338. Dog Fever

This is your last chance to VOTE for my essay “Grandmother Dearest”.  Voting ends at midnight.  Once the last vote is cast, the top 100 essays receiving the most votes move to the next round which will be judged by Consumer Cellular judges.  They’ll pick 50 out of the 100 as semi-finalists.  Following that, they’ll get it down to 5 finalists.  

So please click HERE for your very last chance to vote for “Grandmother Dearest”.  I know you’ll do it because you’re such a worthy, noble person!

Today we’re going to have the first of the descriptions I asked for about any of your dogs.  Today’s is from my daughter Susy (Ford) Warden.  I’m disappointed she didn’t tell you the whole truth about her dog though.  Stay tuned, and I’ll fill you in after Susy gets finished.  (I love to have the last word).

 Here’s what Susy wrote:

“I have owned many dogs in my life and I have been blessed with their
bright expressions, wagging tails and cuddly bodies, but none have
taught me more about dog ownership than Rodeo. 

Rodeo is my current high-drive, energetic cocker spaniel. From the very start he was always trying to run the show. We have raised several puppies and rescue dogs through the years and we’ve always started their lives in our home in a small restricted area… our kitchen. We would contain them in this small area with a baby gate to contain their accidents
and help them learn about our family life and necessary dog routines.

Well, Rodeo would have none of that. If I left the kitchen to go
downstairs to brush my teeth or do laundry he was going to come along with me. He would clamber up to the top  of the puppy gate and throw himself over, crash to the floor and then meet me downstairs with a happy grin.

Then, we tried pushing chairs up against the puppy gate to keep him in the kitchen whenever we had to leave for school and work. I’m also threading boards across the tops of the chairs. Again, Rodeo would climb up anything and throw himself over the top to escape separation. Every day when we came home from work he was out of the kitchen waiting for us in the living room.

We finally ordered a puppy gate with a upper extension panel about 5 feet high and vertical bars that he could NOT climb out of. This story demonstrates just one example of how Rodeo has pushed me to become a better dog owner and handler. 

He is a challenging and highly emotional dog and I have learned so much from him. He needs what all dogs really need. A confident and quiet leader to help guide them through life.

Rodeo thrives on daily walks and weekly dog agility classes to keep him stimulated and tired. And those things are very good for me, too. I think you get the kind of dog you need, and Rodeo has been a good “best friend” for me. I am more sensitive to his needs now and he is a happier, more well adjusted dog around the house too. But we still use our puppy gate frequently!!”

Well, that’s what Susy had to say about Rodeo.  Obviously, Susy is too bashful and modest to tell you the whole truth.  

Her energetic cocker spaniel Rodeo is a bona fide, honest-to-goodness born-to-be champion.  His potential as a dog agility hero was clear from the start. He has heart, fire and spirit and runs in the dog trials just for the joy of it.  When he’s running, he’s the only dog everybody watches, not just for his skill, or for Susy’s sensationally calm, skillful management of him in the arena, but for the simple fun of watching his charismatic joy in the sport.

Sad to say, Rodeo got laid low by a genetic defect a couple of years ago, and the veterinarian said he’d never be able to run in the trials again.  Pah! What did HE know? He underestimated Rodeo.  Now past his prime, Rodeo won’t fulfill his destiny as an national champion of dog agility, but that’s not stopping him from competing locally — and showing the other dogs (and trainers) how it’s done. 

Another living dog in our family that made such a name for himself is our famous Toby — daughter Lisa Ford’s Cairn terrier.

Maybe she’ll give us a blow-by-blow of HIS exploits. And maybe, my nephew Tim Fitzpatrick will give us an update on the latest adventures of his dog Jack.

Or please tell us about YOUR dog! (Or cat, or other non-human friend.)

That’s all for now. Have a nice day, and Bow-Wow and Arf Arf.

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3 Responses to 338. Dog Fever

  1. C Ford says:

    thanks for sharing pictures of the handsome Rodeo! a very touching story! now I know that there is another family person who raised puppies and took care of rescues…have a blessed paws day!

  2. A relative says:

    Wow, I read your blog out loud to Rodeo and he is strutting around the house with his head n the clouds. He always KNEW he was a CHAMPION. He was just waiting for Octowoman to make it official! Seriously, Rodeo may be eight years old and a veteran agility competitor but you would never know it. He always run every agility course as fast as he can go! I am sure he will be scaling our puppy gate trying to reach new heights when we head out to a nearby trial this weekend.

  3. Gretchen says:

    Rodeo is awesome at agility and he and my mom make a great team! You can tell how much they both love the sport and the satisfaction they get for a job well done! They are so fun to watch!!!
    Gretchen

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