Mugsy is a black 9-year-old Portuguese Water Dog (PWD). Skimmer, a brown PWD, was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 2005. Both Mugsy and Skimmer are registered with Therapy Dogs Inc. and both, with their owner, Elizabeth, are involved with the Reading Education Assistance Dogs® (R.E.A.D.®) program. Mugsy and Elizabeth have been volunteering with children in libraries and school classrooms since 2004.
All smiles after an afternoon
of being with children
Portuguese Water Dogs are medium-sized, usually described a “spirited but obedient” and known for their love of water. The PWD is a swimmer and diver of exceptional ability and amazing stamina. Like retrievers, Newfoundlands, Otterhounds, some spaniels, and most large hunting breeds, the PWD has webbed feet. In years past this breed was invaluable to fishermen at sea for whom its work of retrieving broken nets, herding schools of fish, and carrying messages between boats and to shore were daily activities.
As traditional fishing methods gave way to modernization, the breed had virtually died out by the 1950s; however, about that time the first of the breed was brought to America, and since the mid-1980s it has gained popularity and is proving itself as a fun-loving family dog typically good with children, and other dogs and pets.