Hi, I'm Toraq's Samantha. You can call me Sam. In fact you can call me anything you want, just don't call me late for dinner. I know it's an old joke but it sure fits me -- I love to eat! Anything will do -- steak or chicken is nice of course, but I'm also partial to cantaloupe, watermelon, blackberries, carrots, zucchini or corn. Oh, and dog food is good too. The more the better!
I'm a Portuguese Water Dog (PWD or "Portie" for short). Our breed was developed in Portugal hundreds of years ago to be fishermen's helpers. My ancestors went out on fishing boats, doing courier duty, rescuing swimmers, retrieving objects that fell in the water. They say we even herded fish but I find that one hard to believe.
I've added a couple of new pictures to the site. On the right you can see me bonding with my neighbors Sarah and Cassidy. Sarah knows just the right places to scratch. Cassidy and I get along great because I love kids. Babies especially since they're a great source of food; I love to sit next to their high chairs staring at the floor so I don't miss anything that drops. Sometimes I go up to Cassidy and give her a little tiny lick on her nose or cheek and she starts giggling. The only time we had problems was when she was learning to walk, because I accidentally knocked her over a few times. I really didn't mean to hurt her but it took her a while to forgive me for that.
You can see I'm starting to get a bit more gray around the muzzle. I was born January 8, 1991, so in January 2004 I celebrated my 13th birthday. Donna (my human) tells me I'm supposed to be a grown-up dog now, but I still act like a puppy. Why not? I'm still very healthy, though I'm starting to get some arthritis in my hips and lower spine. The vet says it's not hip dysplasia, just plain old age. So for the past couple of years I've been taking glyco-flex every morning with breakfast, and Remadyl (anti-inflammatory) medicine every evening with dinner.
I still have lots of energy, and enjoy just about everything that life has to offer, especially running and eating and chasing squirrels and riding in the car and splashing in the river and getting covered with burrs and exploring and getting my tummy scratched. My favorite time is when Donna has friends over for dinner. I love socializing with everyone, and sometimes people give me treats when Donna isn't looking. She says I'm a real party animal!
For Christmas a year ago Donna bought me a new Orvis therapeutic bed for my my creaky hips. I like the cushion but I missed the fluffy fleece cover from my old bed, so she draped a fleece throw over the new bed and now it's my favorite spot. I like to suck on the fleece just like Cassidy sucks on her binky. I've put up a picture so that you can see how cozy I am!
I came to live with Donna in July, 1995, when I was 4-1/2 years old. My previous owners said I was "unmanageable", so they returned me to Becky, my breeder. I'm not sure why it took them four years to figure this out. I have to admit, though, we Porties are very active and energetic dogs, and can be pretty opinionated at times, so training us requires patience and firmness. At the same time we're sensitive so you can't jump on us too hard or we'll melt in front of you. So we're not a good choice for people who aren't experienced dog owners or who don't have the time or inclination to devote to training us. If you want an easy dog, get a Lab. (grin)
Luckily Donna and I were able to stick it out. She made some mistakes -- sometimes too easy on me, other times losing her temper or just being inconsistent. But we worked out our differences in the first year or so, and the last few years together have been great. (Except she never feeds me enough!) She gets kinda choked up when she realizes I won't live forever, but thankfully I've got a strong constitution and haven't even realized I'm slowing down yet.
My Photo Gallery
Sorry my photo gallery is so stale -- I have a bunch more pictures but I haven't been able to convince Donna to post them. I'll keep working on her.
This is how I looked when I first came to live with Donna in summer of 1995. She said that with all this hair she'd never keep the burrs out, so she got some clippers and went to work.
More PWDs on the Web
My Favorite Book
The New Complete Portuguese Water Dog
My favorite quotes are from Chapter 7 on "The Character of the Portuguese Water Dog," such as: "Your PWD will not allow you or anything around you to be alone. They are busy dogs and want you to be busy with them." How does she know me so well?
I was bred by Becky Morin, who owns Toraq Portuguese Water Dogs. She lives east of Sacramento, California. She has a web site at www.toraqpwd.com. You can see pictures of my mom "Maddie" and dad "Mickey" on her pictures pages. Becky has been breeding PWDs for many years. She's a dedicated and conscientious breeder, a warm and helpful coach, and an all-around great resource. If you have questions about PWDs or are looking for a Portuguese Water Dog of your own, you can call her at (916) 721-7736 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My pedigree is shown below, for those of you who are interested in such things.
Farmion V de Gama (Farmion Azinhal x Renascenca do al Gharb) Ch. Farmion Geo UD Farmion Nazare (Farmion Azinhal x Trovoada de Alvalade) Ch. Roughrider Pescador de Toraq CD Keel Tonel (Febo do Al Gharb x Spindrift Keel) Ch. Camerell's Roughrider Seeley CDX Ch. Natale do Mar (Real do Mar x Alma do Mar) TORAQ'S SAMANTHA Bonnydoon Obolo (Ch. Raio x Cherna Abilheiro) Ch. Oliverio Agua Linda Ch. Isabella do Mar (CB Baluarte de Alvalade x Rainha do Mar) Ch. Roughrider's Madeira de Toraq CD Ch. Farmion Geo UD (Farmion V de Gama x Farmion Nazare) Ch. Roughrider Diver's Doll CD Ch. Birchbrook Salema (Farmion V de Gama x Farmion Flagday)