Five years is a moment in time, or infinity


Another October 17 is upon us, and I can’t believe its been 5 years since Chris’ death.  Losing Chris was the onset of so many changes, and so much feels the same

This past month has been very hard leading up to this 5 year anniversary  First Chip, who had always been Chris’ dog, seemed bound and determined to join Chris.  A very large abcess was found in his prostate, and multiple thousands of dollars later he is back home.  I am thankful for my friend Allison without who I would not have been able to save him

Also a friend is dealing with complications of a botched gall bladder operation, and dealing with liver infection, in and out of hospital, and fighting with doctors for proper treatment.  It has all been a lot of deja vu, and I am very worried about her.   Perhaps the bright side in the loss of Chris, is that I am able to pass on some of the things that I learned during our nightmare.

Life has been up  and down, backwards and sideways for the past five years.   Weeks after Chris’ death I was packaged off from a job, that I had loved along with the manager I loved working for, and several of my peers and staff, when the company was purchased by a large heartless corporation.   Turmoil has been pretty consistent  since then as temporary jobs were found and ended, and companies made decisions I couldn’t understand, but last year I made a bold decision to try a job 3 hours from home.  I invested my severance into another house, and tried to make a life in another community, but  just could not do it.  For once though, things did work out, and I am now telecommuting 4 days a week from Dundalk,  and only making the trek to Haliburton for one day.  Once I can rid myself of the extra house, hopefully life will become more stable, but things are still pretty scary and a lot of prayers go out for things to work out so I can once again establish some peace in my life.

The past couple of years have also taught me a lot about human nature.  I’ve learned who are friends and who are merely acquaintances and there is a very definite line between the two.  I’ve learned that people only feel it necessary to keep their word for as long as they feel that you are of use to them, and then can discard you like yesterdays newspaper.   But I’ve also learned to appreciate more and more those who quietly offer support, and a listening ear.

While the dogs are still here, my involvement the dog show world has decreased substantially.  While the dogs have won awards that I could only dream of at one time, the show world itself, outside of specialties, has lost its joy for me.  I no longer have my companion to travel with, to talk with , to share the joys and frustrations.   I’ve met a lot of new and wonderful people, and I hope that the dogs that I have produced have brought a lot of joy to their families.  But along with the joy, I’ve learned the dark side of showing, the winning at all cost, the side where people take showing so seriously that the “human” cost is no longer part of the equation and people are trampled upon in order to acquire status.  The people who talk out of both sides of their mouth, saying one thing to your face and another behind your back.  The people who attempt to destroy your reputation by spreading lies.  That side doesn’t appeal to me at all.  I like to think that if my dog loses on a day, I can look at the competition and maybe see what might have caused a judge to give another dog the nod over mine.  Every dog that defeats me is not a pet, or a piece o trash.  It is SOMEONE’S well loved companion, and to them the win means every bit as much as it would have to me.  So I also hope that I can always be a gracious loser, and not one of the people who stomps away from the ring, tossing profanities and ribbons as they depart.

The joy that remains in dog shows is watching the junior who have my dogs develop with them and challenge new boundaries.  I feel such pride in these kids and hope that they are making memories that will last them a lifetime as they build their bonds with their companions.

A new joy has entered my life, as 3 years ago, in an attempt to feel alive again, I took up the sport of motorcycle riding.   Again I have made many new and wonderful friends and can’t imagine life without them.   At last I have discovered a passion that can be shared, where no one has to win and no one has to lose – as long as we are all out together, and enjoying the beautiful scenery we are all winners.

And then there is the family.  One of the first trips Chris and I ever took together was to New Brunswick to attend my son’s graduation from the MilitaryEngineering College in Gagetown.  The picture of Chris above is from a favourite spot I had been to before and since.


This is me and Ruari, Ch. Yasashiikuma Briardon Arcturus, in the same spot in Agust 2000 when we showed in New Brunswick after the Canadian Cardigan Specialty in PEI.

Dolly Flower Dog


And here are Dolly and I in the same spot this spring, after Dolly was the Flower Dog for the wedding of two special friends.

But as proud as I am of Michael, and the career he has chosen, I am now being the worried Mom as he is on a tour of duty in not the most peaceful of areas.  On the ther hand, my daughter has, thanks again to a friend, landed a job at just the right time for her family, and is doing well at it.

Yes, a lot of water has passed under the bridge, Chris, and I wish you had been here to share it.  Perhaps with you here, some of the negative might not have happened, but then I wouldn’t have exprienced the growth that came from stretching to fit those bad situations.  Maybe in time I will pick up some of the other passions I have let go since you died, my music, my sitchery and even my writing.  Its a new life, and each day is new experiences – and somehow, as the dragonflies remind me, I know that you are still a part of them.

Love you,


Taking a second to breathe…

Hi all,

Well life definitely has a way of throwing curve balls when you least expect it Things had been far too uneventful in life for it to continue that way for long.

I thought September 2001 was the worst month ever with Bill and my father dying within 17 days of each other. September 2008 is not all that far behind with Chris spending all but single days in and out of the hospital. The bad news is that he is sick, very sick. The good news is that, hopefully, modern medicine can deal with the multiple issues, a donor can be found and in time he will recover.

The ambulance in the driveway waking me up at 3 a.m. was a wake up call in more ways than one this morning and it is time to make some serious decisions about how we will handle the upcoming medical odyssey.

I mentioned that we were going to be looking at placing some of the dogs. I’ve tried to get pictures but without a photographer’s assistant and running to emergency rooms every weekend its been tough.

So here is what I was able to come up with.

First here is Corey – Yasashiikuma Encore Performnce (Click on the pictures to enlarge them)

Yes, he’s a stunning boy and should have been a show puppy, but he has one testicle. It’s a heartbreak but it is time to let him go to a home where he will be someone’s well loved pet. He had both at 7 weeks according the vets notes, but not recently.

This is the pedigree for both Corey and Sam

Am./Cdn. Ch. Merrymoon Firestorm MBISS Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Pirate’s Patch Am. Ch. Joster Geefax JW, HC, ROMS Daleviz Vermillion
Jezalin Phantasia
Am./Cdn. Ch. Kentwood Lyneth ROMS Eng. Ch. Downholme Silversand of Joseter
Eng. Ch. Kentwood Bethan
Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Unforgettable MBISS Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Nautilus PT, CGC, TDI, ROMG Am./Cdn. Ch. Salvenik Sea Treasure ROMS
BISS Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi’s Amazing Grace Ap Ronel
Am./Cdn. Ch. Rikarlo American Phi Eng. Ch. Joseter Joson ROMG
Joseter Benita
Am./Cdn. Ch. Yasashiikuma Scirocco Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Uriel Of Caerleon Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Peter Pan MBISS Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Nautilus PT, CGC, TDI, ROMG
Phi-Vestavia Kalypso
Am. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Trouble In Chaos MBISS Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Nautilus PT, CGC, TDI, ROMG
Phi-Vestavia Dresden Doll HX
Phi-Vestavia Storm Of Yasashiikuma Am./Cdn. Ch. Merrymoon Firestorm MBISS Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Pirate’s Patch
Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Unforgettable
BISS Am. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Good Gracious ROMB MBISS Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Nautilus PT, CGC, TDI, ROMG
Am. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Luck Be A Lady ROMG

Then we have Corey’s litter brother Sam – Yasashiikuma Play it Again Sam

I couldn’t get a decent side shot of Sam…he was too busy running everywhere! He has better body length and a deeper brisket than Corey and is a good clean little mover. His right ear is up, his left 3/4 up (I need to tape it again, once again lack of hands isn’t helping!). I woiuld be willing to consider a co-ownership for Sam if the right situation was found with the right person. He doesn’t have as much flash as Corey, but has better bone, and has been the choice of most people who have gone over them.

And then we have Jonathon – Yasashiikuma Highway to Heaven

Jon just turned two and he has Canadian championship points. He is a willing and loving male, who only wants to do what you ask. When he is on lead his eyes never leave your face looking for clues as to what you might want him to do. He is an avid soccer player and will chase one of his Jolly balls around the yard throwing it with his head, and dribbling it around the other dogs. Libby is starting to pick up his joy in the game, but has no where near his talent!

I think Jon would make someone a wonderful obedience or agililty prospect. He should also finish his championship once his chest drops (he’s taking his time maturing), but that isn’t as important as finding the right home for him. Ideally a fenced yard where he could continue to play soccer, and a single dog home or with a female would be perfect.

As for children, Jon is fine around children who sit and pet him, but he doesn’t play well with yelling, screaming, running children. He thinks it is a herding game, and chasing and barking scares them so they run faster and he gets more excited, in an increasing spiral. A young teen interested in having a companion he’s perfect for. He’ll sit in the grass and lean against you as you contemplate the world. He sits with my 5 year old grandaughter as she pats him, so its not a dislike of children, just a confusion on how to play with them.

Merrymoon-Pluperfect Pony Xpress Merrymoon Noblestar Jacob Cdn. Ch. Mazara Merrymoon Reggae Bob Am. Ch. Rhydowen I Be Jammin NA TT
Cardach’s Happy Blu Bootes
Am./Cdn. Ch Merrymoon Devil Woman US/UK/Can Ch Phi-Vestavia Evan Evans
Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Unforgettable
Am. Ch. Pluperfect Pennyroyal Am. Ch. Pluperfect Pennywise US/UK/Can Ch Phi-Vestavia Evan Evans
Am. Ch. Windshyre’s Murphie Brown
Am. Ch. Windshyre’s Murphie Brown Am. Ch. Pluperfect Garvins Peerless
Am. Ch. Sisterwood’s Serendipity
Phi-Vestavia Storm Of Yasashiikuma Am./Cdn. Ch. Merrymoon Firestorm MBISS Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Pirate’s Patch Am. Ch. Joster Geefax JW, HC, ROMS
Am./Cdn. Ch. Kentwood Lyneth ROMS
Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Unforgettable MBISS Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Nautilus PT, CGC, TDI, ROMG
Am./Cdn. Ch. Rikarlo American Phi
BISS Am. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Good Gracious ROMB MBISS Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Nautilus PT, CGC, TDI, ROMG Am./Cdn. Ch. Salvenik Sea Treasure ROMS
BISS Am./Cdn. Ch. Phi’s Amazing Grace Ap Ronel
Am. Ch. Phi-Vestavia Luck Be A Lady ROMG Eng. Ch. Joseter Joson ROMG
Am./Cdn. Ch. Kentwood Lyneth ROMS

If you know of anyone who might be interested in any of these boys please drop me a line. Calls are okay, but realize that between work, the hospital, and the animals its getting more and more difficult to catch me near a phone.


Stop the world I want to get off….

If only….

I don’t think I can imagine things being much more nuts than they have been this month.

So where did we leave off? Chris was feeling better Wednesday night and they discharged him Thursday, and his parents brought him home. His sister came and stayed with him, while I drove Janet down to catch transport back to the city.

Thursday night, the pain started again. His sister said she would stay up with him so I could get some sleep. He spent all night pacing and groaning and finally fell asleep about 5 a.m. in the recliner. The pain continued to escalate through the morning and she finally took him back to Markdale – one more time.

The doctor in emergency determined he was dehydrated, and started IV, while arranging for a CT scan and consult in Owen Sound. Now here comes the only moderately humourous part of all this (to me….not to Chris!!). As a result of all this, and not eating enough fibre or drinking enough water Chris had…how shall we say it… a “blockage”. It took a $3 million machine to say he was full of it…**I** could have told them that for nothing!!!

So they sent him home Friday night with a cure for the “blockage” – CitroMag. If anyone else has ever needed to take this stuff to prepare for a colonoscopy you know its power. Lets just say don’t stray more than 30 seconds from a bathroom.

It started working Friday night and Saturday morning he was once again throwing up blood. I wanted to take him back to the hospital, but we reached a compromise. He would take his prescribed proton pump inhibitor (stops the acid production) and if he threw up blood again would agree to go to the hospital.

He seemed to be getting better yesterday, and this morning once again threw up blood, so we headed up to Owen Sound one more time. Once again he was dehydrated, and his hemoglobin levels had dropped since Friday so they performed another EDG to determine the source of the bleeding. When I left he was resting semi-comfortably at the hospital.

Add to this – the person I hired to come and look after the dogs called to tell me she fell 10 minutes after we talked this afternoon to confirm our arrangements, and she broke 3 ribs so can’t do the work.

Perhaps it was destiny that I chose to bring Robin Sharma’s “The Greatness Guide” to read at the hospital today, because I’m not as stressed about all this as I might otherwise be. I left off reading when they brought Chris back to the room after surgery with a chapter where he states – “Challenge serves beautifully to introduce you to your best – and most brilliant – self.”

I needed those words today.

A little sunshine on the horizon….

When I talked to Chris last night he sounded a little brighter and was off narcotics. This is a good thing. He actually ate the “lite” dinner they brought and has been working on a case of Plus calorie meal replacements.

Leave it to Chris….he found a computer with unsecured access in the hospital and I got an email with a link to the Community Care Access Centre for “Central West” and we are in their region!!


See the little tiny triangle in the most north-west corner of the map formed by the road going north-east and the road going north-west? Thats us! (and our neightbours).

Even looking at the CCAC site I can’t find this map – but as I said, leave it to Chris! Hopefully now we can arrange the home care and as long as the combination of medications holds the pain to tolerable levels he can come home 🙂

Also, some dog related good news. Libby finished her Canadian Championship in style this weekend. Not only going WB for two points (she needed one), but also defeating the Specials bitch for Best of Opposite. I’ll post the picture when I get a breather to scan it.