Songbird’s Sweet Surprise
Brief info

Surprise is our first Ridgeback, she came from Robin Nicholson at Songbird Ranch. She’s a sweet old girl, currently a very spry 10-year-old. She’s patiently put up with two generations of puppies.

Surprise gets her name because she was an unexpected gift from David to Jennifer. At the time, we were doing a lot of trail riding on horseback, and our older dog couldn’t keep up as she aged. Ridgebacks seemed like they could do well on the trail, and David found a picture of Pat Hess’ Jack – – dogs that can go to the top of mountains are the type of dogs we wanted. Pat put David in touch with Robin Nicholson ( and the following spring, left home early one morning for a ‘meeting’, met Robin, and saw what great dogs Mercy (Surprise’s mother) and Patience were. After some play, this sweet girl climbed into David’s lap, and took a nap – this was to be our first ridgeback. Four weeks later, she was ready to come home with us. We were returning from Canada with the horses, and David had arranged with Robin to meet at a gas station. When Robin came out with the puppy, Jennifer decided she wanted to pet her and asked what her name was. Robin responded, “We’ve been calling her Surprise.” And Jennifer said, “That’s a funny name…”, and Robin said, “No – she’s YOUR surprise!” Surprise has been all over the northwest region and followed horses down many trails. She’s very sweet and very reserved – you get one discreet kiss from her in the morning, and that’s her kiss for the day.

Surprise still loves to run, and her role seems to be teaching puppies manners. She’s never rough with them, but a loud bark lets them know where the boundaries are.

Monumental Ridgebacks