Sorry .. Long read but a story wanted to share:
Like so many, my journey began with a GREAT dog .. a dog that I had “no right owning” (In fact, to this day thank Sue Carpenter of Rhumbline Retrievers for selling that un-educated “kid” (me) a wild black male lab puppy). You know the dog, the one that “could have been” if he was with a better/different trainer. He was my heart and I loved him so.... He gave me his all and I gave him mine. I learned so much and made so many mistakes. In the end; a dog that could never be replaced. No more than a JH title and 1 SH pass... He was my soul. RIP Rhumbline’s Guinness is Good, JH. “Guinness” 9/17/99 - 11/25/2010
Time flew and I DID learn a lot... and I wanted another dog.. Guinness was getting older and was retired. The addiction had got a grip of me tight and I KNEW I could do “this”... I had co-owned/trained a few dogs as time went on... I wanted better, I wanted “more” ... I wanted the best puppy I could afford to buy, and I wanted to do the best by that dog I could offer. The search began for a Yellow Female & months of searching ensued:
1st) DREAM litter found/ deposit/ yadda yadda yadda .... pups born, waited 8 weeks, drove from SC to MS, took her home, 3 months later: a “parrot mouth” over-bite was becoming more and more apparent. “Martini” was sold/ her Canine teeth removed/ she had doggie braces for a while, and lives in a loving “pet home” to this day.
Months pass.... 2nd) DREAM litter found/ deposit sent/ yadda yadda yadda .... litter born weeks early... all still born puppies
3rd) DREAM litter found ... call the breeder on a whim (knowing full well that the litter would have been sold b/c somehow I “missed” the classified on Entry Express when it listed weeks earlier). Sure enough, breeder was keeping the remaining TWO YF’s (the “picks of litter”) and “If” he decided to sell one the price was out of my budget. ... BUMMER
4th) DREAM litter found .... verbal commitment made- getting ready to send deposit....
(Not even sure if she remembers it but thank you Kim/Rainmaker Labs for your understanding).
WHEN .... A phone call came from breeder of litter 3: He had decided to sell one of the females .. TO ME. Even willing to meet my budget as he had looked at my web site and wanted to see one of those GREAT pups ... with ME ??? ... WOW.
He took a week or so to make his choice between the 2 girls and then, called to tell me which would be mine and sent a single photo. The weather was against us shipping in winter from WI. to SC. ... but, finally she arrived. I already knew her name.... SHE already knew her name by the time she arrived...
Her sire is FC AFC Hunting Hills Coriander ... I thought I would stick with a seasoning theme STUMPTOWN’S WORTH THE THYME, “SPICE”
... little did I know HOW MUCH she would prove to be worth the “thyme” as the years went on! Those are the main details and I’ll spare you all the nitty gritty with the “in-between” of when she arrived to how she progressed:
* Spice was the 1st dog I took to the line while wearing a white coat (derbys). We managed a 3rd and an RJ and the others we ran she made my very proud. Never embarrassed me or made me feel out of place in the competitive sport with so many more experienced folks....
* Spice was my 1st MH and accomplished that title as a 2 year old.
* Spice was my 1st AKC agility dog: earning her NA and NAJ titles as well as two OA passes in just 2 (4 day) trial weekends and EVERY pass but 1 was a 1st or 2nd placement.
* Spice was my 1st AKC obedience dog. Having earned her CD with 2 1st place’s (one was a run-off for the blue) and a 2nd place. She also earned her RN & RA titles and if memory serves me: lots of placements there as well along the way.
*Spice is the mother of an amazing “up-and-coming” 2YO MH female I bred/train/own, and adore. She is also the dam to other great pups that she gave as “gifts” to those that have entered into our extended family.
She is my “Best Girl” /my “Angel” and I make sure to tell her this every day. She loves her nick name “Angel” and answers to it as if it was her name. Her daughter is “Feather” as she was my gift from my angel.
Spice is our house dog and at some point along the way, she had figured out when I drop something I always say “OOPS” she caught on to this and now she picks up ANYTHING that drops on the floor. Today she is the master of party tricks; able to pick up a DIME or a CREDIT CARD if dropped on a linoleum floor and place them gingerly in our hands. She brings us our shoes (one after another & 95% of the time making matches) and helps me take clothes from the dryer and puts them in the laundry basket. She was the ring bearer at our wedding and just over all enjoys ANY job we offer her.
Spice is the smartest dog I will ever own. A beautiful loving spirit. A STYLISH fast little dog with drive and intensity to spare. She sleeps at my feet and I am simply just honored to have her in my life. I decided to write her this tribute today as a 6 year old. She is mature now and I hope we have many years of adventure ahead of us... I know that when the time comes I may not have the composure to tell her story ... so, as my 1,000th post I honor my “Best girl ... My Angel.”
Thanks to Chris and RTF for giving us all an outlet to “celebrate” our dogs.
A photo “Spice” from last week: