The World According to Rico – Realizing who I really am

This past week, I realized who I really am.

Well, at least, what the AKC says I really am.

I am a Keeshond. We know that.

The AKC says my breed is pronounced “Kayz-hawnd” (although it’s often pronounced a bunch of different ways) and my breed emerged as a “hardy, nimble-footed barge dog long kept as a guard and companion on Dutch vessels that sailed the manmade waterways of the Low Counties. An unpretentious ‘people’s dog,’ the Keeshond was a symbol of the 18th-century Dutch Patriots Party in its long opposition to the royal House of Orange. There’s historical disagreement over why the breed is called Keeshond. The name might refer to a Patriot mascot dog called Kees, or to two different Patriot leaders nicknamed ‘Kees.’”

Wow. That’s a lot of history for a puppy to digest.

The AKC says further, “These square, sturdy companions descend from the same ancient stock as other spitz types, such as Pomeranians and Samoyeds. Typically ‘spitzy’ Keeshonden have a foxy face, pointed ears, an abundant coat and a plumed tail carried high over the back. A unique breed characteristic and one of the most charming hallmarks in all dogdom is the spectacles. These shadings and markings around the eyes give the impression that a Kees is wearing designer eyewear. The specs draw attention to an alert, intelligent expression.”

That sounds amazing. Whatever. I am what I am.

What they say later in their long description of my breed is – well, in so many words – we love colder weather and snow events are our favorite moments in life.

I came into the world last April and arrived in my house in York in June. Plenty of Keeshonds live in all areas of the world – hot, cold, in between. So being in Nebraska, as many Keeshonds are, I realized I would have to live with adjusting climates. But let’s be honest – the summer was so hot. The good news was that I was a little puppy and could sleep hours at a time as my growth spurts took place. So I could nap through the 100-degree hours by the air conditioning vent with extended walk times in the mornings and evenings.

I would hear the folks talk about how much I would “love the snow.” Well, I heard it for months and had no idea what this snow thing would be.

Then fall arrived and the sublime temperatures made my heart full. We could walk at any time of day and if I needed to go outside I didn’t have to pee on the surface of the sun. Wonderful.

But then last week – oh my Lord in Heaven – something crazy happened.

It was pretty cold and I was walking with the mama in the early morning. She was all bundled up but I was running wild, naked and happy, in the brisk wind. Oh, it was glorious.

Well, I thought it was glorious until something magical happened which took it to a whole new level of euphoria.

These small, white flakes started falling from the sky. It was sparkly and miraculous. I looked up, opened my mouth and little pieces of soft ice fell onto my tongue.

It tasted like it came from heaven – which I guess it actually did – and it made my fur feel like I was being rubbed down with Icy Hot without the hot or the smell.

I barked with joy as I pounced on the crystals which had formed a nice cover on the ground.

I licked on, rolled in, scratched through the beautiful fluffy white as it continued to swirl down from the sky.

It wasn’t much of a snow as the event they called “a dusting” only lasted about 15 minutes, but it was my first. I hear there will be more in the future and likely some will bring more moisture than the most recent, meaning I will have some things called drifts to jump through. It sounds super exciting.

I guess, being a Keeshond, I’m programmed to delight in winter and snowfall. Well, that most memorable first snow helped me realize who I really am – Rico, a true and proud Keeshond.




Thanks for reading this article. content is free and never behind a paywall.
We believe in trustworthy, local journalism that is accessible to everyone.