Friday, January 21, 2011

For The Love Of Dogs . . .

Well, silly little Mariah was a hit at the nursing home.  Both Jess and I worried a bit about how she would handle the situation, with wheel chairs & walkers & crutches & canes, unusual noises, strange smells & sounds, and lots of strangers.  We needn't have worried, she handled it like a pro.  I'm including a couple of stories courtesy of Jess & Don, who took her along on a visit to see Don's father.

"WOW! What an awesome hour. Don and I took took Mariah over to the nursing home & at 4 months, Mariah was FANTASTIC!!  I wish I had photos. Jim was having a bad day and his face lit up when Mariah was on the bed. She just laid down next to him and he stroked her ears. She gave him lots of kisses, didn't move. Still makes me smile. She so good with everything and everyone. She can come back anytime."

"I was just so impressed with how good she was. We also met a couple of people in wheelchairs and walkers and Mariah just shined. I will smile all evening. Just seeing her with Jim earned awwws from Don, his mom and sister-in-law."

"Don just told me another story about Mariah's adventure. He took her for a walk around the building and stopped to talk to a gal in her 30's....  The gal was hugging Mariah and was asking questions, including her name. When Don told the gal, she had him repeat it and he said Mariah. All the color drained from her face and she got all teary. Her daughter's name was Mariah and she died from cancer last year. The gal sat on the floor and Mariah climbed in her lap and covered her with kisses. I think Don learned the meaning of "special" dog. Good girl, Mariah."

When Jess posted these stories to Facebook, several of our friends responded with the following stories . . .

"We were at a show one time and there was a mom pushing a wheel chair with a severely handicapped child in it. The child wanted so bad to pet our dog Marshall. Marshall climbed right up in the chair with the boy and hugged him. The mom asked his name and she cried when I said Marshall. The boy's name was Marshall too. We stayed there for a LONG time letting the boy pet him. I will always remember that."

"We had a similar experience. We were at a festival with Indy (in her young very-spirited uncontrollable time) and I could see a handicapped 20-something young man who spied here and kept mouthing the words "pet the puppy".  Well Indy saw him and headed right for him with her focus only on him, just cuddled up to him and was such a charmer the young man started crying. Even his parents cried. I will never forget how each of them was so gentle with the other. They spoke without words. We still tear up when we think of it."

And THAT, my friends, is just one of the reasons we love our dogs.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Time For Another Camping Trip

This is the kitchen water bowl.

I'm feeling much better, thank you.  Made it through the day yesterday, and today should be easier.  I'd feel guiltier about going to work with a cold if I wasn't so sure that's where I got it.  Am rarely sick, but this is the second year in a row I've gotten a winter cold.  It always seems to happen when I am short on sleep, something I need to remember next January.

Two different nurses as well as the doctor made a point of telling me that heart attack symptoms are often much different in women than in men, and shortness of breath is always of concern.  They did an EKG on me, just to be sure things were OK.

The dogs really need more outside time, but the weather is not cooperating.  20 below forecast for tonight.  Mariah especially has a lot of pent up energy and would benefit from some running.  Last night she dug all the water out of the dog bowl - what a mess!
She's going for an overnight with Jessica.  Although Mariah is outgoing and extremely friendly, she's a little "squishy" right now and will benefit from getting out and doing things.  Unfortunately the weather makes that more difficult.   If it weren't mid-winter I would take her with me to the dog shows that are coming up, but she's too young/small to sneak in the building, and it's too cold to leave her in the car.  Jess will take her to the office to play with Stella, home to play with the Shepherds, and is hoping to take her to the nursing home to visit Don's father. 

It's vitally important that all young dogs get enough socialization to grow up confident and well adjusted.  Show dogs in particular need to be exposed to as many novel situations as possible.  Need to touch base with some friends who have volunteered to take a pup for camping.  Jaime stayed with them for a weekend while he was here and everyone had a great time.  They have a Josie son as well as two human sons for Mariah to play with.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Colds

Ugh, knew I had a cold coming on and it hit me full force yesterday.  Head was clear, chest very congested, but I felt OK.  The cold wind I faced from the parking lot to the building took but breath away, but I felt OK in my office until I started coughing and then couldn't breathe.  Pretty frightening to get no air!  I knew panicking would make things worse so I sat down, tried to take slow breaths and started getting some air.  When I could speak I called Health Partners for an appointment and the nurse they connected me with would not give me one - wanted me to go to the Emergency Room.  I argued for awhile, and she checked with a doctor and he said the same thing.  They did not want to have to call paramedics to the clinic - at least she was honest.

To make a long story short, it was an interesting day and the right decision.  I'm off to work today, taking along my new inhaler.  We'll see how long I stay but my desk was a mess yesterday and I hate getting further behind.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ah, One Less Puppy!

Eddie looks quite pleased with his new friends.

Although the roads weren't perfect, Eddie and I made it to Mason City and met up with Lisen & Jerry at the PetCo - the same place  I met Paula when I picked up Patrick & Edward a few weeks ago.  Saved me some cross country driving!  Eddie will stay with Lisen for who-knows-how-long.  We'll see how it goes.

I've known Lisen for many years as she finished a Dal of our breeding, put points on others and kept several liver girls for "camping".  Husband Jerry used to run Brittanies in field trials, and my daughter Jess finished the championship on Jerry's Brittany "Fanny".  Their household currently consists of only one spayed pet Brittany & a cat, so perhaps it was time for a Dal fix.
Coral at with Caitlyn 12 years ago.

Lisen's daughter Caitlyn is pictured in the upper photo, along with her daughter Lila.  Caitlyn is also in the lower picture holding Coral who stayed with them for awhile.  Coral will be celebrating her 13th birthday in April, and is Eddie's great grandma.  The three liver girls who stayed there, Coral, her daughter Salem, and her grand daughter Brie, all finished their titles with good records, so we're hoping the good luck rubs off on Eddie.

Taking my mother to brunch later, then Mariah gets to visit a few pet shops for socialization.  Then I can get back to my wallpaper project which is going slowly.  Had to clean up the basement when I got home yesterday so I could put down the rugs again and have a place to train Mariah.  The puppy pen will stay folded and the rugs will stay down until Bella arrives in a month or so, if she turns out to be show potential.  Bella is a daughter of Argus and Tess, and so far she looks good.

Argus also has a wife scheduled for February or March, assuming she is on schedule.  Hopefully she waits under after Westminster and the St. Louis weekend, because she will have to fly in and stay here.  Even though Argus is not being actively campaigned this year, we're likely to have a few conflicts.  We're delighted that he is the lucky man this time, as this Dal girl is a beauty, and one of our favorites.