It has been difficult blogging this year, due to a variety of issues. For those who are new, I was wheelchair bound for over 6 months in excruciating pain when a pre-surgical injection went wrong. My leg has now been replaced (knee, that is) and is in good shape. The death of my old friend Cider was very hard on me, and I am still not able to write about him, but one day I am sure I will. Meanwhile, life goes on. I knew before Cider left me, I was going to have to have another dog. I just can't live without one. Being alone all day gets old, when you can't be active. It was no problem at all when I was healthy, because there are a thousand things to do, from breaking colts to landscaping or any number of things, but being sedentary makes for a lonely life. I had spent a good deal of time researching what breed would be the best fit for my needs. I knew I couldn't have another Golden Retriever as it would be impossible for me not to compare him with Cider. I settled on an English Shepherd after reading up on the breed, reading lots of posts on forums and speaking to breeders. One in particular, Mary Peaslee of Shepherds Way. I had filled out her puppy buyer's form 3 years ago and now the time had come to purchase a pup.
I contacted her and found she had just gotten back from taking a dog down to be bred in N. California. I waited anxiously from January to March, when the puppies were born then to May, when I could finally pick mine up from Jennifer Keuhn of Compatible K-9, as her Pixie was the dam. She spent hours and hours working with the litter from the time of their birth and she and Mary did temperament testing and matching to buyers. The pup chosen for me was Heath, and I could not have chosen better. He's been an absolute joy to have around.
He weathered the 8+ hour trip home with no problem. Jennifer's work paid off as he was relaxed and happy, ready for the adventure even though it was the first time ever away from his littermates, dam and family. He did some co-piloting and when he was sure all was well, he napped.
I brought the Maremma's in to meet him. They were not exactly enthralled with him and wound up on the couch together, hiding from his little needle sharp teeth. Mind boggling how dogs that fearlessly confront cougars jump up on a chair to get away from a small puppy.
However, Heath did enjoy cuddling in Mr Potamus' fur when he wasn't looking...
He adores TheMan...and can often be found competing with Scottie for a spot at his feet
And Scottie takes revenge by denying Heath access to his toys...
All in all, the little guy has settled in nicely and made my life a whole lot cheerier and less lonely
He's become my little shadow and we have been having a great time having new experiences together...including some that were not so neat. We lost a couple of mother ducks that were setting on eggs. No idea what killed them. One afternoon, Heath and I stumbled across one of the remaining ducks, with her neck stretched out from under the porch. Just to make sure she was as dead as she looked, I poked her with a stick. She wasn't. Heath and I made it to the back door at just about the same time with an angry duck in pursuit. It's going to be an awesome summer now that I have a partner in crime again, I can tell.