Pet of the Day

May 3, 1998

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Snowball, the Pet of the Day
Name: Snowball
Age: One year old
Gender: Male
Kind: American Eskimo
Home: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
   My husband Steve and I wanted our daughter, Stephani, to experience the joy of sharing her life with a friend, since she is an only child. (She had begged us for a dog - like all kids do, every day of her ten years of life.) She had, at the time, a marvelous talking cockatiel named Sam, who was great, but was rather hard to cuddle. So, in a moment filled with good intentions, we allowed her to choose her dog (NOT Snowball). Unfortunately, within a half hour of having the sweet little thing home, it had killed Sam. Stephani's day of days had turned into tragedy and unbeknownst to us at the time, the dog had a valid learning disability and could not be taught or focus. After months and months of recovering from Sam's loss and unsuccessfully trying to bond and train our new dog, Mariah, Steve and I made the parental decision of returning her to the pound. Needless to say it was not a pretty situation.

    One Year Later...

    God sent the whole family Snowball!! For her 11th birthday, Stephani requested again to have a dog. Again, we all began the search for the perfect pet, only this time, a little hesitantly. After weekends of hunting, we found ourselves in a nearby pet store, staring through a glass cage at the cutest white ball of fluff we had ever seen. And he stared back, his black eyes and nose pointed directly toward Stephani. In those first few moments, their two souls bonded and before they had the chance to touch each other, they knew they belonged together. Since the six-month-old puppy was placed in my daughter's arms, they have been inseparable. She named her friend Snowball, and from the minute we put him in our car, he has minded every command given him. Snowball is able to love each of us in our own different ways, always making Stephani his first priority. He is the most audible dog I have ever known, and his conversations of sound continually bring smiles to our faces. (I wouldn't be surprised if he picks up the English language soon.) From his first paw step in the door, he was familiar and content in our home. (I think the angels gave him a peek before they sent him down to us.) We all appreciate and love him dearly. He has taken away the pain of our previous experience and replaced it with tender devotion.

    American Eskimos were once called German Spitzes. Unfortunately after World War II, breed standards were never established. Though the breed was recognized in 1913 by UKC, it wasn't until 1969 that American Eskimos standards were formed by NAEDA and since then these dogs have received the acknowledgement they desire. They are beautiful, loving dogs. They come in three sizes, toy 9" to 12" miniature 12" to 15" and standard 15" to 19". Snowball is a standard and is approximately 18".

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