Currently I own one American Water Spaniel (AWS) – Rizzo (Coastal Magic’s You’re The One That I Want NW2). Rizzo was born on March 4, 2010 in Carlsbad, CA bred by Lori & John Tufts and joined our family in May of 2010. To say Rizzo has changed my life is an understatement. My husband affectionately calls her the Curly Haired Terrorist (CHT for short).
How do I even begin to explain Rizzo other then, be careful what you ask for and what you name your dog. I named Rizzo after Rizzo in the movie Grease. Rizzo the character is a bit naughty, sassy, curly-haired brunette, and that is what I got! I asked for a dog who was unflappable, food driven, and first and foremost a wonderful family dog, that is what I got!
She is the most naughty dog I have ever owned, nothing is safe from Rizzo. As young dog she taught herself first how to help herself to open the flip lid dog food containers – childs play she says. Then I bought the screw top lid food containers, no problem, they might take longer but she can do it. At my training facility she taught herself how to open the mini-fridge. She is a smart, determined, and full of energy – what a dangerous combo! It did end in 2013 with a exploratory surgery for a possible bowel obstruction.
Rizzo did come with some funky sensitivity to restraint as a young puppy. She had no qualms about biting you if she felt uncomfortable in a situation. We have worked tirelessly on her being comfortable. At first the priority was that she was a show dog having to be touched by strangers and I had to groom her for shows. Then we worked towards safety with the vet. She has come a long way.
Also Rizzo has a lot of allergies both environmental and food, which made me decide to spay her and not breed her. I can’t imagine having another Rizzo, so I think it was for the best.
Rizzo loves to train and has lots of competition obedience skills but I have not shown her. I lost interested due to the stress of showing and being around punishment-based trainers, for both me and the dogs. Rizzo’s (and my) main love is K9 Nose Work. She is awesome and LOVES it. She is the first AWS to earn a NW1, NW2 and NW3 titles. Along the way she has taken a number of placements and always entertains judges and me.