We are holding our own around the 24 Paws of Love since Angel's passing. And even though she didn't live with us, she was still and always will be our baby. Waves of sadness, shock, disbelief and happiness that she is free to run now without any fears passes through and around me. There is also some anger at life in general and why this young girl was taken much too early according to my records. I used to hate that saying, "Everything happens for a reason," but I trust the man upstairs must have needed her for some great feat that only our little Angel could do and it brings me peace.
I watched a fantastic video by Fearfuldogs' Blog a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to point out (I'm so far behind!) an excellent example of getting a dog used to something. The owner was working on the building blocks of getting her dog used to doggie toothpaste in order someday to brush her teeth. Watch it HERE. It's 13 minutes long, but worth every minute. These were the beginning steps of what she wanted to accomplish with her dog. It was a good reminder of how patience and working slowly with your dog can make it a great environment to learn just about anything. In my attempts to get Chance and Blaze use to their sledding harnesses, I tend to rush through the steps to fast as I want to push to make things happen. I can be so impatient. I mean I go from the beginning point to putting it on them in one session! Talk about pushing it! So this was a great reminder to slow down and literally take it piece by piece. Also it shows in the video how progress isn't linear and that sometimes you have to step back to the beginning for a minute then you can catch up where you left off.
And now I'm having great results with Chance and Blaze touching the harness, coming to it, putting their head through it and letting me bring it to them. Man, does it take the pressure off!! And it is so much more fun and both dogs are having a blast. I've been using canned food for their reward because this is a BIG deal they are doing for me and I appreciate it!
And my last update is for "A Brut Moment" challenge. You can click HERE or on Brut's pic on top right side bar for more info. All of us have come to a point with our dogs where there was a misunderstanding on both of our parts. When did you feel the change of the understanding? What is that one moment that stands out in your mind when there was that 180 degree turn in your relationship and you saw it start to take a different road? While there may be plenty of these times, what is the one you always see every time you look in your dogs eyes and know that was the moment that changed it all. When did that change occur when you and your dog knew you were headed made headway with each other and began to see a little more eye to eye? How did that moment change your relationship, the way you viewed your dog and why?
I invite you to write a post on your blog and link it back to 24 Paws of Love for a blog hop with others who are sharing their same experience on Thursday and Friday Nov. 1 and 2 (I've extended it for an extra day) to show us Your Brut Moment. Hope you can join us!
I woke up early, which is out of norm for me and started my morning by criticizing myself for the book review I gave on yesterday's post. When I finally came to the conclusion I had the right to be me, I looked up to see the last minute of a glorious golden sunrise through the trees. I caught my breathe as the yellow hue washed over the bronze carpet of oak leaves reflecting the spectacular sight. Angel. It was all I could think as the sadness welled up inside of me.
Back and forth. I open and close up. Sometimes there are tears. Most of the time I am just quiet. Quieter than normal. I finally laid down with Chance who snuggled right up next to and gently the tears flowed.
80 degree weather, unheard in these northern parts for Oct. 26. Lived in shorts and a T-shirt today even after dark, where my melancholy was busted apart by watching Zappa suddenly go crazy over a leather glove he found (his favorite) and play with all the gusto of both Chance and Blaze put together. Fiona immediately jumped in and they were in a chasing, playbow duel. See Zappa so much of the time has to be on guard with Brut, he doesn't play much, but when he does...LOOKOUT!! The boy is on fire and such a joy to watch. :)
And Chance, bless his sweet heart, when I give him kisses for bedtime he lets me love all over him since Angel died. As much as he is a snuggle bunny all day and night, at bedtime, he won't have none of it. And if he gives me a kiss, well then that makes my night. But now he is letting me love him all I want. And we are enjoying every minute of it.
Life is too short to not be able to kiss the ones you love at the end of the day, you never know what the next day will bring.
The story of eleven canines and the secrets they keep.
I'm a tough egg to crack when it comes to humor. I normally don't read it. So when comedian/actor Steve Martin quoted on the cover, that made me curious enough to check it out.
I was sorely disappointed. I found Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You To Know, a rather generic version of dogs being too human in explaining their own stories. I found myself rather bored with the stereo typing of the different breeds or the conditions they were in and struggled to get through the book.
I also had a difficult time making a personal connection to any of the dogs, except for maybe Sarge, the working German Sheperd who went from job to job trying to do the best job he could. I appreciated the intelligence that was given to the breed and his strong work ethic that I could understand with my own dogs..
All in all we give Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You To Know 5 paws up out of 24. I know others enjoyed it and found it a good read, but it just wasn't my type of dog book.
As the events of last week took us a bit off track, I wanted to remind everyone of "A Brut Moment" Challenge or if this is the first you've heard of it go HERE for more info. Hope you will all be able to join us for "A Brut Moment" on Nov. 1.
I didn't expect to deal with a death this early into my blogging life, but here I am. I want to share this journey because I think it is important, not just for me but for others who have, will and are experiencing it to. And frankly, the only thing I know what to do is write, so I shall.
We are all doing OK since Angel's passing. There is an undercurrent of sadness flowing through our home that sometimes turns into a gentle but strong wave. There is no doubt it is flowing through the dogs as well. And I do believe they are intelligent, emotional creatures that are sensing more than just our own grief. I believe they are going through their own grief as well. I didn't think they were ever going to stop sniffing us when we came back from burying Angel. I was told once that once a puppy leaves the nest and time has past the siblings do not recognize each other based on smell. The theory is that all together in a litter they all smell the same because they take the same mother's milk, food, and just the general aroma of home. Once they leave they take on their owner's smells, new food, etc. In which case if they meet again after time, they are like strangers. I can attest to this on some level witnessing Blaze come back, but I also had other contributing factors like Brut mainly who taught the other dogs of his fear and the threat of another dog. And is why Blaze was separated and why it has taken so long to bring the two packs together, besides the fact of doing it on our own. BUT, I do believe that dogs are spiritual creatures and they never really forget family. Even if they don't get along, I believe that on a higher level of consciousness all of our dogs know they are related. Or I don't believe it would have worked out so smoothly. So when we came home with Angel all over us, they knew exactly who she was and they knew she was gone. And I think we grieve differently, dogs and humans, but I believe we are all grieving together for her loss.
It will be a week today that we buried her. Words I never thought I'd write so early in her life.
I'm not sure what I'm feeling except for those waves of sadness. Last night I need some quiet, alone mourning time and with a candle and song I felt like I could almost touch her. And I smiled and laugh as I saw her running free in my mind only to be stopped by the tears of her being gone and the image of her motionless on the truck bed. Never again to be knocked down by her kisses. Gone.
I gave Brut a big hug and Silver as well. They had lost a daughter.
I talked to Chance who is the most sensitive of the bunch and my dreams of heaven where we all run free together. No leashes, no collars, no fences, no barriers. I couldn't wait. And I talked while I rocked him about our dreams for a houses with lots of land so that we could have a taste of heaven someday. And he listened while I held him.
And a grand peace came over me. And I debated whether to write this, but being among dog lovers, I knew you'd understand.
This dedication to Angel comes to you through Daddy's eyes. Angel was one of our homed pups from our litter who died almost a week ago today. We would like to give special thanks http://www.dogtrainingcollars.com for making this post possible.
It seems like it was only yesterday when Silver and Brut made us grandparents on Jan. 2, 2008. Starting at 2:50 in the morning when the first of ten live births begun with Zappa until Fiona was finally born at 9:15 that same morning. In my whole life I have never witnessed such an awesome sight. Zappa was the first Husky, Red was the first white one and Angles was the first black and white one.
Never in my life have I witnessed such a miracle, one after another, ten puppies being born with about a half hour in between each one; while Silver did what she had to do before the next one was to come. I am still amazed to this day the event that happened the morning of Jan. 2, 2008. I just feel so blessed from God that I was able to see the whole thing from beginning until the end. I still can’t describe in words how it made me feel, but I do know that it changed me. I knew I was never going to be the same person I was before. The roots, the humble beginning, where the 24 Paws of Love first came to be.
I did witness the birth of my son and at the time that was the most awesome thing I ever witnessed, but that was nothing compared to witnessing the birth of ten puppies alive and well. From that day on I came up with the term “The Power of Ten.” Each puppy was just as important as the other. I wanted to keep each one and as each day went by that feeling became stronger and stronger, but I knew that because of money it wasn't going to be possible. It really tore me up inside. Money the root of all evil. I have always hated that issue.
When you look at the world around that we live in, with so much bad and pain and suffering, it seems people just don’t know how to live. But when you live 24/7 right from the beginning watching a litter of puppies from day one as each one grows in such a short period of time with the interactions between them and the innocents of play, eating, going outside to explore and the team work they all have together, you realize that is the way it suppose to be.
That’s why Angel stood out from the rest of her brothers and sisters. She was a little different from the rest. She was always doing things faster than everyone. She escaped from the whelping bed first and got up on our bed and she could get back in the whelping bad just as fast as she got out. She was a very loving puppy and a good example of what living a good life is all about. We were so grateful that we found a good home for her. A girl who was good with dogs, had dogs all her life and there was no doubt that Angel was very much loved by her.
We never had a problem when we wanted to go see Angel and every time we got to her reactions was the same. She would just go crazy knocking me down with kisses. She seemed to be saying, “Thank you so very much for loving me and taking good care of me when I was younger.” I have never had anyone so excited to see me and she reacted like that every time I saw her. You would think that after a two or three years the reaction would change, even just a little bit, but it never did. Even up until the last time we saw her alive, her reaction was just as crazy as the first time.
As I’m looking at her picture right now I’m still having a hard time believing Angel is gone. Matter of fact if it wasn't for us being there and seeing her lie in the back of the pick up, so still, like she was sleeping, I still wouldn't believe it. I am not a very visual person, but I can see her running up the embankment to cross the road to go home and being hit by the truck that didn't see her in the fog. I still can’t get this out of my mind and I am so grateful that after laying there for the days she did, in a wooded area no other animal did anything to her body. It was bad enough just seeing her the way she was. There was no visible signs of damage except her back end and legs were twisted. Looking at her like that will haunt me for a long, long time. I will be mourning for some time.
As I petted her and kissed her one last time then helped put her in her final resting place, I really didn't know what I was feeling. Angel’s parents put her dog sled racing harness on her body and put Angel's own pillow under her head after laying her in the ground. As they were putting the dirt over her I just wanted to shout, “Stop! I want to take her home.” But I didn't Nothing would change what had happened to our little Angel.
As we were riding home I realized that she was gone from the physical world, but that she will always be with us in the spiritual world.
When we got home the 24 Paws of Love knew something was wrong, other than the fact it was walk night, each one smelled our hands and could sense the loss.
And I think one of the hardest things is that we had the whelping bed in the corner of our bedroom where now is Zappa’s and Fiona’s built in crates is the corner where it all began.
Angel may be gone, but she is still very much alive in spirit, along with Brut, Silver, Zappa, Fiona, Chance and Blaze at the home of the 24 Paws of Love.
to be continued...
Thank you for all of your support and comments about our loss. Just to let you all know, dog (and cat) people are the best people in the whole world and I consider you all my best friends. May God Bless You All.
My husband had just run for a bottle. Silver was giving birth standing up and my husband had caught the first two and had so far done most of the work. Silver began contracting and pushing again, I yelled for hubby, but it was too late she dropped a goo covered black furball in my hands. Now I was going solo. I pulled off the sac, tied and cut the chord and rub this little black jewel until she made her first cry. I continued to dry her off while Silver finally settle down in the whelping box.
Our first black puppy and our first girl. There was no doubt I was keeping her after she was born in my hands. After the white wingspan on her chest we gave her the name Angel. My absolute favorite baby picture of Angel
After witnessing Fiona, the only white female and the runt of the litter, I was torn as I watched Fiona fight with profound determination to keep up with her brothers and sisters. I don't know what it was about this little girl, but she had my attention. Zappa was a given, now Fiona, do I keep Angel as well?
(l to r) V-girl, Zappa, Fiona and Angel
Angel was a natural Husky escape artist and was the first and only one to get out of the whelping bed as well as back in. She always used the papers I had on the floor and there was more than one time she climbed up on the bed and I woke up to her furry face in front of me. She was smart and witty and cute as a button. And I wanted her so bad, but I didn't think 3 puppies would be a good idea.
We were down to two puppies that needed homes, both black and white dogs, when my friend called looking for a puppy, I knew exactly which one...Angel.
I think I'd known for some time Angel wasn't meant to be with us, it was just so hard to let go.
She lived a wonderful life, hunting, going to her family's cabin, learning to dog sled and she had a home full of love.
Tuesday night, the night she was found, I held her in my hands and remembered that first day she touched them.
And as she was buried, I was so grateful she was home surrounded by the love of two families who loved her.
Thank you so much for this blogging community and all of your help, support and condolences. We thank you all so kindly from the bottom of our hearts as we grieve the loss of our Angel. May an Angel be smiling down on all of you today.
Angel fulfilled her Earthly duties and is now part of the Heaven's army. She was laid to rest tonight after her parents found her dead on the side of the road. We had a lovely ceremony and all kissed her goodbye. Our prayers are with her family now as they grieve her loss.
We can not begin to thank you for your outpouring of love, support, encouragement, compassion and care. Thank you to everyone who posted, commented, tweeted and posted on Facebook. 24 Paws Prayers go out to each and every one of you. We couldn't have done it without you.
Thank you everyone for all the love, concern and support. As of current we have no update on Angel, but we are coordinating with Angel's family to put the word out and about. We have contacted the local shelter and another local rescue organization in the hopes of finding her. My husband and I searched yesterday and we are putting together some fliers with Angel's mom.
We have had rain for three solid days. Heavy rain with strong winds. Angel slipped her collar so she doesn't have any tags on her and we are not sure if someone may have tried to save her not knowing she has a home.
We don't know how to thank you enough for everyone's help, especially Molly the Wally for blogging a post, facebooking and tweeting about Angel. And to How Sam Sees It who put together a Facebook Flyer for Angel. Thank you from all of us from the bottom of our heart.
We don't know what to say.
If anyone sees or hears anything about Angel in Cheboygan, MI or surrounding areas, here are the contact numbers again:
Cheboygan County Humane Society, MI: (231)-627-8221 OR email me: 24pawsoflove (at) gmail (dot) com
Thank you for being part of the fight to help bring our little Angel home. Animal bloggers are the best!!
This is Angel a pup from our litter. She has a happy family that is missing her terribly. She seems to have slipped her collar and may have ran after something this past Tuesday. We are all worried sick about her and hope we can find her soon so she can be with the family who loves her. Angel is a Black/Lab Husky mix, with bushy Husky fur, four white paws and a distinct white butterfly or wing patter on her chest. She also has white under her chin. She is approx. 60 or so but may look bigger due to her shaggy coat. Her tail curls up like a husky but isn't nearly as bushy as one.
If you live in Cheboygan, MI or the surrounding area and have seen Angel,
please contact the Cheboygan Humane Society: (231)-627-8221
or email me here at 24pawsoflove (at) gmail (dot) com.
In honor of our Birthday Boy Brut who turns 6 years old today, we were wondering if you might be up to a challenge? After all there is nothing Brut loves more than creating a challenge.
Brut and I were discussing just what that challenge should be and even though he'd like to take all the credit, as he always does, I gave my two dog biscuits worth and here's what we came up with:
Tell us in a post what was the most monumental moment that you and your dog shared, that changed the course of your lives together. How ever big or small, what happened that brought an understanding between you and your dog and brought your relationship closer than it was before. What is that one story in your mind that stands out and you repeat over and over to anyone that will listen? Tell us all about it!!
If you care to join in this challenge, publish your post on your blog Thursday Nov. 1, 2012, then link back here to sign up for a blog hop of others who took the challenge. And it is as simple as that.
I think our almost Huskies finally have come out of their summer hibernation as the fall weather looks like it is here to stay. It was such a treat to see them finally running around and chasing each other. Something they've barely done all summer. I bet the cooler weather feels good on the brain and pumps that Husky blood in them! Of course, I wasn't expecting it, so I didn't bring the camera or camcorder out and was blown away by the chase scenes I would have love to caught on film. Everyone was involved in the Back Pack and the Front Dogs who are always pretty lively were over the top.
So no shots. No movie. You'll just have to trust it was the great to watch them all come to life after their summer slumber. :)
Brut is not a natural pack dog or born leader, due to his upbringing before we got him. There were times in the heat of his aggression that I would think he would have been better off being an only dog. He was designed to be lone dog. I didn't think he'd ever be able to handle being a pack dog, let alone become such a great leader. For a while I felt guilty putting him in such a position with Zappa and Fiona, not to mention the Front Dogs coming back. The stress of so many things changing so fast was overwhelming for all of us, but with Brut's demeanor it turned him inside out and exasperated his own issues.
Dogs were his biggest threat to him and Brut lashed out like a caged animal.. And I wondered more than once if we had pushed his limit.
Then there would be those tiny miracles, some loving affection or playtime that would pass between Brut and another dog and all was not lost. And I could feel that rusty wheel starting to turn in the other direction. And I had hope. If I hadn't seen this miracle with my own eyes, I might not have believed it because it always seemed like it the next breath it would all be crushed and we would be back to square one. But each time the renewal kept getting stronger. He was learning to live and enjoy his pack mates. He just never know how to do it before.
That's when we witnessed this thrashing, out of control dog, grow into becoming the competent and secure pack leader who is calm, and thriving among his pack. And just needed some help along the way. Of course there will always be some flare ups, Brut will always be Brut. But a saying a heard a long time ago keeps carrying me through:
If you can't tell I don't know a thing about agility training. BOL! But we have fun and he usually gets me laughing so hard I can barely follow through myself. Just what Dr. Brut ordered!! Have a great weekend everybody!
The air was cool, the sun lowering and it was a perfect evening for a bike pulling ride with Zappa. Special thanks tohttp://www.dogbarkcollar.com for making this post possible.
Now Zappa loves the bike, he may never be too crazy with the pulling a sled in the snow, but the bike is just his style. In this short window of fall that we have in the north, every moment counts. I took him out about three days ago and it was just right that we should take another ride together.
He is always excited when he sees the harness, but it isn't until I ask him if he wants to pull that he sits down and lets me put it on. Getting him attached to the bike is usually quite the chore, I can't keep him in one place and I'm usually constantly untangling him, but tonight we got all hooked up with little trouble. I asked Zappa if he was ready and he starts down the driveway slowly while I hop on the bike. I almost forget to pedal to help him get a good running start and we are off. He picks up the place and is flying like the wind. There seems to end to his energy.
Together up the hill we climb, he runs, I pedal, we cross over to the dirt road but I make the trip shorter than usual. I just want him to stretch his legs and build up those muscles. So I tell him to turn around and he does without a hitch. I'm so excited, most of the dogs haven't been able to catch on to this very well and I have run into problems, but Zappa handle it like a champ. He was slower after we turned around but still at a good steady pace. My husband who was near house called Zappa and Zappa got his second wind and began to pick up speed. He carried that steady pace right up to the driveway. You'd have thought he had won a race I was so excited.
It was a great learning experience as always and it was great fun. Hopefully in a few days we will be able to try again. And look, here's a little video of our return. Hope you enjoy!