|Emma and Attitude rest with my son Walter.|
This was taken the Tuesday before she died.
Jack had arrived about 30 minutes before Emma and quickly discovered her body, which lay on the top of his crate, and sniffed it. He'd been happy and ready to start our day when he arrived, but the moment he circled her body and got a good sniff and realized who he'd found, he lowered his head and came and laid it in my lap and just stayed there while I dripped tears on his head.
When Emma came in she started the game of wrestling with the other dogs and I realized it was the first time this happened and Attitude's sharp "knock it off you kids" bark would never be heard again. Max and Jack were trying to move away and stop the game - they were still watching me closely and didn't want to play. I scooped Emma up and took her to Attitude's body and let her smell. In an instant Emma's head lowered and she too fell into the quiet, give Mom space, mode the adult dogs were in.
It's a quiet and sullen day today. I chose not to train during the day. I can't stand the thought of a kibble hitting the floor and my Little Red Vacuum not hoping off of my chair to eat it. I can't stand the thought of training Go To Mat and not having to pick her up and put her back on my chair so the dog I am training can get on the mat. I can't stand the thought of training and not having her trail behind me to scoop up the random kibble I drop or stopping her from racing the big dog to the kibble I tossed or even of all of the dogs hovering waiting for her to finish her meal. It's a quiet and sullen day today.
Emma has class tonight and I will take her. Until then, this home is in mourning and will spend the day reflecting on a small, but important, hole in our lives.
I cannot thank Dr. Brian Hunter and his fabulous staff and fellow vets for the amazing care they gave Attitude during this past two years. The care they gave in supporting her heart when they cleaned her teeth the final time and the way they worked with me to ensure Attitude always had her medication made my life as a care giver of an animal with a chronic heart condition so much easier overall. They are the best vets in town in my book.
When I was there I weighed Emma and found her to be 25.2 pounds. She's at the peek of her growth and I suspect she won't get much bigger or heavier than she is now. I figure between now and 18 months of age when her joints seal, she should put on no more than 2 more inches and between now and 3 years of age I suspect no more than 10 pounds. It appears Emma will be a small dog and this will adjust how I will train her to pay for items for her handler when that training period happens.
My visit at Hunter Vet Clinic left me in tears. I was crying when Dr. Hunter came out and he gave me a hug and told me how sorry he was I had lost her. I dried my eyes and fought the tight, sick feeling in my stomach as I drove over to Diamonds in the Ruff. I had almost gotten myself together when I entered and Stacy, Carol's assistant trainer for this class, asked if she could give me a hug. After the hug she said she would not ask me any questions about my baby girl, since she knew how close I was to loosing it.
Carol gave me a gentle rub on the back and gave silent support. They knew my heart was not into working Emma, but I had to take her anyway. I was clicking automatically, not even thinking of it, as Emma offered a down with focus on her mat. I kept that up until she settled her head and relaxed at my feet. She did a fantastic job during class and truly made me shine.
I want to thank Carol and Stacy for their patience with me when I was reporting Emma's week prior - since the moment I mentioned Attitude and her passing over the weekend I began to cry and had to fight to regain my control.
Emma did some amazing stuff in class. She relaxed nicely at my feet for an extended period of time, and when one puppy came in and actually touched her and invaded her space, she kept her focus on me as much as she could and didn't get up or engage the puppy! Great job, Little Girl.
When it came time to show off door manners, she did a perfect down and kept eye contact as I opened the door, didn't twitch a muscle and only moved when I gave her my release cue. Fantastic job.
When we did the dropped item leave it she caught on quickly and would look at the item and then up to me and made eye contact. Fantastic job.
In truth, Emma made me look good this class - even when my heart and brain weren't in the training. I am very proud of her for how she performed in class.
- Level 1 and Level 2 Comeafters for Zen.
- Level 1 and Level 2 Comeafters for Come.
- Continue Hide-N-Seek games
- Continue having B cue Emma on Sit, Down, Come and Target with his speech machine.