|I have about eleventy-billion pictures of this dog, but I will try to restrain myself...|
In case you are wondering, yes, all that hair does take quite a bit of grooming. And who do you suppose has the sole responsibility for that? Yep, she is a good sport about putting up with my laboring over her with the clippers, combs and brushes. Most people with pet Springers settle for simply cutting off all the feathers. I prefer to spend lots of time picking things out of her hair and picking it up off the floors and furniture. Stupid, maybe, but I appreciate her beauty and am willing to work for it. I had never groomed a dog before we got Sunny but as soon as I found out the pros wanted in the neighborhood of $50 a pop to "do" her, I decided I would learn how. I had done some horse clipping in the past so I figured what the heck... it's been a lot of trial and error over the years but generally I think she looks pretty good. Fooling around with her satisfies my "need to groom" when I can't be with horses.
|This was taken for Valentine's Day last year, after a haircut and a bath. She likes to pose and is quite the little model!|
|The first photo I ever saw of our girl. She's in the middle looking right at me!|
|Here she is waiting outside the BR door one day when I was sleeping in - |
keep in mind that the rest of the family was home at the time! ;-)
|The kids have an extensive collection of stuffed Springers. They couldn't wait to introduce them to the real deal.|
|Yes, there IS a real dog in there!|
|Yeah, I get it, it's Christmas, can I take these off now???|
Sadly, our plans to one day do real agility fell apart when my darling doggie managed to rupture not one but both ligaments in her left knee. No, she wasn't jumping at the time; the trouble started after a brisk romp one morning in a field. She was limping later that day and I had a bad feeling. The limping quickly went away but over the next couple years it gradually got worse after exercise. The vet took x-rays and said yes, she's got a bit of separation in the joint, but nothing catastrophic so there's not much we can do yet. I started her on a joint supplement. Then one day 2 1/2 years ago, we were over at my friend's farm, friend and I were chatting in the barn, Sunny was exploring around outside (she never offers to run off) not far away, and I heard a single high-pitched "YIPE!" She came trotting in on three legs, like, "Oh hai Mommy this kind of hurts but I'm still smiling and do you think I could have a drink?" My heart had almost stopped at the cry and I just knew what had happened. This is a dog who rarely ever shows pain; you have to practically mash her foot flat by accident, for example, for her to say a word. Even after I raced her to the vet and they manipulated the leg not one sound came out of her. I read on the Net that some dogs will simply lie on the ground and scream when they've blown a knee (I figure that's what I'd do, too!).
We did a traditional repair on the knee, which involved securing the joint with what is basically fishing line, and I was able to employ my equine leg wrapping skills trying to keep the stapled wound covered in gauze and vet wrap. The whole arrangement constantly wanted to skootch down, exactly like a hock wrap on a horse. My canine was an excellent patient and left the bandage alone, but it was challenging. The other challenge was looking at her sad face when I went upstairs to bed; stairs were expressly forbidden and we humans became skilled in climbing over the baby gate we had to install at the bottom. The wound healed perfectly and we began the long process of rehabbing.
Two months after Sunny's surgery things were going pretty well; she was finally allowed to walk around and go potty in the backyard off the leash and we had worked our way up to walking about 75' down the street and back with no discomfort. Then a "perfect storm" of events occurred. I went out the front door to go to the neighbor's house four doors down. Sunny saw me. She ran to the back door and asked to go out. Dad let her out, not knowing I had just left. Dog raced out the back door, into the front yard, and straight down the road after me... all at top speed. We have an electric fence, and she is about 98% good with it, but when Mommy is fast-disappearing, all bets are off. Immediately after this little escapade, the knee made a popping sound, and we discovered she'd torn the meniscus. ARGH.
Suffice it to say, for a long time I did not think my dog would ever be able to run freely in a field or jump over anything ever again. I felt awful and horribly guilty. It broke my heart to think I could never let her do her most favorite things. But - BUT - I am so thrilled to report that she did finally, in fact, recover complete use of that knee/leg and is back to her old self. We had some limping for a while on her other leg (the vet had told me that dogs who tear up one knee stand a 50% chance of doing the same to the other one, so I was prepared for this), and I toyed with the idea of going ahead and fixing that, but amazingly that has gone away - even after heavy exercise - and she is fit, happy and sound. *KNOCKS LOUDLY ON WOOD* Thank you, Glycoflex III, I'm sure you have something to do with this!
By this point you are probably wondering why on earth I titled this post the way I did. Well, when I was over at the Charity Show, I found a number of exciting items standing in a grassy area next to the Grand Prix arena: they were miniature jumps produced for kids by Brody Robertson Show Jumps, Inc., a local company (that has prospered mightily and even made jumps for the WEG). A bunch of young riders were entertaining themselves leaping over the little course, including some usually dignified Maclay entrants, which I thought was hilarious. :-) Although I suffered from pangs of envy (I would have killed for these things as a kid!) I of course immediately envisioned running my now-recovered pooch over them. The following video is the result. Presenting "Sunshine, the Show-Jumping Springer," and my very first YouTube upload ever!
I was so tremendously proud and happy! :-)
If you made it through all this, thank you for allowing me to rattle on about my girl. At least I know a lot of horse people are dog people as well, so hopefully you understand!
(Note: I have tried and tried to embed the video here and for some reason it just Will. Not. Go. Not the techiest person around but not the worst, either so I am quite frustrated...)