When we sought out the breed called Leonberger also called Leos or Leo for short, there were only 800 of them in all of Canada and the United States and many of those belonged to breeders and were not available to potential puppy buyers.

Behr was our first Leonberger. We brought him home in July 1997. He was the 13th born in a litter of 13. In the pile of puppies he's the one with a tri-colored yarn collar in the lower right hand corner, the middle one of the three puppy bottoms pointing to the corner.

He was an oversized big boy, huge in many ways especially in our hearts.

That's me with Behr when we went to pick him up at the breeder's home in July 1997. I was forty-four years old.

The one where Behr was on my shoulder is an interesting story. He loved to stick his nose in the air conditioning vent while laying on my right leg in the front seat of our Mercedes wagon. That worked fine when he was a wee one. In this photograph he attempts to do the same thing without success yet cannot figure out why he doesn't fit.

Finally, the photograph with Behr running in the snow was taken when he was fully grown. Maggie, our rescue Golden Retriever was running with him. She was fully grown as well. Behr clearly dwarfs her with his sheer size. Like I said, he was a big boy, nearly twice her size.
  •  Pile of 13 Puppies

    Pile of 13 Puppies

  •  Me and Behr First Leo

    Me and Behr First Leo

  •  Why Leos Should Not Sit On Lap When They Are Puppies

    Why Leos Should Not Sit On Lap When They Are Puppies

  •  Size Difference — Golden and Leo

    Size Difference — Golden and Leo

  •  A Nap Under the Willow Tree

    A Nap Under the Willow Tree

It was difficult to decide which photographs to include in this section about our second Leonberger Bailey. He was a completely different Leo than our first one. After Behr died of a myxosarcoma caused my his microchip, we waited a little over three years before getting another Leo. I wasn't ready for a baby puppy in my life while my husband was more than ready, past ready. I had two health scares after Behr died, both of which nearly cost me my eyesight and then my life.

One thing we learned from having a previous Leo was to take more pictures as they grow extremely fast and big during the first six months. They gain two-thirds of their adult size by six months old. No one told us this bit of information the first time. So unlike our time with Behr, we took numerous photos of our next Leo.

This is Bailey's album. He was truly the quintessential Leonberger: A gentle giant. A super socialized puppy, never meeting anyone he didn't grow to love and want their eyes on him so he could look into their eyes. If they attempted to look away, like you do with dogs never staring at their eyes, Bailey would catch your eyes with his gaze and draw you into him. It was as if he had to see into your soul.

Bailey was a great help for my PTSD. He'd press his large body into the back of my legs and instantly calm me. Bailey was amazing in that way.

My husband utilized this calming effect during his infusions for rheumatoid arthritis. The infusions spiked his blood pressure. Bailey laid at my husband's feet with at least a paw touching my husband at all times. That touch calmed my husband and kept his blood pressure normal.
  •  Bailey and Makala, granddaughter at 4

    Bailey and Makala, granddaughter at 4

  •  Bailey Sitting On Dad's Lap

    Bailey Sitting On Dad's Lap

  •  Bailey In Bathtub

    Bailey In Bathtub

  •  Bailey Barely Fits In Bathtub

    Bailey Barely Fits In Bathtub

  •  Bailey and His Toys

    Bailey and His Toys

  •  Bailey and His Buddy Turbo at the Dog Park

    Bailey and His Buddy Turbo at the Dog Park

  •  Bailey, 1 year old, and His Father, 5 years old (on Left)

    Bailey, 1 year old, and His Father, 5 years old (on Left)

  •  Bailey's Bath After Dog Park Fun

    Bailey's Bath After Dog Park Fun

  •  Bailey's Delight: Bathtub and Laying on Back

    Bailey's Delight: Bathtub and Laying on Back

  •  Three Kinds of Huskies: One Kid, One Leo, A Bunch of Huskies

    Three Kinds of Huskies: One Kid, One Leo, A Bunch of Huskies

  •  Dog Crossing at Dog Park

    Dog Crossing at Dog Park

  •  Bailey Swims at OH Harbor Dock

    Bailey Swims at OH Harbor Dock

  •  Bailey and His Hedge Hog Toy

    Bailey and His Hedge Hog Toy

  •  One of 2 Giant Pillows For Bailey, Christmas 2015

    One of 2 Giant Pillows For Bailey, Christmas 2015