I am currently house and dog-sitting for my dear friend, Lyn. She called a few weeks back and told me that she decided to fly to Kansas City to visit her brother whom she has not seen in years, and asked if I could watch the dogs and house. How could I say “no.” Lyn has always been there for me, even allowing me to rent (very cheaply) a spare bedroom for nearly two years when I was struggling through some financial difficulties. And, fortunately for me, Lyn has always been a great sport when I pull my little wise-ass jokes on her, like borrowing one of her cars when mine was in the shop. I returned home and basically asked her out right, “Sooooo… who is your auto insurance carrier again?” You know… stupid little stuff like that all the time. But before I go into the one today, you need to understand a bit more about Lyn.
Lyn is our local female version of the “Dog Whisperer,” and has a unique gift with dogs. They all LOVE her. Having been born and raised in a family who has always raised and showed dogs, that is all she has known since day one. Lyn is also a Master Groomer – and a very good one at that. She has raised and bred several different breeds throughout her life including Labs and Greyhounds, and has also been in the Westminster Dog Show three times. For the past 8 to 10 years, she has been breeding, raising, training and showing Portuguese Water Dogs. Several of the Porty’s here now have both their American titles as well as Canadian Titles. I, myself, have never been involved with best of breed type shows, and it is confusing… earning points, placements, etc. until enough has been gained to earn a championship title of some sort. She’ll return home from shows and rattle on about which dog did what, earned this, lost that, and so on. I just nod my head and follow her lead. If she’s showing exuberance, then I respond, “How wonderful!” If she is bummed out, then it is “I’m so sorry, I’m sure you’ll do better next time.” My point here being that I know she has some very “well-titled” champion dogs – I’m just not sure what.
But Lyn is not just all about pedigrees. She was part of the founding of the dog rescue and training program at the women’s prison here in New Mexico, where dogs are picked from a local shelter based upon their temperament, then taken into the prison where the women involved in the program love and train the dogs. You may CLICK HERE to see my posting about this program, called “Heeling Hearts.” Lyn has adopted a few of the rescues herself, like Annie (who is a smiling Rhodesian Ridgeback mix) and Janie, the Border Collie. My two dogs also originated through this program.
Now that I have rattled on about Lyn, I suppose it’s time to get back to the little joke I played on her…. Now it’ll probably seem lame since I just carried on like that. Oh, well….
This morning, when starting the dog rotation of teams, something rather unexpected happened, and I was unsure on how to deal with it. Conveniently, Lyn happened to call shortly thereafter for her first “check-in” – which I’m surprised it took two days for her to call to check in on how everything was.
In my most serious, but somewhat shaky voice (because I’m a bit traumatized, right?), I tell her, “Lynn,I was just about to call you…. I am so so so sorry. I hate to do this, but something horrible has happened and I need you to come home early.” Lyn isn’t due to return until Tuesday.
Lyn responded in a concerned voice – but a touch of annoyance (I’ll explain why in a moment), “It’s Igraine isn’t it. Did Dawson get her? Did her stitches come out???”
Igraine is Lyn’s champion of champions. Her prize bitch. I cannot even begin to list what she’s won, mainly because I just don’t know. Igraine also has won a few titles in agility. Therefore, she has been one of Lyn’s top producing females, and several of Igraines offspring have also moved on to earn their own titles. Well, about 9 days ago, Lyn had Igraine spayed as it was time to put her into permanent retirement. However, Igraine just doesn’t see it that way. Igraine has a knack for climbing over the 7 foot chain link fence when she decides she doesn’t want to stay in that yard. And Igraine also has an endless amount of energy. When watching her run, it is like poetry in motion. Such speed and grace. But Igraine is also a slut. Whenever she comes in season, she is NOT shy. For some odd reason, after being spayed, Igraine is acting like she is in season – which has Dawson completely interested. How can he not be? If they are together, Igraine postures and throws her butt right in his face. Dawson is one of Lyn’s prize studs – and he knows exactly what he is doing. So, for now, I am not letting Igraine out with Dawson… she’s out solo. LOL… Once I had to breed Dawson to Igraine when she so conveniently came into season while Lyn was up in Canada showing dogs. It was the easiest breeding I have ever done. Wham, bam, hit the bulls-eye on the first thrust. All I had to do was just hold them and wait it out until she released him. (Proper breeding means to hold the two so that they do not pull apart too early and break the tie – an early break may cause physical damage to one or both reproductive organs.)
This is why Lyn’s voice held a touch of annoyance as she very well knows what a royal pain in the ass Igraine can be – Igraine is definitely alpha of all the dogs in this house. But of course, Lyn so loves each and every dog, naturally she is very concerned. (Trust me, I’ve seen Lyn after a dog passes on. It’s not pretty.)
Therefore, Lyn’s response, “Is it Igraine?” was exactly what I was expecting. The rest of the story (I sound like Paul Harvey there) is below this picture of Igraine – isn’t she beautiful?
In response to Lyn’s inquiry, “It’s Igraine isn’t it. Did Dawson get her? Did her stitches come out???”, and also knowing I just upped her heart rate a bit, I tell her – in a most frustrated tone of voice, “I cannot get the damn light on the fish aquarium to come on.”
I had to hold the phone away from my ear as she roared with laughter knowing that, once again, I had “gotten” her.
A video and some more pictures….
Here is a video I did of one of Lyn’s litters. They are way too cute!