Sunday, September 20, 2015

End of Summer Dog Days

Just a few shots of the hounds, enjoying the last weekend of summer (thank GOD!!)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

In Memorium - Shae

Angel Jacqui of Morgan River
13 July 1999 - 5 September 2015
Sixteen years is a long time to have a dog. We brought Shae home almost exactly 16 years ago. My youngest son was almost seven years old, now he's a college graduate. Shucks, I was 40. The house we live in now, it's always had a Shae. I'm surprised how quiet it seems, now that one old dog no longer shuffles about, and snores during her naps. I admit feeling relieved, knowing that we've taken this final step together, that Shae now rests.
Her puppy hood was so long ago, it's almost hard to remember what a little stinker she was. I can't imagine bringing her up without the benefit of our 2 other dogs to help channel her energy.  All puppy-sharp shark teeth and attitude, it was a bit of work teaching her to keep her teeth to herself. But she was smart, a fast learner, and enjoyed training games. She developed the best recall of any dog I've had so far; if she could hear me, she'd come flying back as soon as I called. She was a wonderful family pet, especially after she (finally) gave up those little "love bites" when she was excited. She never did give up getting in 'the last bark' when visitors came over.

During her puppy training, I taught Shae that if she brought me something, she could exchange it for a treat. He favorite items were socks, especially dirty socks. Having two young boys around the house, there was ample opportunity to collect socks and get treats. Holey socks were saved and given to Shae for toys. It was good training, I could ask Shae for anything she had in her mouth, and she'd put it in my hand. One time she brought me a baby gopher that she'd dug up, alive and unharmed. (She later figured out that such things were edible.) When she started bringing me dead things that had been buried for days, I quickly taught her a new command; "spit", because otherwise she wanted to drop her treasure into my hand.

For years, another favorite trick of Shae's was a version of 'play dead'. Many dogs learn this trick, but the way Shae learned it was all her own. As a puppy, she was being her rambunctious self and I was trying to train her or contain her or something, and it wasn't working. Feeling a bit frustrated, I formed an imaginary gun with my hand, pointed at Shae and said, "Bang", and she promptly flopped over on her side. Just like that.  It was a great trick, and our go to for getting her to settle down when meeting visitors here at the house. She'd be all overly excited (and maybe getting ready to administer one of those love bites) and I'd tell the newcomer, "Shoot her." "Huh?" was the usual reply, but once instructed, the visitor would say Bang, Shae would flop over, get a belly rub and then we were all good.

Boy, now that I think about it, she was like that for a long time. Maybe until she was 8 or 10 years old, but only here at home. She was great at meeting people elsewhere, excellent with small children, and had great dog skills, other than being a tad bossy.  I think that's why she liked training, she thought she was training us to give her treats. During her long life, she saw our boys go away to college. She loved going to visit them. So many young people starving for dog attention, she was in her element. Shae never got tired of attention. She mastered the art of the nose flip, you know, where they get their nose under your hand and flip it up so you'll pet them? I had to teach her a 'go away' command. Pushing her away didn't work, as you were still touching her and that's what she wanted.

By the time Rowyn came along, Shae had slowed down a bit. But not too much to enjoy our newest pack member. She was very tolerant of his rambunctiousness, more so than I expected, and I think she enjoyed the company of another subject, er, dog. She was still bossy. But, bossing Rowyn around became Shae's new hobby, her diversion from the aches and pains of being old. He became the one tolerating her. And when they played, he was so careful, it was amazing to watch.
Thank you for letting me ramble. Its helped me remember so many things.
Postscript - I will add that in annals of puppy owners, I couldn't have asked for a better one than Shelly.  With a VERY few exceptions, all of my puppy people have been wonderful, outstanding owners.  Some just end up being that bit more.
Shelly, I speak for Dale and I (and Morgan and Jazzee of course) when we say how very much we appreciated how well and truly you loved and cared for Shae her entire life, bad times and good, right to the end.  The fact that we also became such good pals was just the dark chocolate ganache frosting on the cake of friendship.
I'm sure the rest of the Morgan River gang over The Bridge is being double bossed now by both Shae and grandma Morgan.
I don't have any of the Kane X Jazzee puppy pix scanned, so I had to make do with what I did have.
 June 2012 visit
 2013 visit (with that little red brat dog - the toy in her mouth actually belongs to him)

 Above and below, 2012 visit

In Memorium

It is with a heavy heart that we notify our client families of Bernardo Heights Veterinary Hospital that our founder and friend Dr Paul Fenner lost his long time battle with Melanoma cancer over Labor Day weekend. He passed away at his home with his wife Chris and son Conor by his side. The staff here at Bernardo Heights will miss his smile and sense of humor the most. He enjoyed caring for all of you and your beloved pets over his 28 year career here at our hospital. Sympathy cards can be sent to the hospital and we will pass them along to his family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the animal rescue of your choice. The entire staff here at Bernardo Heights aspires to make Dr Fenner proud as Dr Anderson and Dr Abrams aim to carry on his compassionate approach to veterinary medicine.