Someone asked if I wasn't nervous about having a rescue Chow. The short answer is, "No." In general, I think Chows are better tempered in France than I hear they are in the States. They had a surge of popularity here, too, in the eighties, but there must have been fewer irresponsible breeders, so most have good temperaments.
Used Chows are almost impossible to find in France. I put it down to French conservatism. Having paid a minimum of 1100€ for a dog, they're not about to dump it. But I scan the net constantly, hoping, and one day I found a Chow whose owner was going into the hospital, permanently, and the wife couldn't cope with "his" dog.
I telephoned. It turned out to be a rescue and the woman on the other end of the line said that, after all, a cousin was taking the dog. "Good," I thought, "Still in the family and the owner won't lose contact completely." Chows pine. While they appear indifferent, they become very attached to their owners. Io Jima's breeder had taken in a Chow whose owner had died and it was truly pathetic. It had lost most of it's fur and I tell you there is nothing more miserable looking than an almost-bald Chow. I preferred to lose the dog rather than see that happen.
Several months later, Brigitte, who runs the rescue, telephoned. She had two Chows. Would I be interested in one? Hey, I'd be interested in two! I read everything on the internet about rescuing dogs and how to meet them and what to do when you bring them home. Then we were off to Marseille to meet Soko and Nala.
(to be continued)