Monday, April 26, 2010

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

We said a bittersweet good-bye to Inseguire Memento last week. She left for her new home in the Yukon, via Vancouver, and while we will miss her terribly she is going to a wonderful family. Her new people got in touch with me a few weeks ago and went through our screening process with flying colors. They had previously owned a JRT and their idea of a vacation was a week long canoe trip with evening hikes. I am not sure you can find two people more suited for a JRT but to top it all off they were willing to fly to Vancouver and spend a weekend there just so she wouldn't have to endure a long plane ride alone.

Sunday morning arrived and we packed her up with a blanket and tug and kissed her goodbye. A few tears later, of mixed joy and sorrow, and she was on her way to Vancouver to meet the people she would be spending the rest of her life with. The flight from Saskatoon was a fairly short one but of course I was still not able to relax entirely until I heard from her new family that she was safe in their arms. Thankfully the plane was on time and there were no complications with picking her up and I received a phone call right on time to say she made it and they loved her! They reported she handled the trip well and was already handing out kisses as if she had known them her whole life.

Sending our little ones so far away is always difficult but seeing them in their new homes, so content, so loved, makes all the heart ache of saying goodbye worth it. A picture speaks a thousand words and seeing Mika, who is now Ripley, snuggled up with her new "mommy" on the couch without a care in the world lets me know we made the right decision for her. This is why we breed. Seeing the pure joy in our dogs and their new owners when they are together makes it all worth while.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reasons to Celebrate

Despite some minor setbacks this week there is reason to celebrate here at Inseguire. Mazel Tov, our little Atresia Ani puppy, had her appointment with the surgeons at the WCVM. As always I was a little nervous, there are so many unknowns with her that it is hard for me to have any expectations as to what may be found. Tov on the other hand loves going to the college. She has a great time as everyone fusses over her and feeds her treats. We have spent enough time there in her short life that all the residents know her by name and all the girls at the front desk spoil her. It never ceases to amaze the staff how big she is or how well she appears to be doing.

After her initial exam she went for another set of radiographs. A few of the surgeons met and discussed the similarities and difference between the sets taken a month ago and her initial ones taken as a newborn puppy. Eventually we were called back and presented with a number of options and a difficult decision. As she is today Tov is considered an "acceptable" pet. She is continent, happy, and relatively healthy. Doing anything may jeopardise this and while there is a chance that constructing an anus for her may improve her quality of life there is also the risk that it may diminish her current quality of life substantially if she does not have any sphincter muscles or she gets an infection. The surgeons discussed in depth what our spectrum of options are but in the end we all concluded that minimal interference until we absolutely had to was the best way to proceed. Tov is really such a medical marvel that we are all a little hesitant to interfere with what appears to be a pretty good thing.

With this diagnosis we can now move forward with placing her in a permanent home. She is welcome to stay here at Inseguire indefinitely but she may very well be happiest in a home that is all her own. She loves to be spoiled and cuddled and we will be hard pressed to find the perfect place for her but if and when it does come along we will now be able to provide some insight into her future. We have invested countless hours into her care, but days like today make all the sleepless nights and long days worth it. Having her kiss my nose every morning when I wake up is all the thanks I will ever need.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Does anyone have a pug I can borrow??

We spent this last weekend in Brandon MB running in the CARS flyball tournament. Sadie, Cali, Kiwi, and I headed down to Regina on Friday and then carpooled the remainder of the way with the ladies of Good 2 Go. It was a long day but we made it to Brandon in one piece and after a few minor adjustments with the hotel room we were able to settle in and go to sleep. Saturday morning, as always, came way too early but we all managed to get up in time to make the captains meeting. Rhianna and I were running with the girls from Wild for the weekend and I would have to say that their name describes them well. These girls are an absolute hoot and have a great sense of humor, by the end of the weekend we had more laughs then I can ever remember having at a flyball tournament. Cali was absolutely solid, taking the ball even when it was loaded on the wrong side of the box and fumbling it once but recovering and completing all her jumps properly. I could not have been prouder of her, but it was the pugs and the bully mix who stole the show in the end. New and green, Billo had his job down pat - bring mom the ball - which he did over, and over, and over again, in rapid succession, and to the exclusion of his other teammates. We thought we has this problem solved by running him last until low and behold someone had to rerun. This required his handler to make a mad dash after him and a mid air tackle which was gracefully landed - one foot over the start line. The judge was laughing so hard that she almost forgot to raise her flag and disqualify us. The pugs on the other hand were our lucky charm and every time it was their turn to sit things would fall apart. At one point, in a must win situation, we resorted to asking the other team we were racing (who are friends of ours) if they had a pug we could borrow - after a moment of confusion they replied they were fresh out. The subsequent laughter by both teams delayed the race start by almost a minute. Sadie even had a chance to run on Sunday and after a shaky start ended the day making some very good catches and runs.

Kiwi, as always, stole the show. Everyone she met loved her and asked where she came from. She is a great ambassador for our kennel. She spent a good part of both days playing tug and introducing herself to the puppies of "Wild". She had her most fun though back at the hotel room with Rhianna's dogs Burst, Taboo, and Relay. They played like mad things for HOURS, Kiwi would hide under the bed and pop out like a little blanket monster an they would chase and paw and dig at her - she had the time of her life. All in all this was a great time, which was only made even better by getting to run Good 2 Go's start dog 'Limit' who is so consistent we were able to push our start to near perfection and win some very tight races. Such a great weekend, we are looking forward to repeating the fun in Warmen in early May.

Monday, April 12, 2010

From White to Black

As Jack Russell enthusiasts started to acquire some different "colored" terriers the JRTCA and JRTCC began offering unsanctioned colored terrier classes at trials. This was my first introduction to the world of working terriers beyond the Jack Russell and I have always been fascinated by the variety of temperaments and working styles of these dogs. I make a point to watch as many classes as I can and one breed in particular has always stood out to me, the Patterdale Terrier. These are a very unusual breed in North America and not well known but they are a lovely little dog that is similar in appearance to a Jack Russell, except in black or chocolate, and their temperament is one of a high drive that without being hyperactive or over the top. After watching a dog that belonged to a good friend of mine from Colorado - who never failed to catch my eye in the show ring and has the most wonderful, biddable, temperament - I finally asked Mike to let me know when he had another litter.
Well, almost a year later Mike contacted me to say he had a surprise, but much wanted, litter of Patterdale puppies and ask if I was still interested. Although I had a litter of my own at the time I knew this was an opportunity not to be missed so I told him to pick me out a puppy that would suit our home. Mike recommended I consider a boy as we already had so many girls and, well, they call them *female dogs* for a reason. Male dogs have many wonderful qualities that are hard to fully appreciate until you live with a house full of females, so while this was going to be a bit of an adjustment for everyone here I agreed to take one of the two tan and white boys.

Just over 4 weeks later, a 12 hour plane ride, and a 7 hour drive, Patton arrived at my doorstep. He is everything I could have hoped for and more. Bold, confident, and outgoing, his long adventure form Colorado to Saskatoon did not seem to have taken anything out of him. He played with every dog he met at my friend's house and then came home to meet his new "family" and was equally as agreeable here. I just adore his easy going nature, but he is not by any means complacent. He has mastered the routes onto the couch that should be well out of his reach and will climb on, or burrow into, anything he thinks could be of interest. He has fit right into the Inseguire pack and managed to convince me that he needed to sleep in the bed his first night too. I look forward to many more years and many more adventures with this new terrier but for now he will just be my snuggle buddy and curl up in my arms when he is not off exploring.