The past four months have been tough. With the loss of my husband due to cancer, working with some very challenging fosters, a broken arm, and dealing with a 17 year old human going through a rough spot. Just when things were at a low point, all started to turn around. The world doesn't stop turning, and one can get through the dark periods with help of dear friends. I am very blessed in this regard....why I am not sure, but love them I do. God has taken care of all, and for that I am very grateful...
I have gotten a lot of email from readers....our blog is published on the website, wondering if i was still alive. So thought it time to update and share some jewels of humor from the Murray home.
Four days before Stan passed on, we got an email from a shelter that Copper must have a place to go. He was heartworm positive, and they had exhausted all avenues of finding him a place to go. It was not a good time for me obviously, but volunteers offered to drive him to my door. He was a tall lanky boy, overly friendly...but quite sick. We had him heartworm treated, and soon found out "why" he was in the shelter. Houdini would have been proud of this boy, in 13 years, have I ever had such a challenge. He can open doorknobs, cabinets, find any hole small enough to fit his head through in the fence, or create a hole. He loves to run, and if he were human would be an A student in math or physics. He gauges height, and problem solves. I have seen it, and it is scary. Copper had a terrible habit of marking on just about everything in the kennel room, including Emma, the performance bred Drahthaar...when he started opening her kennel from the outside is when he was taking life into his own paws. As it turned out, Emma likes this crazy dog. She has never been properly socialized, and spent her life in an outdoor kennel. The odd couple emerged...who knew?
We had the good fortune to place six of our fosters in Oct. and Nov. giving us all a most needed break. Stan passed Thanksgiving evening around midnight.
In walks Gunther....at a time I needed it.
Two weeks ago, I traveled into the Flint Hills to retrieve another long legged lanky pup named Gunther. A Freshly neutered adolescent. He was in good health, and well cared for. His owner, a Military officer had been immediately deployed overseas, and did not contact his breeder thus putting Gunther into a shelter. His breeder, a wonderful man that immediately offered to fly this pup home was quite dismayed and upset that this boy had been put into a shelter. Which I definitely do not blame him....however, angels abound around many of these dogs, and I was able to retrieve him. Gunther being an adolescent, comes with adolescent behaviors....needed to find his place, test the waters so to speak. He is highly intelligent, solid in temperament,and smart.
Is intelligence the same as being "smart"? Not really, as most are highly intelligent, the smart ones listen. What he does possess is a quality I look for in any dog to consider....respect. Eyes on me..."watch me"...and that he does. He is always watching for direction. What a wonderful quality. After two weeks of learning routine, obedience, crate training and potty goes outside...he has made incredible progress. He too has not been properly socialized with other dogs, much like Emma was, so this is our next hurdle. He is 11 months old, so we have the opportunity to mold him, and what potential! Do I like the smart dogs? Why yes, we all do....they make us look good. The difference between Copper and Gunther is cooperation. Copper carves, or tries to carve out his own path. Gunther possesses the intelligence, but looks to me for direction. Copper thinks for himself, which gets him into trouble. He has improved with time, and this is the key to most of our dogs. We just can't rush anything. They go out 10x better than when they came in, and it is due to time. I am most eager to raise this pup Gunther to his potential, and with his cooperation he will be a fine dog in time. We are constantly in working mode, and he enjoys it.
One of our most beloved dogs was SAM. She was our girl that came in from KY with a catastrophic fracture of the radius after being hit by a car. A year and a half of surgeries and rehab, I wasn't sure she would ever find the right home. Well, she found the perfect home with a lovely couple that have training down to a science. She has the life 'O Riley, on 500 acres of woods, and a family that gives her what she needs. Her Mom Zettie Jones is a Hall of Fame wildlife artist, with an incredible camera and knack of getting lovely photos!
If a photo speaks a thousand words, I think this one hits the nail on the head. Zettie has detailed SAM's life, much to our joy in photographs. We all LOVE the SAM photos.
Friends tell me it gets better with time, and although I argued that statement during the dark periods, they were right. As we get back to normal, whatever normal is....life just keeps going. We just have to hang in there.
4/14 the socialization process has begun. We have had two weeks of meeting through the gates. My male Baldwin is very socialized, trained well, and administered two corrections. When Gunther did not listen, he flipped him over and did some trash talking in his face. I called him off, pup Gunther got up, shook, and minded his manners from then on. Good Boy Gunther!