The Beginning

When a CD owner meets another CD owner the inevitable first question is always “ so what on earth drew you to discover this breed?” Doug has been a dog enthusiast for decades and constant dog owner since 1983 .He owned a Dachshund for 18 years and always wanted a Mastiff or Bull Mastiff. As an avid Dog World subscriber, Doug recalls reading an article about Canaan Dogs. He was intrigued but never thought he would own one.

How he and Jasher found each other is a thoughtful and passionate story. Shortly before Thanksgiving, Doug’s family’s beloved 10-year-old Boxer-cross Cosmo died unexpectedly following surgery to remove a large lump on his leg. He also has a Dachshund/Sheltie-cross named Brisco, who, at the age of 14 isn’t up for much activity lately and is slowly retreating into his own little world. After a few months, Doug decided to start looking for another dog. His main candidate was to be a retired racing Greyhound. He has been interested in the breed for a long time and there are local track and several organizations close by.

When Man meets Desert Dog

Last fall, Doug enrolled in Bible Study Fellowship. The course is a year in length, and last year’s focus was on Genesis. His reading about Abraham and how God promised him all of the land of Canaan inspired him to look up Canaan Dogs on the Internet.

“Since I knew they were rare and thought they weren’t even AKC registered in the U.S., I certainly didn’t expect to find a well organized rescue organization, much less one that had a dog available. I liked the fact that they are uncommon, watchful but not likely to attack anyone, and physically robust but not requiring constant activity like a Border Collie. The available dog at the time was “Scooby Doo”, and as my wife will attest I am immature and have watched Scooby Doo on TV on and off for years. I took that as a sign that this dog was supposed to be mine. Well as it turns out I was wrong, but Jasper came along and from his description he was a much better fit for my family.”

Getting to Know “Jasher”

To most of us, the naming of a dog is a very important task. We asked Doug if there is significance behind Jasher’s name and of course he replied “absolutely!” On the CDRN adoption list, Jasher’s original call name was “Jasper”. Doug wanted to find a Hebrew name and on a lark searched for names starting with “J” and found “Jasher”, which is also referenced in the Bible in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18 (Book of Jasher, apparently a lost ancient text sometimes spelled Jashar). It means upright or righteous.

From the moment he entered Doug’s live, Jasher has been a spectator at 3-7 year old girls’ soccer practices, a running partner, and obedience class participant. His endearing qualities, as described by Doug are “alert”, “devoted”, and “tolerant”.

“We started out taking him to my girls’ soccer practice right when we got him. When he didn’t really get too bent out of shape around a hundred or so noisy kids ages 3-7 I started to think he was either very well socialized before he came to me or not an ordinary (if that word ever applies) Canaan Dog. He is the first dog I recall having that will just follow me around the house from room to room, usually laying near my feet or just outside the door. Even when I get up very quietly and he appears to be asleep, he invariably opens his eyes then gets up and follows me. For a young dog from a jumpy breed, he is very tolerant of my daughters. My oldest (6) is often rougher with him than she should be. She really loves him, but isn’t always as nice as we would hope for. He never does anything about it and typically stays and/or comes back for more. He lets her lead him around the house by his collar. I also took him to an 8 week beginning obedience class and he did great. Surprisingly enough he was the biggest dog in the class after an adolescent Mastiff dropped out the second week. By the way, I now find Mastiffs to be big, slow, sloppy and kind of sad. He did really well. What was interesting to me is he pretty quickly accepted the folks and dogs in our class, but he didn’t like it when the people and dogs would start to show up for the following class.”

Any self-respecting pariah pooch has his idiosyncrasies — and we all know most readers can relate to these anecdotes. Jasher’s are “balloon’s that have lost their helium, “objects that have relocated to a different location”, and “Hey, what are the odds?” Doug recalls:

“Once I found him barking madly at a birthday party balloon that had lost its helium and dropped to the ground. He didn’t pay any attention to them when they were floating. Another time he was barking like crazy out in the hall and I knew there was nothing odd going on. I eventually figured out that my wife had moved our girls’ bike helmets from a table to the baskets on the handlebars (the bikes were sitting in the wide entry hall near the front door). I guess he didn’t like that. The last thing isn’t that crazy, but it is odd. He has only gotten out twice since he came to AZ. The first time was when he had only been here a week or so and hadn’t really settled in yet. He barged out the front door when somebody opened it and ended up barking at somebody out on the sidewalk. Instead of just standing still and letting me grab Jasher, this guy was making threatening gestures at him - obviously not helpful. I was annoyed at the guy but apologized anyway. Story over, or so I thought. A few months later, I forgot to latch the side gate after doing some yard work and didn’t realize it until after letting Jasher out. I ran out to find, you guessed it, Jasher barking at the same guy. This time he made a rude comment to me about owning dogs coming with some responsibility. Hey what are the odds?”

Jasher, like any dog, has a penchant for certain things. According to Doug, Jasher fancies “Nylabones” and ice cubes! Doug has an ice dispenser in the door of his freezer and Jasher always comes to the kitchen when he hears it. Doug says “I have known dogs with a passing interest in ice cubes but no others that love them.” Talk about a “hot” desert dog with “cool” tastes!

Doug’s Final Thoughts

“Jasher has really been a blessing to my family. Dealing with the CDRN was a pleasure. All dog breeds should be so lucky as to have such great folks working to help them. I would also like to say that it has been great talking with Bryna Comsky via e-mail about Jasher and that if he is characteristic of her dogs she is doing a great service to the breed.”