Tag Archives: Golden Retriever

We Got CKC Mail

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My handsome boy got his CKC Novice Sprinter title in the mail. Only 6 weeks from the day he actually earned his title, that’s really good for CKC.

 

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Intro to Pulling

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Yesterday Brodie and I took a dry land pulling clinic at the Nordic Ski Club in Fort Saskatchewan.  Dogs with any kind of obedience training have a hard time transitioning to pulling while in harness and he was no exception.  We did manage to get him to pull me on the scooter a few times.  My hope is that he will like this pulling game so that he can join Spirit and I kick sledding this winter.  Thanks to Marc Debrule for the great pix.

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We got mail

 

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So proud of my little man being the first Golden Retriever to earn his Sporting Detection Elite Title (SD-EL) and of course a Championship title is a nice addition too.

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Brodie Loves to Run

This morning I took Brodie out to the country to give lure coursing a try. He loves playing tug and runs like the wind so I thought he might like this sport. Boy did he like it. He didn’t even need a lesson. When the lure started to move he was off like a jet and he didn’t stop until it did.

I tried to get video of his sprint but he flew by so quickly. On our way back to the start line, it took all my strength to hold him back when he saw another dog take off on her run. I can’t wait until we get to play again.

This is his second run. Twice the distance as the first one

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A photographer got these amazing action shots:

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Cowichan Valley K9 Noseworks Trial

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On the weekend we participated in the Cowichan Valley K9 Noseworks scent trial on Vancouver Island.  Brodie had a great day on Saturday,  He qualified in both Excellent Amateur Interiors (2nd place) and Containers.  With those 2 qualifiers he earned his Excellent title.

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Spirit struggled a bit but she qualified in Advanced Working containers with a 2nd place.  We were really thrilled to learn that we were chosen as the Judge’s favourite team.

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Sunday was complete opposite of Saturday.  Spirit qualified in all 3 components and earned another Advanced Working Title.  She also got a first place in containers and once again we were chosen as the Judge’s favourite team (different Judge).

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Brodie didn’t qualify in any of his runs.  Our exterior search was particularly interesting.  He was so focused on whatever scents were in the environment that he completely ignored me for the entire 5 minutes before we timed out and were disqualified.  The Judge and her assistants were in tears from laughing so hard watching me trying to get Brodie to engage with me.  I had a good giggle when I was given my score sheets and saw the Judge’s comments……

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Thank you to CWV9 for hosting a wonderful.  A big thank you to Judges Jane Book and Kathy Hansen and all the wonderful volunteers.

 

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Another Scent Title for Spirit

This morning I was awake at 4am to get ready to drive to Red Deer to compete at the Little Nose That Knows/Canine Coaching SDDA trial.  The trial was held at the Sunnybrook Farm Museum.  We are so lucky that businesses like Sunnybrook support SDDA and allow us to hold trials there.  Both Brodie and Spirit competed today.  Running two dogs at the same trial can be a little hectic but I was very lucky because their searches didn’t overlap today.  This was Spirit’s first trial in almost a year.  We had to cancel several trials earlier this year because she was having trouble with her eyes.   I was a little nervous since we had been away from the sport for so long but she was a wonderful.  She qualified in all 3 components and got her advanced working stream title.  She came in first in interiors with a perfect score of 80/80, second in containers with a 57/60 and got a 50/60 for her exterior search . The icing on the cake was finishing first place overall in the advanced working stream. So proud of my girl.  With an overall score of 187/200 she earned a Silver title.

Not wanting to be outdone by his big sister, Brodie had a smokin’ day at the trial too. He Q’d in both excellent containers and exteriors. He would have got his title with SP designation but his Mom got too excited and called the alert too quickly on the last interior room search.  If I had waited 2 seconds longer I would have been able to tell the judge exactly where the hide was instead of being off by a few inches. For only 18 months old he just rocked it.  It was a tough trial and no one earned their excellent title.  We were thrilled to find out that we placed 2nd in containers and first in exteriors and we were the only team that qualified in exteriors.

Thank you to all the amazing volunteers, Judges Paul Dyer and Ryan-Ann King Smith and to Little Nose that Knows and Canine Coaching for hosting another great trial.

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Another sniffing Saturday

We made another trip to Red Deer today to compete in a scent trial hosted by the Little Nose That Knows. Brodie had a great day in his advanced trial coming in 2nd in interiors and vehicles and finished first overall. He got lots of ribbons and swag. Thank you to Judges Ryan-Ann King-Smith and MaryAnn Warren and to Kristina Sveinson and Samantha Freschette for all their hard work organizing the trial.

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Puppy enrichment day

Spirit and Brodie had a nice off leash run and swim today. Unfortunately that also meant they both had to have a bath because they were filthy and smelled like “swamp thing”.

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17th Birthday Treats

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I can’t believe that Wally, our old Goldie, is celebrating his 17th birthday today.  We are so very blessed to have had him in our lives for this long.  His favourite treat in the world is a Timbit so every year on his birthday he would get one for each year.  As he started approaching his double digit birthdays we began cutting the timbits in half.  This year we  cut them in quarters and then gave him one whole one to make 17.  As usual, he inhaled them all.

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More Rally-O fun

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We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday driving back and forth to Camrose to participate in the Battle River Canine Association rally obedience trial. It was a very tough weekend for Brodie. As a 13 month old, teenage intact male, this was his first exposure to a smorgasbord of intact females and he lost his mind. I’ve lost my sweet, calm and focused boy. He has been replaced by this wild child who has zero interest in his Mom. I’m heart broken but I knew it was coming. Hopefully this phase won’t last too long.

Friday was a complete disaster with a NQ in advanced and then we got excused from the ring during his Intermediate run because he decided to have a poop in the ring…totally out of character for him. Saturday was a bit better. We squeaked by our Intermediate run with a 73 qualifying score and a 4th in trial ribbon. Sunday I saw a brief glimpse of my sweet boy and we walked away with an Intermediate score of 88, our second Q and a Second in Class ribbon.

Thank you to Judges Karen Brearley, Margaret Chandler, Marie-Johanne Cloutier.

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Birthday Boy

Brodie1Yr-2We are celebrating Brodie’s 1st birthday today.  What a joy he has brought to our lives.  He is everything that I wanted in a Golden and so much more!

This is what he looked like a year ago

Short video of Brodie trying to play with his birthday present but his sister Spirit has other ideas.

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My Golden Hero

Last week we took Wally to the Vet because he was vomiting and had bloody diarrhea. He has a sensitive digestive system and he gets these tummy troubles every year or so. We were not panicked but at his advanced age (16 year and 10 months) we wanted to get things settled and resolved quickly. As we were waiting for our appointment we were shocked to see that one of his testicles had ballooned in size. It was not like that the previous day. It was 11.5 inches around and the size of a softball. We went from being mildly concern about diarrhea to being panicked about an extremely fast growing tumour.

At his age surgery is extremely risky but leaving the tumour posed its own risks. We made the very tough decision to go ahead with surgery. I’ve been stressing and having nightmares for the last few days but for some unknown reason I felt strangely at peace when I dropped him off this morning. I got a phone call two hours later and he was alive and well. The Vet said that he gave them a bit of a scare when they tried to insert the tube down his throat and encountered an obstruction. They found a dangling tumour (he’s sure it is benign) that they had to remove before they could start the planned procedure. They kept him all day so that they could keep him on IV fluids to flush the anesthesia drugs out of his system as quickly as possible. They sent me this picture to show me how well he was doing all snuggled up in warm blankets.

He is home with us now and we feel so blessed.

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Snuggle Bunnies

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This is a typical morning in our house…although usually Tilly is also snuggling somewhere in the mix.  I have over 150 lbs. of hairy children draped across my body.  Good thing they are comfortable…..who cares if I am.

 

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Fall Walk

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My Scenting Stars

BrodieStartedSPWe drove to Red Deer today to participate in a Sporting Detection Dog Association (SDDA) trial.  Spirit was entered in the Advanced Working Dog category.   I have been introducing Brodie to scent detection, and since he was coming along for the ride,  I thought I would enter him in the Started category so that he could get some experience being at a trial.  Dogs have to be at least 6 months old to trial so we were lucky that Brodie hit that milestone last week, just in time to participate.  It was a bit of a hectic morning because they decided to run the Started and Advanced at the same time.  Brodie was 10th to run in the Started Division and Spirit was 8th in Advanced.

Brodie had his Container and Interior Searches first.  Just before they called us, Brodie yelped and lunged towards his backend as a wasp bit him.  Poor little guy.  He kept walking in a circle trying to reach the spot, obviously very upset.  The Judges offered to let us take a break and come back later but I decided to just go ahead since this was only a learning experience for him.  To my complete shock and amazement it took him only 8 seconds (3 minute time limit) to find the correct container and we got a score of 29/30 (we lost 1 point for having an inconsistent search sequence).  The Judges were as shocked as I was.  We had a minute to gather our composure and he started the interior component.  Again, he found the hide in only 37 seconds (5 minute time limit) with a score of 39/40 (again we lost 1 point for having an inconsistent search sequence).  I had to run back to the car, drop off Brodie and grab Spirit for her first run so I didn’t have any time to really digest what had just happened.

Spirit did Containers first.  She found the first hide quickly and I got all excited, rewarded her and walked away.  The Judges just stood there staring at me.  After about a minute of awkward silence they said, did you forget that there is a second hide???  Dummy me, having just completed the Started search that has only has one hide, I completely forgot that Advanced has two hides and a distractor.  We got back to searching and Spirit indicated on another container and when I called it the Judge told me she was wrong.  Dang it.  I messed my girl up.  Interesting note, there were 30 dogs in the Advanced category and only 4 found the 2 hides the rest false alerted like Spirit.  Makes you wonder if there was some contamination in the search area.  Spirit immediately moved on to her Interior search.   She found both hides in 1 minute and 7 seconds and we scored a perfect 80/80.

Once again, I ran back to the car, did another quick dog switcharoo and raced backed to do Brodie’s exterior search.  Unfortunately we were late and missed our turn so we had to wait and run last.  The exterior search was comprised of 3 tractors.  The hide was hidden underneath the middle tractor.  It took my amazing little boy only 1 minute to find it (5 minute time limit with another amazing score of 29/30 (I lost 1 point for my handling hindering my dog).  One of the Judges was the founder of the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta (SARDAA).  She was so impressed by him.  She told me I have an amazing, young working dog.  What a wonderful compliment from a very knowledgeable and experienced handler.   I thought Brodie was just going to have a fun play day practicing searching and he ended up get his Started title.  Because we got all 3 components at the same trial, we also get an SP designation (special). And the news only gets better, we actually finished 3rd overall and got a big basket of SWAG.  Last but not least, because we got an overall score of 97/100, our title will be at the gold level.  WOW!!!!!  Big thank you to Judge Jane Book and shadow Judge Mary-Ann Warren.

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Brodie’s haul: Green ribbon for 3rd place overall, 3 qualifying ribbons for containers, interior and exterior, purple Started Level Title ribbon with the SP designation and his basket of goodies.

We had a long wait before Spirit got to do her exterior search.  By then it was very hot and sunny, not good for a big, hairy black dog.  She really struggled.  Dogs can’t scent when they are panting heavily.  We used the whole 5 minutes and she didn’t find the hide.  Even when the Judge told us where it was, it took two passes for her to find it and alert on it.  No worries.  I’m still very proud of my girl. Thank you to Judge Doug Theeft.

Each dog got a ginormous knuckle bone when we got home.

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What a Difference 4 Months Makes

It always shocks me how quickly a puppy grows and matures.  Here is photo proof.  The first picture was taken the day I brought Brodie home (2017APR16).   The second one was taken 4 months later when we celebrated Brodie turning 6 months old.  I wish they could stay small and snuggly a little longer.

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The boys are both 16

Little Brodie is 16 weeks old and of course Wally turned 16 years old in April.  They may look very different, my old man is a rich copper and the other is a silky, soft, creamy white but they are both gentle, sweet souls…..true Goldens !!!

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3 Months Old

Our little golden boy Brodie is 3 months old today. He is growing so fast. He has more than doubled his weight in the month that we’ve had him.  No matter how bad he is, I just take one look at that face and my heart melts.

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Four Legged Cheerleaders

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On Sunday morning we participated in the annual First Responders Half Marathon.  We have McMullin staying with us again so he and Brodie came out to cheer us on. They were a big hit.  Everyone wanted to stop by and say hello to the pair.

As I was approaching the end, Don handed me the “boys” so that they could cross the finish line with me.

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Brodie also helped Laura and Heidi cross the finish line.

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Settling In

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Our little Brodie is settling in nicely.  He is a little afraid of Spirit’s larger than life personality and is very respectful of my beautiful oldie Goldie Wally.  Unfortunately he is like an unruly, annoying little brother with poor little Tilly.  We have to keep rescuing her from his grip.

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I can’t stop taking pictures of his sweet little face.  Each image is cuter than the last.

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Meet Brodie

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Yesterday I got up at 3am to head to the airport for a very special trip to Victoria to meet this cute little boy.  He is the newest member of our family.  He is an English type Golden Retriever and I am in love!!!  There were 11 puppies in the litter but by the time I got to the breeder’s home all of them had already been picked up by their new families.  There were only 3 left in the house, a little boy and girl that she was keeping for her breeding program and our little boy.  We got black boy….also known as “the bruiser”.  She picked him for me because he is a very active little boy and needed an experienced family to manage all that energy.  Yikes!!!

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I got to enjoy the day hanging out with the puppies and then flew back last night.  When I got to the Victoria airport all the Westjet ticket agents were swooning over that cute face.  They had seen so many puppies leaving in the last two days that they immediately recognized him as another one from the same litter.  He was so pooped that he fell asleep on a chair in the departure lounge.

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He was wonderful on the flight back to Edmonton….except for one small problem….farting.  It was so bad that I thought he may have pooped in his carrier.  The women beside me got mad at her husband because she thought he was the culprit.  We all had a good giggle when I told her it was Brodie.

I finally got to bed just after midnight.  Our first night wasn’t too bad.  I only had to take him out once but he was wide awake at 6am.   Needless to say, I am wiped today. Here is the whole 4-legged family.

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He has already had a busy morning and is now crashed on the kitchen floor…I wish I could join him for a nap.

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Guess who is 16 years old today?

It may be grey and dreary outside but our lives are filled with sunshine today.  Our beautiful golden boy is 16 years old today.  The average life span for a golden retriever is 12 years…..we are incredibly blessed to have shared our lives with this amazing boy for 16 years.  He had a delicious birthday breakfast of fresh ground turkey with pumpkin and fresh berries.  Then he got to lick the empty pumpkin can.  We have a long standing tradition of using Timbits (Wally’s favourite treat) to celebrate the big moments.  On birthdays he would get one Timbit for every year and when his puppies were born he would get one for each baby.  When he started getting into double digits we had to start cutting the Timbits in half.  Later today he will get his 16 Timbit halves.

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We had an early birthday celebration at Patty’s acreage on Thursday.  We had a lovely lunch and nice walk on a beautiful, sunny spring day.  We even managed to avoid Wally rolling in the horse and cow poop which he loves to do (as you will see below in the picture from his 11th birthday celebration at Patty’s).

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Wally, Boomer, Stark, Hope, Spirit and little Tilly

To commemorate the big day I put together a series of images of Wally from 12 weeks to 16 years old.

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My Golden Valentine

Now and then……..I can’t image a life without this amazing boy.  He is my heart dog!!!  (He looks so serious striking a pose in both pictures.)

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As a thank you to my Golden Valentine we went for a walk (just Mom and her boy) to Tim Hortons to get him his favourite treat.  He usually only gets a Timbit but today we went for the whole donut.

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Sweet Gentle Soul

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McMullin snuggling in the kennel

My beautiful, gentle old man Wally. He is almost 16 years old now.  Over those years he has shared our home with more foster puppies and four-legged family members than I can count. Without exception, each one has gone to him to cuddle and seek comfort. He has always obliged. For an intact male he is truly amazing!!!!

Just a few more pictures to tug at your heart strings:

 

 

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Driving Snuggle Buddies


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Family Moment

I love it when we can start our mornings out on the deck enjoying our morning coffee/tea together.

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Proud Grandma

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On Sunday I attended the graduation of one of Wally’s children.  I have a very special spot in my heart for Garnet.  Of the 51 puppies that Wally’s sired, he is the only one that really looks like his Dad.  He spent the first few years of his working life as a guide dog for a wonderful gentleman.   Sadly he passed away suddenly and Garnet was returned to the school.  They decided that he was too young to retire so they retrained him and placed him with a psychologist to act as a therapy dog for her clients.  Garnet is 7 years old now and watching him and his mannerisms….OMG he is definitely his Daddy’s boy.  He has the same loving and gentle personality.  Here is a picture of the whole graduating class.  Garnet’s beautiful deep golden colour makes him stand out in the group….”one of these is not like the others”.

GarnetGrad6When they arrived, Garnet’s nose went up and he started air scenting and wagging his tail wildly.  He knew we were there and he was excited.

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I was able to get up close and snuggle with my beautiful grand-puppy.  Isn’t he just beautiful.

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A blast from the past…..in 2010 we had this photo taken (courtesy of Laughing Dog) of Wally and Garnet just before Garnet went into final training to be a guide dog.

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Birthday Boy is 15

To say we are blessed to have our beautiful Golden Boy at the ripe old age of 15 is an understatement.  Not only is he still with us but the quality of his life is really good.  He is my “heart” dog.  I love all of my fur kids but he and I have this very special bond that I just can’t put into words.  I can’t imagine life without him….

Wally’s favourite treat are Timbits.  Traditionally he gets one for each year.  Once he got into double digits I started cutting them in half.  Today I cut two ends off of each one and left the slice in the centre for the other dogs.  It didn’t take him long to polish off 15 ends.

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Ready and waiting

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Patience

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Here we go….

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Going…..

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Going….

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Gone!!!

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Nothin’ left but a pile of drool

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Hug Your Hound Day

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Did you know that Sept 13th is National Hug your Hound Day.  To celebrate, Wally and I participated in the Bockman Foundation Wheel, Walk or Run for spinal cord injuries.  My old boy was able to do the whole race with me.  I would have liked to have included Spirit but she is too young to do that kind of pounding and she has had a bout of panosteitis (growing pains) so we just do gentle walks together.  Just as we were about to cross the finish line the generator stopped and the inflatable start/finish line balloon came down on top of us.

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Tribute to Bella

Life has a way of really testing us.  The day I published the post about Wally and Bella’s reunion I got a message from her family saying that she wasn’t doing well.  She had stopped eating and had trouble breathing.  They took her to numerous vets and the prognosis was not good….she had cancer.  I had wanted to get Wally and Bella together because my boy was so old and I wasn’t sure how much longer he would be with us.  I never dreamed that we would be losing Bella first.  Three days later I got the news that my beautiful girl was gone.  We are devastated……I can’t imagine how her family is feeling.

I think Wally has now outlived all of the puppies from his first litter.  I’m so blessed to still have him.  I put together a slideshow of pictures.  I hope that it will help her mourning family.  It starts with a picture of Misty, Bella’s Mom.  It shows the puppies when they were just minutes old and goes up until the day Bella left us when she was 6 months old.  Bella was the darkest puppy in the litter and she wore a baby blue grosgrain ribbon collar.      Goodbye my beautiful Bella….Tango, Ming and Tasha will keep you company over the rainbow bridge.

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