Mount Dora! Well, for a weekend day we didn't have a huge turn out but a lovely day reguardless. Wonderful friends, an awesome location and perfect weather... once it warmed up a little anyway. Who could ask for more? Add to that a fabulous meal and of course some really great dogs and you've got the makings for a perfect day. Mount Dora, I'm happy to report seems quite dog friendly. I thought St A's held the trophy in that regard but Mount Dora is equally as accommodating. We hung out around the doggie bakery for a bit and the dogs enjoyed the extra attention they're growing accostomed to receiving on our outings. With three Dobes there, all very well behaved, I don't know how many times I heard people say... "oh there's another one". They definitely have a way of drawing attention. And the more the merrier. It was awesome to see Brad and Agata, and kids Sam and Andrew and of course Skye. She, like KatieScarlett is a beautiful Doberman with a fabulous temperament. When I looked at Skye, I saw so much of Lexi... and when I looked in her eyes, instead of tears, I smiled! It was a great, great day!
Had another fabulous day at school today! I signed Remedy up to repeat "basic" obedience because it's been a while. To my surprise day one found us in a much more "advanced beginners" class than any I've ever experienced... with any dog! We were the only "beginners" there; a combined class it seems.. with much more advanced dogs. Our instructor gave us a bit of individual attention and informed me after class... "She's a Doberman. They learn extremely fast"... as if I wasn't aware of that fact ;-) I bit my tongue! Remedy is going to do well I think. I love our instructor. She is a bit drill sergeant-ish but she's got some great training techniques. Here's a shot of Remedy who appears to be paying close attention after class as she watches Katie do her rally run through... processing and storing in the memory bank hopefully.
News I forgot to mention... Remedy earned her Canine Good Citizen last week. We got the ribbon but need to send away for the actual certificate so I decided to post her accomplishment today. By the time we actually receive the certificate it will be old news and hopefully she'll be well on her way to her CGCA. It's back to school for both Remedy and Ritz this week. Ritz had her first class today, did well and we like our instructor. My newest addition, who I'm not quite ready to officially introduce, will be attending too. Getka, is enrolled in Puppy Kindergarten... good fun and socialization for any pup and helps to set the stage for future learning. Ritz will be attending basic obedience and Remedy will repeat basic. Unfortunately, I've never been able to enroll any of my dogs in advanced basic due to scheduling conflicts and the same conflict remains today. My plan is to repeat basic with Rem, work hard at home and jump into novice when the next round of classes start up.
And some news I've had a hard time dealing with, let alone put into words... As some of you reading this may know, my kennel suffered a devastating loss October 28th with the loss of my girl Lexi. It was a huge personal blow and the past couple months have been an incredibly rough ride. Lexi was somewhat of an incorrigible "puppy" but matured into a dream "dog" whom I adored and loved deeply. When I decided to return to the breed, Lex was my first. She was my "everything" dog. She, early on as a young pup, was the one who reminded me the reasons I so love the breed. She was my bed dog, my farm dog and my reader of the mind dog. Lexi was my solid as a rock dog and it was heart wrenching to watch her energy and spirit fade in front of me and know there was nothing I could do. There was a trial of fluids to flush her system and her Vet who upon first seeing her said, "I wouldn't give up without trying". But while she continued on with her job that couldn't wait, I think the realization hit her. A realization I knew well in advance, simply by watching Lex throughout the course of the afternoon. Since my loss, I've found it very difficult to visit my website. And out of respect for Lexi, I'm feeling guilty for not updating in a timely fashion. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about the unfinished business left to do. But where to start....? there is simply so much to do and much of what needs doing will be extremely painful. Each page needs to be looked at and updated where appropriate. I need to remove some entries and rearrange others. The first month, when I'd think of writing a memorial or tribute, I literally couldn't see through the tears nor could I speak of Lex without sobbing. I've got a couple months of healing behind me now, have gained back some strength and I think I'm nearly ready to write her tribute and face the task, way earlier than I ever expected, of creating a memorial page. In gaining the ability to believe I can tackle these things, I feel like I'm finally entering the healing phase. While I work on things, Lexi's page may be hidden for a time but it will be here... always. GMBD's began with Lexi and Lex will forever be a part of it. More importantly, she will always hold a very special spot in my heart.
Cedar Key! A sweet little town in a quaint sort of way. Reminds me a little of Key West only much smaller and a little less grand. If it weren't for an abundance of restaurants and shopping geared mainly toward tourists there wouldn't be much too it. But the water, I always appreciate being near the water, even if only for a day. And the weather was well... December in Florida. Perfect is all I can say!!! For the most part a very pleasant day. Great friends, a tasty lunch, a lovely view and the company of dogs! Yep, a pleasant day indeed except for the part when those dreaded flashing lights suddenly appeared in my rear view mirror... yes, a nearly perfect day had it not been for that blasted ticket! I really must get better about using cruise control. I can't even be angry... I was undeniably in the wrong. I was also hopeful but no such luck. Not today....
Have to start somewhere so I'm going to start with the day. It seems a bit of a repeat because this post was originally created for my Facebook page "Let's Take The Dogs".... but in thinking about it, it belongs here too. Seems a good way to, as they say, "get back on the horse"....
Vacation is a wonderful thing but time is ticking away and so is my vacation... Seems I've always got a full plate. The agenda is to include some tidying as I attempt to get some fall cleaning and clean up done. But a gal and her dogs have to have some fun too and I promised myself and them we'd have some.
Today was a bit spur of the moment decision that led us to Gainesville for a little bit of hustle and bustle. I gave the day to Majestic and it was a great experience for her. Of my dogs, Majestic is the least comfortable with leaving home. Actually she loves to jump in the car and go but she's somewhat unsure of the big busy world around her. It's something she didn't get enough of as a pup and something we'll continue to work on...
Sharon with KatieScarlett joined in once again for the outing which took us first on a walk around town and to Maude's for a coffee... I of course had to snap a few photos of the area, of us and of the dogs. I thought the Hippodrome would make a decent backdrop but we were quickly booted of it's porch adorned with it's red carpet, not because they aren't dog friendly but because they were scheduled for their own company photoshoot that was about to commence. I found it ironic when reviewing the last photo of Sharon and Katie that Sharon's Blue Shirt and Black Jacket matched the attire of the Hippodrome staff to a T. She should have stayed up there. Minus the dog, she would have blended right in. On our way back to our vehicles we passed by Amelia's and noticed some patrons were enjoying and sharing their lunch with their Macaw... had to get his picture too. Might have to try Amelia's for lunch one day. They have a nice patio on the square, their food smelled incredible and I assume if they're bird friendly they're likely dog friendly too.
Speaking of lunch...From town we took a drive west and dined at Square 1, a restaurant listed by Bringfido as "dog friendly". And they were... the dogs have their own menu to choose from and each was treated to a fresh bowl of water. In hindsight though, there were many restaurants downtown that would have been happy to serve us, dogs and all. It's a pretty dog friendly town in general I think.
All in all it was a great day; beautiful Florida weather, friendly people and some good grub. But we weren't done yet.
Next stop for Jess and I found us buggy and all @ Home Depot to collect some supplies for some of the tidying I mentioned @ the beginning of this post. I must say I was impressed with Majestic. The day was indeed good for her as she quickly became accustomed to her outing. She stormed through the store with pride as if she owned the place. A great sight to see!
Next up, Cedar Key Saturday followed by Mount Dora the following week. Then it's back to work.
With that said, I'm determined to get my updates complete. Some will be difficult but others hopefully will ground me with fond memories.