Wednesday, September 7, 2011

At Last...

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."— Marilyn Monroe

First, I owe all you regular readers an apology for such a belated post. So much has happened! Those of you who are FB friends already know most of what I'll be writing about today, so you can probably skip reading this post.

The past two weeks have been a combination of highs and lows. In the last post, I told you about the dog's hair dryer's heating element going bad and the water heater leaking. I was able to order a new part for the dryer and we coaxed the old one through drying the three dogs for the weekend shows by using only the medium and cool settings and letting it rest quite a while between each dog's bath. The water heater did not get replaced until Friday so we had 4 days of water covering the utility room floor. I have mixed feeling about the way Sears handled the replacement, mostly because "we'll get someone right out there" doesn't mean "four days later" to me!

Early in the AM on August 24, Raven, Maggie, Breaker, and I escaped to Lake Elmo, MN, to attend the Twin Cities Lhasa Apso Club specialties, leaving Lynn behind to deal with the water problem.  I entered Raven the first two days, Maggie on Saturday, and Breaker all three days. The weekend was fun and successful for us.

Raven took Reserve Winners Bitch to the 4-point major under judge Chris Levy on Thursday. Breaker took Select Dog for 4 points, just what he needed to earn his Grand Championship title. The TCLAC hospitality was great, and I enjoyed seeing everyone again, as last year I did not attend the specialties, opting instead for the shows in St. Charles, IL, that are much closer than the 8-hour trip to MN.

The following day, judge Donald Schwartz awarded Raven Winners Bitch for a 3-point major and Breaker Best Opposite Sex. On Saturday Maggie won Reserve Winners Bitch under judge Debbie Campbell. Breaker was Best Opposite Sex again. I was happy with Maggie's performance. She had not been in the ring for almost 2 months and did a great job of showing.

I stayed over Saturday night, wanting to enjoy a relaxing evening with friends, then took off for home Sunday morning. The ride home was pleasant, fast, and uneventful until I was just north of Cedar Rapids, IA, when the "low tire pressure" message appeared. I found a filling station, paid my 50¢, and filled the left front tire. I knew I was in trouble when I had to stop again an hour later. I had a goal in mind about where I could pull over next for more air to hobble home. I had a can of Fix A Flat in the trunk, as well as one of those air pumps to plug into the car's cigarette lighter, so I was not worried.

About 40 minutes from home I had to pull over again with no filling station in sight. I knew I was in trouble when the Fix A Flat liquid came out of the tire as fast as it was going in! Long story short…I called Lynn who drove to my location, changed the flat tire for the spare, and we were soon home again. The bad tire was repaired on Monday. I was cautioned that I would need new tires before winter and sent on my way. However, the next day's pouring rain found me in the parking lot after work with a tire so flat it had come off the rim. Hundreds of dollars later, I have four new tires and less money in my bank account, but I certainly feel more secure about driving again!

The hardest part of the past two weeks has been getting through the turmoil of my daughter's Affenpinscher (Penny) being dropped and breaking both front legs. Penny recently turned a year old and, while playing in the exercise area of Erikka's apartment building, ran toward the entrance to the building. A guy coming out of the building to exercise his dog scooped her up. His dog lunged, and the guy lost his grip on Penny and dropped her. Fortunately, both breaks were clean ones, so Erikka worked with her vet to plan Penny's recovery, deciding to have the legs set, splinted, and wrapped. All was well until Penny's breeder started putting pressure on Erikka to have surgery done on both Penny's legs and accusing her of not caring for her dog's health, being selfish, and killing her dog if surgery was not done immediately. The breeder even went to far as to make a surgical appointment for the dog in a city 5 hours from Erikka, telling her she expected her to be there the next day.

Erikka was beside herself, second-guessing her decisions, and believing she was a bad pet owner, despite my advice, the okay from her vet, and the messages from many, many of my FB friends regarding the situation. Emails such as the following were what she received from her breeder:
"Erikka - you were not at fault for breaking every bone in Penny's leg Someone else is responsible for that. You have loved her trained her and protected her for quite a while.
Please continue to do so.
If you don't allow us to take Penny back and give her the correct, necessary health care then you will become much much worse than the person who accidentally harmed her.
You will be deliberately harming her - or causing her to die.
How can you justify this? Is this how your mother deals with her dogs? Where did you learn that your selfishness coupled with your admitted inability to properly care for another living thing makes it okay for that little life to suffer because you'd rather see her maimed, mutilated or dead than , god forbid, you have to have "feel sad".
I never thought you were this kind of person. I am offering to come to you and pick her up. She will be well taken care of and will live a long healthy happy life - wanting for nothing. Erikka -the depth and width of your selfishness astounds me. How do you think we feel? We created that little Penny. We are directly responsible for bringing her into the world. We helped to whelp, nurture and train her for the very first months of her life here on Earth. In spite of numerous offers we thought we had correctly chosen the perfect save haven for her.
I cannot let this little dog suffer and simply stand by. As you seem to be able to do so quite easily. It only makes me wonder seriously about Henri also. You can't seem to afford any dogs at this time.
Just think long and hard about the one who is in trouble here and seriously ask yourself if you want to continue to deprive her of what we can give her - a life! Stop taking a chance on her rate of success because you "feel guilty". Feeling guilty has nothing to do with saving her life - just your own feelings.
Please please please let me come and get her.
I look forward to hearing from you today.

Penny's breeder, Jude, was kind, so very, very kind to Erikka when my daughter was looking for a puppy and a big sale was on the horizon. She even sought her out to let her know a puppy was available. Being raised in a dog showing family as she was, Erikka maintained a relationship with her dogs' breeders. All was friendly until Jude found out Erikka opted against surgery for the two clean breaks in Penny's legs. Following Penny's injury the tide turned. This is only one example indicative of the kinds of pressure and vitriol Jude  subjected my daughter to, both by phone and by email. In the end Erikka was beaten down and gave up. At Jude's insistence, Penny is now back with Jude. You and I might disagree with her decision but you have to understand that she is alone in FL and despite the support and advice I gave her via phone, no one was there to help her stand up to the venomous treatment she received. Hindsight is 20/20. I should have been there.

Labor Day weekend was uneventful. Yesterday, I had oral surgery. Today I am resting, hurting, and taking pain meds that I wish had more codine in them!

Dog-wise, we have a girl in season, and we are planning a breeding. If all goes well, we will have puppies again in mid-November.

So that is the news from here.



  1. I'm so sorry Erikka had do endure such treatment from Jude. Reading the email she sent her only makes me think Jude is a very sick, disturbed and manipulative individual.

    I'm sorry Erikka gave in to her demands, but I understand it.

    I am a true believer of “everything happens for reason”, and as bad as this experience has been for Erikka, it too happened for a reason. I wish her the best.

    I hope you feel better soon from your oral surgery. I agree, I think meds do not have enough codeine in them…LOL

    Good luck with the breeding, looking forward to the pics.

    Hilo will be a year next month. Amazing!!!!!!

    I’m taking him for his puppy-training test on Wed. Hope he does well.


  2. I am feeling better, thanks. The first three days were rough. Now there is not much pain. I can still eat only soft foods so I'm managing with pudding, yogurt, fruit smoothies, diet chocolate shakes, and mashed potatoes. I've gotten very creative with shakes and smoothies and so far have not felt deprived. It'll be nice to be able to chew again though...maybe next week.

    Thanks for the thoughts about Erikka. Like you, I know that everything happens for a reason. It would just be nice to know the reason so the pain would not be so bad in the beginning!


  3. Hi Joyce, what a hard thing for your daughter to go through. Sounds like one has to choose the breeder even more carefully than the dog! Hope she can replace her treasured Penny. Take care, (those soft foods sound tasty!)