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The national dog of Portugal gains nod from AKC - Part two

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Marilyn Piurek brings the same unbridled passion to her Portuguese Podengo Pequenos that she brought to her forty plus years of political activism. Specifically, as a former member of the Democratic National Committee her activities involved the Ethnicity of The Democratic Party. Introduced to politics at a young age, it doesn’t seem unusual that she would become the pioneer of the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, bringing the first registered dog to America in 2001.

Think about it. That is no small feat. It took pluck. And not only has she embraced the breed ever since, she is dedicated to preserving its purity. But it’s hard to blame her. One of her puppies placed in New York City has a one hundred word vocabulary. Another, placed in Maine has inspired greeting cards and a third is a muse to a magazine editor. If “Bronco Jack” from Denver hadn’t gotten a cold, surely the Broncos would have fared better…Well, I must take issue with that, right? Right!

Marilyn and her husband, Kip have made twenty two combined trips to Portugal. She recalls all of them with great fondness for her Portuguese hosts. “They are a very warm and welcoming people, with great heart. They are devoted to continuing the breed with the least inconsistencies.” Interestingly enough, the breed has changed very little since antiquity. “They are a lively dog, very sturdy and perceptive; they have a rustic nature, but can be sober, as well.”

Not surprisingly, because they are highly intelligent and faithful, they make excellent therapy dogs. “Bucky” worked in the Pediatric Ward at Yale. “We would put him in a little wooden cart and bring him in to visit with the children. We had small hair brushes and the children adored brushing his hair. He thrived on the attention and the children were absolutely thrilled watching him.”

Five Podengo Pequenos currently share the Piurek home in Old Saybrook, CT. They are very keen on snow, but not rain. When Marilyn first brought her dogs to live in Newport, Rhode Island, they were very reluctant to go out in the morning if it was raining. Finally, she called the breeder in Portugal. “Jorge, the dogs don’t want to go out and relieve themselves.” The gentleman replied, “Marilyn would you want to get out of a warm bed in your pajamas and go out in the rain?!”

Piurek stressed that the Pequenos are very healthy dogs. It is not uncommon for them to live until their late teens. Although they are hounds, they have very individual personalities. Tune into C-NBC Monday evening, February 10th at 8:00 to see the debut of the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno at the American Kennel Club’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The first Group to show will be the Hounds. Thank you, Marilyn Piurek for your breed devotion and hard work!

For further information, access www.podengos.com, or Marilyn’s website, www.podengos.us.

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