painting of Latka Some lessons I learned from Latka:

Live life to the fullest...and eat all you can, while you can.

Bark back at all threats, but only chase the ones you know will run away.

Snuggle! It's the best way to share your love.
Photo of Latka at his favorite cave Latka's story, as told by his Mom, Beth:

"Latka is an incredibly devoted companion. People always say he has some kind of spirit behind his eyes. He does have an old soul, although at age 9, he’s still very playful. For people who have never seen a Polish Lowland Sheepdog, I tell them that Latka looks like a small Bearded Collie, but with a natural bobtail. His breed is believed to be one of the Bearded Collie’s ancestors.

Being a sheepdog, Latka is very loyal and protective when it comes to his flock. I’m his number one sheep, and the members of my family are also considered part of his herd. He is wary of strangers, but very cooperative when it comes to his groomer, his vet, and others who help care for him.

Latka came from a litter in Wisconsin, and I got him when he was 11 weeks old. He spent the first 9 years of his life living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, regularly frequenting Central Park, visiting cafes, shops, etc., and even the beaches on Long Island. Whenever possible, he was always my day-to-day companion, no matter where we traveled during the course of our daily routine.

We now live in Florida, but hopefully we’ll only be here for another year, perhaps less. I miss New York, and with Latka’s thick furry coat, he’s better off up north, too. We do make the best of things here by taking weekend trips to the beach, where Latka chases a giant soccer ball as big as his head. Its colors match his coat, and it’s slightly deflated, so he’s able to carry it in his mouth. He also enjoys playing catch with it and jumps and twists to grab it in the air. People always smile when they see him carrying this favorite toy, and many take his photo.

My favorite photo of Latka is the one of him next to the rocks in Central Park. They are near a creek that flows into the big lake in the park where he used to like to wade and chase tossed sticks. Although Latka only weighs 34 pounds, he looks big in comparison to these rocks.."


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All images © Alison Whalen