Never seem to have time to do anything these days. Life is flashing past, we spend 90% of it working and already we are on the longest day of the year yet not even seen much of a summer. Fern has celebrated her 21st Birthday, qualified for Olympia Novice semis, and the following week at one of the biggest Champ shows of the year, won into Grade 6 with Cove. Seems incredible. Rog & I celebrated our 21st Wedding Anniversary last weekend too................(.yep you do the maths) and I do really love the relationship we have. Its not all romance and flowers, but a working, best friend, soul mate kind of thing and we are very lucky. All the dogs are amazing, with their faults and idiosyncrasies making them so unique and very much part of our family, and I have to admit they are my life and without them my life would be incomplete.
Watching people recently, whether in the ring at a competition or just strangers walking their dogs, cars passing by with a dog hanging out the window, lips & ears flapping got me thinking, (and maybe thats not always a good thing!) but I have become slightly obsessed, ...... or am I?
I have learnt so much over the years of owning dogs, and especially this last 2 to 3 years. Like us all I guess. Every dog that comes along is probably going to be slightly better trained, better behaved, more socialised, better fed, ......... Our first couple of dogs, 20 years ago, had a great life, did a bit of the old school obedience training, tried a bit of agility and were fed on cheap tinned dog food, or the first types of complete dried food that were around then that we could afford. We struggled to feed ourselves in those days, so the dogs had what they had. We were young and went out partying most weekends, and left the dogs at home, sometimes all night, and I never worried. We were quite hard on them sometimes too. I admit to a rolled up newspaper (those things we all had before the internet and smart phones) being swiped across a backside for bad behaviour, jumping up, stealing food off the table but thats all we knew. I look back sometimes and feel so guilty, yet both those original 2 collies lived to the age of 16 yrs and I still miss them to this day.
Now our dogs get fed meat, fish, veg, herbs, eggs and all the additives they need, all natural, and eat better than we do. They are all insured, go to see chiropractors, even hydrotherapy sessions, and have the best shampoos, snuggliest beds, best caged fully lined insulated and ventilated van to travel in and I would not dream of going out all night partying, unless we can get one of my very best friends, Lolly Scott :-) to come and sit with them!! I cringe when I see a car go past with a dog hanging out the window, I look away when I see people walking dogs on check chains, or off lead on a busy street, and I laugh at the adverts for certain tinned dog meats, with "tasty gravy" or "real meaty chunks" and I wonder if I have turned into a dog snob? We are still not very well off, but these days, if necessary, its us that eat cheap food so the dogs can still eat well!!! LOL!
Well thats it for serious stuff, and now for my usual rubbish.
Cove is amazing, thanks to Fern who is also amazing, and credit has to also go to Lauren, as 4 out of 5 pups from 1 litter she bred, all went grade 6 in the last 2 weeks, and 3 of them also qualified for Olympia. The 5th is also going to be amazing, already looking stunning, he just needed more time to mature :-) (Oooh that was a lot of amazings!!)
Twiggy is really starting to make her presence known, gaining top 10 places every weekend, and loving her life, and I cant guarantee she will ever get further than Grade 4 but I can guarantee she will always be the first on the bed for tea & biscuits every morning :-)
Olli is not looking too shabby in Grade 6, and still makes me laugh every day, and is the most loyal dog I have ever had the pleasure of, and I would still love to get him to the ABC qualifier but if not I know my socks will always be safe while he is around to collect them.
Lily is knocking on the door of grade 7, but it really doesnt matter if she makes it any further or not, she is still the best cat stalker in the world. If she didnt put the cats in their place every day, who knows what anarchy would prevail?!!!
Dave is almost a normal dog now, playing and loving, and so bloody talented, if Fern ever gets him to compete regularly he will win every time. Meanwhile its good to have a "wee brown dog" to suddenly snarl and see off the imaginary intruders that arrive in his sleep. :-)
Georgie is the funniest, most talkative, cheeky white faced, ugly, gangly, skinny ..............ok, the most gorgeous handsome lovely dog, and my first baby and I have no idea how my nerves will cope with his debut on the agility world, but whether he succeeds or fails at that, he will always succeed in making us laugh, and thats priceless.
And of course we still have Stanley. Wall licking, plaster eating, cat chasing, chicken killing, house messing terrier. ...............well that was a long time ago. He is now a real dude. Been there done it got the T shirt, and been through so much yet still here and still funny. Half blind, and selective hearing but can sniff out food from half a mile away!
Research & Development. Thankfully if we are willing to learn and try new ideas, and understand these phenomenal animals who we are so privileged to share our lives with, then we will all be nicer people, and hopefully have very happy healthy dogs.
If only they could talk.