Goodbye old friend

On January 3rd, 2013 we said goodbye to Jackson, the big black dog.  He would have been 14 this year- he lived several years longer than we ever thought he would.  His last few years weren’t easy on him (or us)- he had thunder phobia and separation anxiety and was missing 7 teeth due to his antics caused by the anxiety- but he was always loved and we did everything we could possibly do to help manage his fears and keep him healthy. 

Just after Christmas he developed a bad cough, and then soon after stopped eating and started coughing blood.  X-rays at the vet showed he had lung cancer and his lung function was only 10% (!!)  That right there sums him up fairly well- even though he was probably in pain and struggling to breathe for quite awhile, he never showed it.  He was always excited about eating and going on walks, and even chased the ball and wrestled with his younger siblings.  In fact, the morning he went to the vet he still participated in the morning walk.  The vet said there was nothing much we could do to help him- steroids would ease his suffering for a week or so, but then we would be right back to where we started.  So we made the difficult (but correct) decision to have him put down.  He’s now buried with his “brother” Ty (who we lost on our move to Georgia four years ago, also due to cancer) in our front yard.  T marked their graves with large rocks from our backyard and planted some flowers- it’s one of the first things we see every day which is a nice reminder. 

I’m so glad I decided to break out the camera on New Year’s Day, because I got this great shot to show B when he’s older:

Miss you every day buddy!  RIP.

Done.

We did it- this little girl is officially done with Novice agility (forever), and this mama is officially done running around after dogs (in agility) for the foreseeable future:

This is her “I hate wearing ribbons because they are SCARY” face

She was such a good girl this weekend- we haven’t done any agility since May with her, except for a couple of quick practice runs the last two weeks (and I think she would have rather been playing ball).  We had one leg left of her novice jumpers with weaves title to get- and 2 chances to do it.  Saturday we just had a jumpers run, and I left the ring thinking we’d done it on the first try- she was focused and only had 2 faults (which you are allowed in novice), both being handler errors rather than errors on her part.  Then I go look at the score sheet and it shows her eliminated!  What the wha??  The score sheet showed 3 faults PLUS a wrong course (which you are not allowed).  I knew for a fact that was wrong- but had no video of our run to prove it.  Cue the pregnancy hormone surge and before I know it, I’m completely distraught- tears and all (silly, right?)  I managed to talk to the judge (although not until well after our run) and look at the original score sheet (not the computerized one) and there was a mistake in the scoring- definitely no wrong course.  But, still 3 faults.  Without a video to prove it, it was too bad, so sad- try again tomorrow.  But at least I felt a little, tiny bit better- and home we went for the day (where I took a 2 hour nap and woke up feeling a little foolish for my hormonal breakdown).

I went into the second day NERVOUS.  I’d put a ton of pressure on myself to just get this title done- and what if I screwed it up again??  Luckily Ellie was a good girl and I wasn’t a complete idiot handler- she started out as a stinker by running past the start jump (1 fault there), but came back and finished everything else cleanly- hooray!!  2nd place and a new title!  We had 2 more runs later in the day (one for Ellie and one for Kirby)- unfortunately no Q for Ellie as we again had too many faults (although I put those on her, not me- she again ran past the start jump and then jumped off the teeter because it was scary) but she pulled it together on the last half of the course and I didn’t care whether we had a Q or not for that run- she was a good girl the whole weekend and did so great for not having done agility in months.  She added to her wall o’ ribbons at home:

So pretty- the two in the middle are title ribbons.

Kirby on the other hand was wild and rotten all weekend- racing around the ring like a mad man in both of his classes.  Needless to say, he’s not mature enough to handle a trial (I think last weekend was just a fluke or something) and it’s good we’re taking a break for now.  Hopefully once we get back to it, he’ll be more mature and calm- so yeah, we’ll probably be trialing again when he’s 10!!  (FYI, he turned 2 on Saturday) 

This pretty much sums up Kirby’s attitude about this weekend’s trial- actually his demeanor in general.  He stayed like this for a good 5 minutes, getting a shoulder rub and LOVING it.  Weirdo.

All in all the weekend was a success in my book- but now I am one exhausted mama.  I could use a day or two of straight sleep I think! 

How was everyone’s weekend?

How you doin’?

Hi all!  I know it’s been awhile since my last post- I feel like I’ve developed writers block, plus we don’t have a lot of DIY stuff going on right now- and I don’t want you to be overwhelmed with baby stuff!!  But don’t worry- I haven’t had the baby yet (phew) and I am doing great…just boring.

So let’s talk about my furbabies instead of my human baby for a minute.  Kirby, our youngest furbaby, had a big weekend last weekend.  He went to his first ever agility trial to compete.  Pretty exciting.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from him- he’s got the attention span of, well, a 2 year old, and is very easily distracted.  He loves to run and is FAST.  But you can’t help but love (or laugh at) him because he’s just so stinking cute:

Photo by Maggie Fan Photography

We got to the trial and things started off poorly- I got Kirby out of the car and he slipped his collar right off and ran!  Stinker.  Luckily he just ran right towards all the other dogs at the trial and someone caught him right away.  I knew that if I wanted him to do anything I asked, my best bet was the run the crazies out of him, so once we got settled and checked in I marched him off to the nearby dog park. 

About 2 hours after we arrived, he had his first class- Jumpers with Weaves (JWW).  Just like it sounds, this is a course built out of just jumps, with weave poles and sometimes a tunnel or two thrown in.  It’s all about speed.  My expectations were pretty darn low for this class- crazy dog plus 7 month pregnant lady is easily a recipe for disaster.  And you know what?  He exceeded all my expectations.  He stuck with me for the most part, although he had a couple of small zooming episodes, and did everything that was asked of him.  He would have even qualified except we were over time and so we scored an 81/100 (qualifying is 85/100).  SO close.  But I was so proud of his focus!!  Here’s a little video of our run- I wish I could make it bigger because you can’t really see how EXCITED he was to be running in the small video.  That tail was wagging a mile a minute. 

It was a pretty great first run- I wish I could say his second run of the day was equally as awesome but he showed his true colors that time with a major case of the zoomies (although he did do all the obstacles, eventually).  Too much time in between runs and we were both tired.  Well…I was tired.  He was crazy!

See?  Crazy dog.  Tired pregnant lady.  Only one of us looks decent in this pic and it’s not me…but I’m putting it out there anyway! Photo by Dean Lake Photography

So that’s the excitement lately- we actually have another trial coming up this weekend and I’m running both Kirby and Ellie.  30wks pregnant.  Yes, I might be crazy.  If y’all don’t hear from me for another several weeks, you might want to check up on me and make sure I didn’t accidentally have a baby in the agility ring.  Ha.

What have you been up to lately??

Success??

Ok, I *think* I got some good doggy photos this evening!!  Thunder was rumbling in the background, but thanks to some doggy treats he was pretty well behaved and didn’t look too neurotic- which I consider to be a success.  As far as the actual photo quality goes though, I need all y’alls opinions- what do you think?  Good?  Great?  Terrible?  So-so?  Pitiful??  Don’t be afraid to tell the truth- I can handle it!!

Here are my 5 favorites:

What do you think?

Today I am…

(THANKFUL) it’s already Tuesday and that tomorrow is a holiday.  I think we should have a mid-week break every week!  I was against this originally (I love me a good 3 day weekend), but now I’m really looking forward to having a day off to sleep in and re-charge.  Getting up early for work seems to just suck the life right out of me by the end of the week.

(TIRED) from painting- yep, more painting.  I’m planning on not picking up a paint brush again for at least another 2 years.  Someone please slap me if I mention painting within the next year. 

(LOVING) our new carpet!!  It was installed yesterday and it feels SO good to have all the old yucky carpet out of the house.  I promise to take photos soon- after they installed the carpet yesterday I spent the remainder of the afternoon taping below the baseboards and painting- our new carpet is a lower profile than the old carpet and the baseboards needed re-touching.  Once the tape gets pulled I’ll take some photos- and don’t worry, I wore a mask the entire time I was in the rooms with the new carpet.  The paint I’ve been using is no VOC but the carpet has a definite odor to it (which should go away in a few days with the windows open/doors closed). 

(GRATEFUL) for AC- it was 109 here on Saturday- TOO HOT.  I barely went outside.  Luckily it’s sort of cooling off now- I think we’re only supposed to hit the mid 90’s today.  We got rain late Sunday night, complete with a spectacular thunderstorm (which Jackson of course hated and T had to get up with him for an hour) that helped cool things off a little. 

(DISAPPOINTED) that doggy photos did not happen AGAIN.  This time it was a camera malfunction.  At this rate, I *think* that these photos will end up being a Christmas present rather than a birthday present for T.  Sigh.  To make up for it- here are a few old doggy photos from my friend…

Ellie sitting on my lap- she’s a total lap dog even though she weighs 45lbs

Ellie (aka Black Bear) at an agility trial- my friend took this while hiding behind someone because Ellie has jumped out of the ring before when she’s spied my friend (who she loves)

Kirby, sitting nicely for the camera

Kirby and his friend Dexter (a 7 month old Schnauzer puppy who LOVES him).  This is usually what Kirby does- non stop running

Calling all dog lovers!

Our dogs are our kids- I think I made that pretty clear in this post.  We love to spoil them, and try to feed them as well as we might feed ourselves.  This includes treats/chews/bones.  One treat I love to get them is a bully stick- have you heard of them?  They’re made from bulls- a specific part of the bull’s anatomy actually (read more about them here– don’t worry, there’s nothing obscene!).  Here’s a photo:
Image courtesy of www.bestbullysticks.com
Anyway, these chews are great because they last a long time.  We have crazy chewers at our house (remember, Jackson can chew through chain-link- he has jaws of steel!) and they last around 45 minutes per dog of non-stop chewing- not bad.  This is better than the alternative- Kirby chewing my shoe.  Hypothetically.  Or maybe not. 
There are lots of places that sell these, under various names, and they are not really cheap.  Example:  Our local pet store sells them for around $7-$9 per chew- for only 45 minutes of chewing time, that can get pricey.  Enter my favorite site:  Best Bully Sticks!  They sell their chews for a fraction of the price the pet stores do- plus you can buy them in bulk!  And their chews are quality- they’re made from free-ranging Brazilian cattle and are 100% beef, meaning your dog will actually digest them, unlike rawhides. They sell them in a variety of lengths, and even make odor free ones (some bully sticks do have an odor to them but the odor free ones do not, which makes giving them as a treat inside more pleasant!).  Also this site is great because they don’t just sell bully sticks- they sell a ton of other kinds of high quality treats (some that you may not find in your pet store, like moose antlers or venison), many made in the US.  And they also sell dog food, supplies and toys as well- basically a one stop shop!
So what are you waiting for?  Go get your fur-kid a chew or two!  
 

Meet the Davenports!

Happy Monday everyone!  I for one am glad this day is almost over- work things made it a rough start to the week, but I made it through.

So I have yet to properly introduce myself and the rest of my family, even though you’ve seen some of us appear a few times on the blog.  Without further adieu, meet the Davenports:

Photo by Maggie Fan Photography

From left to right we have:  Kirby, Tim, Jackson, Ellie and myself (Emily).  We also have two kitties, Amber and Tweaker (yeah, weird name I know.  Trust me, it fits her!).  Here they are in my car on our drive across the country (Amber’s on the left, Tweaker on the right):

Let’s see- I’ll give you a quick crash course.  Tim and I met in Washington (state, not district!) in 2003 while I was an undergrad.  We got married in 2006 and moved to Georgia in 2009 from Washington.  We bought our house in 2010.

Jackson is the oldest “child” at 12 years- he’ll be 13 in 2012.  Tim has had Jackson since he was a baby.  He’s kind of a high maintenance dog, but we love him anyway.  He’s extremely thunder phobic, which we didn’t discover until we moved somewhere that actually had thunder.  He’s chewed through chain link and plywood and is now 7 teeth lighter than when we moved here- life is very exciting having him around.  He still loves life though and we joke that he’s going to live forever. 

Amber and Tweaker are sisters and are 8 years old this year.  Tim got them when we were dating- I like to say I married into having pets, since all I had were fish when we first met.  Not that I mind!  These ladies are super sweet and more like dogs than cats.

Ellie is 2 and the spoiled brat of the family- she’s very sweet but stubborn.  She’s a pound dog- we got her when she was 5 weeks old from our local pound.  She’s also what they call a “Georgia black dog”- a black, mixed breed dog.  That’s typically the most common dog to find at the pound and also the least likely to be adopted.  She and I do agility together, although lately her stubbornness has gotten in the way so we’re taking a break from that right now- she’d much rather prefer to play ball in our back yard anyway!  Here’s a fun action shot of her though, when she wants to behave for me! 

Photo by Maggie Fan Photography

Kirby is the youngest and newest member of our family- we adopted him in June of this year.  He’s 1 years old and was an owner surrender at our pound- when animal control went to pick him up, they found his brother dead in a crate.  So sad!!  We think Kirby has spent the majority of his life in a crate, but this doesn’t seem to get him down in any way.  He is the happiest, friendliest dog I have ever met.  And he has energy to spare.  We just got him started in agility so hopefully he can focus some of that energy!  My favorite part about him is his tail- it looks like a pom-pom and we joke that he carries his own personal cheerleading squad with him wherever he goes:

Kirby on the deck, prior to staining it!

Along the way we lost a family member- actually on the drive from Washington to Georgia.  Ty was 8 and Tim also got him as a puppy, when Jackson was 2.  We’re not 100% certain what he had, but he got sick suddenly right before our move, and by the time we hit Texas we knew we had to put him down.  I like to think a little part of him lives in Ellie and Kirby- I can definitely see his spirit in both of them.  We still miss him like crazy- 8 is too young!!

That completes my family- I hope you enjoyed “meeting” everyone.  One day hopefully we’ll add a non-furry child to that list!

What about you- do you have any fur-kids?  non-fur kids?