I still remember the day when we picked Dusty up from the farm. He was a 6 week old bundle of fuzz. Since my mother is a cleaning fanatic, she would only allow us to own a poodle. Little did she realize what an incredible best friend he would become and that he would spawn my great love for dogs and dog training.
Dusty was my very best friend while growing up. He would sleep with me every night (except on the rare occasion when my brother wanted Dusty to sleep with him) and he would follow me everywhere around the house. He would keep my secrets and had that quiet understanding when I felt I had the meanest parents in the world. There was never a time, while growing up, that he wasn't there for me.
Dusty was also an incredible dog for a young child to begin training. I remember taking him into the basement and teaching him all the obedience commands I knew (come, sit, down, & stay). He learned quickly and forgave all my childish mistakes. One of my memories of his was, we were playing in the living room behind the couch. I told him to "stay" while I went to get a drink. I forgot I had told him to "stay" there and I went on to do other things. When I went to find him again, he was nowhere to be found. I finally looked behind the couch, and he had fallen asleep there - in the exact position where I had told him to "stay"!
Dusty was such an incredible dog and I thank my parents with all my heart for the wonderful 16 1/2 years I had with him. He was my best friend and no human friend could ever compare.
I'll never forget the day that Rika entered my life. She was 4 months old and absolutely the most beautiful puppy I had ever seen in my life. She was such a sweetheart and we fell for each other immediately.
Although she loved me unquestioningly, she was dearly afraid of life. She was a fear biter and had bitten several people during the four months she was in my life. Since I knew I was out of my league in handling her (as well as her being a liability), I tried to find her the best home possible.
I contacted the people who bred her but they wouldn't take her back. I thought I found a good home for her, but then I found out the home had grandchildren. With her irrational fear biting, I knew she would not do well with children. Since I didn't want to be responsible for her mauling a small child, I didn't place her in the home. Finally, I came across the perfect home for her. It was a young couple experienced with Rottweilers. It took Rika several hours to warm up to them on neutral territory, but it eventually happened, so the couple took her home. I thought things would be perfect. Unfortunately, I was wrong. That evening, I received a call saying that I needed to come pick her up immediately. They had let her go into their backyard and she wouldn't let them come out the back door. She was being extremely aggressive towards them and they were terrified of her. Since I was out of town that evening, I came home and picked her up from the home first thing the following morning. The second she heard my voice, she changed into the sweet and wonderful puppy I knew.
Since I knew nothing about handling fear aggressive dogs and I couldn't find a home for her, I did the only thing I knew - I had her put to sleep at 8 months of age. I loved her dearly and it was the most difficult decision I have ever made in my life. I held her gently and she made no struggles as the vet made the injection.
Rika, your life has been free of fear for many years now and I can only hope I made the right decision for you. I am so sorry I didn't know how to help you through your fears and felt like I had no other way out. I will never forget you and you will live forever in my memory and heart. I can only hope you will be at the bridge waiting for me along with the other dogs I have loved.
When I decided to take a look at Roo's litter, I had no intention of getting another dog at that time. However, the litter was three sweet and loving little girls, so I knew one was going to come home with me. Although I chose Roo's sister, Bree, Roo was my second choice and I loved her deeply.
Roo would have been the best competition dog out of the litter. She had the most drive and tenacity of all the girls, yet she was still very sweet and loved to be cuddled. I was afraid her tenacity would have been too much for my older dogs, especially Cody (who was 11 yrs. old at the time), which is one of the reasons I didn't choose her. However, if I thought I could have handled more than one puppy at a time, she would definitely have come home with me in addition to Bree.
Now I live with the regret that if I had taken her home, then she would still be alive. She was such an awesome puppy and deserved to have the best. I'm so sorry little Roo that I couldn't bring you home with me. I loved you dearly and you went to the bridge way too soon. You will always be in my heart.