Kimberly Robinson
Amy Thorsen and her dog Teddy have been part of the same family for four years now. He came from a breeder in South Dakota and arrived by plane. Since then he has shown that he still has the circus dog traits that made these dogs famous for centuries, often standing on his back legs for ten seconds or more.

Pet of the Week: Teddy is still a bit of a circus dog

Teddy, a purebred Havanese, is four years old and belongs to Amy Thorsen. She got him from a breeder in South Dakota because local breeders were asking for a much higher price. She picked him at the airport. "My daughter and I went to the airport to pick him up. He was in a crate and he was whimpering and my husband Sid was traveling on business that week and he was the one who reassured me that he had had a dog for 17 years and knew all about dogs."

Thorsen said that Teddy is very adventurous and playful and is never allowed to go roam around on his own. "But one night we left the gate open," she said, "it was dark and we realized he was missing. My husband ran out the front and I ran out the back and we both discovered that he had gone all the way around the block and ended up at the front door. But of course that's the last place we looked for him. So I was just happy he found his way home and was patiently waiting for us to discover him."

Teddy is all dog, no doubt, delighting in socks and underwear and "he shreds any tissue he can get," Thorsen said.

She explained that Havanese have a long history. "Centuries ago Havanese were used as circus dogs in Spain and the breed went to Cuba and then the United States but he still has some of those characteristics. He's extrmely agile and there are times when he will stand on his back legs for at least 10 seconds, which just amazes me."

That for now is one of his voluntary tricks, even though Teddy has been through the training at Puppy Perfectors. "She taught us quite a lot," Thorsen said, "but unfortunately he's fallen by the wayside."

They feed him pumpkin and tuna, "So he gets a little more fiber."

For treats he enjoys freeze dried lamb treats.

As a natural performer Teddy enjoys his toys and "Last Christmas he found three squirrels in his stocking and he had a larger squeaky toy, we can always he will chase them if we throw them across the floor."

While Teddy is good with other dogs he really only has one canine friend, named Bear, "that Teddy loves to visit through the fence. They sniff at each other. We get a big kick out of the fact that his name is Teddy and his friend is named Bear."

He is so named because when they got him, "My daughter Neve was really fond of Theodore Roosevelt, learning about him in third grade. And we actually stayed in a cabin on the Olympic Peninsula at Crescent Lake where Teddy Roosevelt spent the night."

Thorsen sums Teddy saying, "He brings joy to the whole family. He loves all of us and we love him back."

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