Sliding into Fall …

Teller …

Rescue has been a bit quiet here lately … which is a good thing when one considers the overall picture.  No strays and no dogs surrendered by their owners.  On the home front, it has been a bit hectic, however.  The end of August, I flew to Minnesota to meet up with friends, attend a four-day dog show and pick up a new puppy.  My retired champion, Dante,  sired a litter in Canada and we were there to evaluate the puppies and bring home the new little one.  Meet Apsolutely FFT Tell Me No Lies a/k/a “Teller” (yup, that’s a red Apso!).  He did just fabulous on the trip home, including sitting calmly on my lap in the airport watching the travelers go by and sleeping in his Sherpa bag during the flight with nary a peep.

Given that it’s been seven years since we had a puppy in the house, there’s been a learning curve.  Potty training is a challenge and I’ve had to refer back to my own article a time or two.  Thank heavens for belly bands and hardwood floors!  The kitchen floor by the water bowl is scrubbed daily as puppy can’t get a drink without getting his whole beard wet and trailing water through the kitchen.  Frankers has earned the nickname of “Uncle Grumpy.”  Thankfully, Teller is respectful of the old man and will back off with a correction from Frankers.  The geriatric resident — Boogins, the cat at 15.5-years old — isn’t so fortunate as the puppy is fascinated with him.

The house looks like it’s inhabited by toddlers with toys strewn from the kitchen to the bedroom and everywhere in between.  Last night Teller came flying into the front room with a bath mat in tow, shagged out of the master bath.  Other times, it’s a crate pad from the master bedroom.  And he’s certainly not above running off with whatever clothing item that hits the floor.  My last routine for the evening is gathering up all the toys and putting them back in the toy baskets … which reminds me of dusting the house.  Wait 12 hours and it looks like it’s never been done.

Grooming Teller has been … ummm … interesting to say the least.  Yeah, “interesting” is a good word.  Here’s why:

Bathtime with Teller …

Can’t say that the subsequent baths have been any less loud or any less vocal.  Just not as long!  Given that Dante was very vocal about his baths for the first couple of years, it would appear that Teller comes by it honestly.  While only 5.5-months old, Teller is quite well-traveled.  From Canada to California to Minnesota to Colorado.  He’s been through a puppy kindergarten class and has attended two conformation classes.

Fall arrived in Colorado with some fabulous color in the mountains … and decidedly colder temps.  The hard freezes have taken out the annuals and we’ll start the yard cleanup here shortly in anticipation of putting it to bed for the winter.  Have a great fall y’all!

Ready and Waiting …

This piece, authored by Karen Filippi of Somerset Cairns, Tunkhannock, PA, speaks to each of us who have watched the years tick off with a beloved companion (reprinted with permission, as appearing  in the November 2008 AKC Gazette).

The AKC Gazette … the Official Journal of the Sport of Purebred Dogs Since 1889,  is available as a paper subscription or through a free online digital edition.  The Gazette is a treasure trove of information on the individual breeds which make up each “group” of dogs as well as being of interest in general to those sharing their heart and home with the canine species.

Ready and Waiting …

Summer, this year, seemed to come and go with my barely marking the days or weeks.  Instead, it’s the months that have become the season’s mile-marker, and the year the milestone of time’s passage.  This is, I think, also the measure of my progress through the seasons of my own life.  And so, with summer gone and year’s end approaching, I find myself facing the prospect of other passings, other endings.  Somehow, without my really noticing, two of my Cairns have grown quite old.

True to their reputation, Cairn Terriers are hardy, active dogs with relative few genetic health issues.  Should they fall ill or be injured, they will often suffer in silence.  This is another facet of the native courage that sends them headlong and heart-first into dark, narrow holes in the ground, seeking fierce quarry armed with tooth and claw.

The lifespan of a Cairn Terrier can, and more often does, exceed 15, 16, 17 years  and more.  Measured against human years, it is not very long.  Yet it is long enough to encompass a childhood, a marriage, to span one or more of the significant passages that mark our own lives.

Time passes, and, as it is the nature of things, the irresistable puppy become the irrepressible adolescent.  The adolescent becomes the mature, comfortable companion and faithful friend who, suddenly, a senior, slows but remains steadfast.  And then …

How to consider, cope with, the prospect of such a loss?

It is a testament to the lives of these incredible creatures that their passing has such a profound effect that we are compelled to search for ways to express our grief and afford it the dignity it is due.  While convention may still deny dogs a soul, for many the idea of the “Rainbow Bridge” speaks to our need to have them wait for us, somewhere, safe from harm.  In so many canine lives, there are too few such places; it seems fitting there should be such a place afterward.  Who can know?

What we can know, beyond doubt and, even absent faith, it the value of what they give to us.  We are, quite literally, their individual gods and they love us without condition or judgment.  They remind us to accept the world as it comes each day, to meet each moment with anticipation and awe.  To hear the poetry in our shared silences and the harmony in our different songs.  To fling our heart ahead in the sheer joy of living, and to run, full-out and free, to catch it up … again, and again.

When, all too soon, it is time for them to go, our memories of them will hold all this and keep it safe, ready and waiting, against the time when it will be our turn to follow.  … For Tinker and Indi, in their twilight.

Bosa …

We have a new foster available for adoption … 

My new haircut!
My new haircut!

Bosa (pronounced “Bow-sah” and meaning “Ivory”) is a one-year old Apso with boundless energy! She is spayed, housetrained, up-to-date on vaccs, microchipped and healthy! Bosa enjoys daily walks and playtime with other dogs her size. Toys, nylabones & kongs keep her busy for hours. Plays well with cats.  Because of her high energy, she will not be suitable for homes with small children.  She’s a curious pup and will need someone who can provide supervision and a puppy-proofed environment.

Coming into rescue, Bosa had no obedience training. She is currently learning manners and commands necessary to be well-behaved little dog. Her new family should be willing to commit to furthering her obedience studies and providing a puppy-proofed house. Bosa is crate-trained and sleeps through the night in her family’s bedroom. If you are interested in adopting Bosa, please begin our process by filling out an application at ApsoRescueColorado.org.

I'm a happy girl ...
I'm a happy girl ...
Bosa (right)
Bosa (right)