on me, waiting for my next movement as permission to spring into action. Even though I definitely would rather sleep, I’m busted. They know I’m awake. This is going to be an exciting day. As soon as I begin to open my eyes, all three dogs leap off the bed, charg- ing down the hallway. Running full speed ahead, they bank their turns on the throw rugs, using them as a launch point as the rugs slide on the wood floor. In a wild frenzy, they race to the back door, expressing their impatience in finding it closed. A chorus erupts. “Open the door, already!” My hand grasps the door knob. With some reluc- tance, they fall silent because that’s the only way the door will open. Once the door opens and I say the magic word, all hell breaks loose. This is how every day begins. If I’m lucky, after the initial display of enthusiasm subsides, I crawl back into bed, for a few more moments of relax- ation. This, of course, doesn’t last long. Before I know it, I feel pressure on my chest and a furry toy-stuffed Pumi-face staring at me. There is no such thing as a snooze button for a Pumi who thinks it’s time for breakfast. Living with a Pumi is a sure guaran- tee of plenty of exuberance. Plenty of demanding your attention. Plenty of noise. Plenty of fun. They are affection- ate, loving, and loyal. They love their people. They love their pack. My little busy-bodies definitely keep me on my toes. When we are in the house, each finds a favorite place to chill until they know I’m headed for the door. Whether or not they hear my car keys or see me sit down to put on my shoes, I don’t quite know. But that’s all it takes for them to turn on and spring

Photo by GreatDanePhotos ©2015. Used with permission

into action. Then the chase is on to be the first to the door and the first out the door. The play is rough among them… gripping one another’s hocks, bark- ing and charging, leaping and lung- ing. Quick swift movements. Instant acceleration, turning on a dime. It’s the Pumi herding style. Nothing in this world is more fun for them than a game of “chase me to get the toy,” even if the toy is a stick or leaf snatched from the ground. Although Pumi are herding dogs, they are not Border Collies. Many of my friends have Border Collies. Every- one knows how a Border Collie loves to work. They obsess about work and will work for anyone. A Border Collie will happily play with whoever is willing to throw a ball. If a stranger picks up a ball and expects one of my Pumi to chase it, they will get a look that says “who are you and why are you throwing my ball?” My Pumi live to work and play, but only with me. And if the game is over and the ball is put away, they find their own special place to chill until it’s time to spring into action again. I like that.

Pumi are not social with people they don’t know. My Pumis have their favorite people, the ones they know and quickly recognize. These are people they greet with a lively chorus of barks, growly-type noises, and everything in between, leaping and jumping with excitement. All others are met with a bit of reservation, until they know these are people they can trust. It may hap- pen in an instant or over a long period of time after several meetings. The one thing people say when they meet my Pumi for the first time is “I just love their ears!” Once the words leave their lips, of course, my dog’s ears start twitching back and forth. The second most common comment I hear is “They look like stuffed animals!” I assure them, they are not stuffed animals. Pumi are great dogs, but definitely not for everyone. A Pumi is like the new kid in school. The new kid will watch and listen before they decide to interact with the people around them. They want to feel comfortable with the situation and the people first. Pumi are much the same. Each of my three Pumi has their own distinctive personality. Zu-Zu is 6

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