Sunday, December 26, 2010

On Point

No, no, no. Not that kind of point!

[Dancers from the Nutcracker Ballet on pointe. Photo of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company from the Seattle Times website].

This kind of point!

[Erie in a beautiful point while out hunting.]

Erie has had very limited bird work but we took her out this weekend and you would never know it. She did very well and is just stunning in this photo.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Until Every Child has a Home"

This song gets me every time. This shouldn't happen. I wish it didn't. "Until Every Child has a Home."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Erie!

One year ago today Kezza and Budha had seven puppies. I wasn't supposed to get one, but since Kit had only expected Kezza to have five, and the "extras" were girls (my kinda-sorta preference; I wasn't too particular), after some discussion with Judy (Budha's owner) I moved up from the bottom of the wait list to the top of the list with this litter (since I was committed to showing and doing other performance events). One year ago tomorrow, Kit emailed me and told me the good news.

Erie got salmon brownies for her birthday. I tried to make her a birthday hat but I wasn't sure how to attach it to her head properly so it didn't work out so well.

[Erie sitting in front of the couch and behind her "table" with her salmon brownie resting on a platter. She is wearing her birthday hat and basically has the cutest expression ever on her face.]

[Erie grabbing her brownie off the "platter"- an upside down dog bowl.]

[Dropping the brownie. You can kind of see the hat better in this photo. It has fallen over her eyes though!]

[Dropping the brownie. "Oh, right, I can't chew it all at one time."]

[Sitting on the floor with her head turned as she tries really hard to keep the brownie in her mouth. "Thanks Mom!"]

Happy Birthday Erie. Hope you have many, many more!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lucky Us

[Cami in front of a holiday background. This photo was taken just about three weeks before she died. In it she almost looks kind of worried. I was trying to get her to put her ears up for the photo so I asked her if she wanted a "cookie." Maybe she was concerned she wouldn't get one! Her appearance is a far cry from what it became just two short weeks later.]

I've lost a dog before. But this is different, perhaps because Cami was different and a one of a kind dog.

I've been going back and perusing books trying to find some advice on a concern I'm working through with Erie. I've been rereading Patricia McConnell's The Other End of the Leash. If you love a dog and don't know who Trisha McConnell is, then you are missing out. If you have a dog that you don't love, go buy her book. Like yesterday. She's amazing and her advice can help you with a vast array of behavioral problems with dogs.

I read through a section tonight where she describes her relationship with her dog, Luke, and felt that it beautifully described how I feel about Cami. Trish is a writer, so let me share her eloquent words rather than awkwardly paraphrasing:

"I love all of my dogs so much that it hurts sometimes. But as much as I love each of them, it is different with Luke. I fell in love with Luke right after I got him and am still hopelessly in love with him now. Luke is that one-in-a-million dog that most people never get, even dog trainers and breeders who've known hundreds of dogs. Every once in a while, someone will come up to me in a seminar and start talking about their Luke-equivalent, a dog who is so special that they can't talk about him without getting tears in their eyes. Maybe you had one once, too, a dog full of such goodness that your heart swells within your chest when you think of him. Maybe you have one now. I hope so- lucky us."

Patricia McConnell, The Other End of the Leash, pg. 187 (emphasis added)

I really love Erie, a feeling that is attested to by this blog, my Facebook status updates, my general conversation, and the amount of time I spend on her and with her (I spend a lot of money on her too, but any fool can spend money on their dog; sadly, many don't). Anyone who is forced to listen to me speak regularly knows that she is as important to me as anything in my life is. But as much as I love her she has a long way to go before she carves for herself a Cami-sized space in my heart.

I'm young. I haven't really had that many dogs. I'm looking forward to decades worth of dozens more dogs. I hope I find another Cami. If I do, I will be incredibly blessed. But if I don't, well, lucky me anyways.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where is Erie?

This comfort loving puppy is in her bed, of course.

[Cave bed sitting in front of the awesome pink crate, apparently without a dog in it.]

Today I was sitting in my room working on some stuff and glanced over at Erie's bed, surprised to see that she wasn't there. I leaned my head around my doorway to see if she was in my other room (I live downstairs with my own living room, bedroom, and bathroom, and share the kitchen upstairs) and didn't see her out on my extra bed. I called her name and all of a sudden the dog bed just a few feet away from me jumped! She didn't come out though so I told her to stay while I took a picture. She really is in there but she is so small that you can't tell by any lumps or bumps and there's not a nose, tail, or paw in sight!

Don't you just love the Harry Potter blanket covering her crate? I feel that it is only appropriate that she have a Harry Potter blanket, given her namesake.

I miss Cami a lot; my heart is still broken and I can't properly explain how glad I am to have this girl as I grieve for Cami. She makes it a little easier.