Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Verity means Truth

Last weekend, we were thrilled that our girl, CH Glenamadda Starkeeper Verity, got her first group placement at the all-breed Conejo Kennel Club show! The catalog is here. Thank you to our breed judge, Mr. James E. Fredericksen, and to our group judge, Mr. George Heitzman.

If that weren't exciting enough, this weekend, our girl went to the Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast specialty in Lompoc and won ...
BEST of BREED!
BEST IN SHOW.
Total Entry: 127 Irish Wolfhounds,
96 conformation, including 23 specials.
We thank respected Hound Judge Eugene Blake for this spectacular win for our young champion.
He said he chose her based on breed type; balance; temperament; and movement.
WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friends of Harry


Copyright 2008 Photo by Pat Murkland

Harry had some really great friends. He took special care of his little friends.
Here he is with one of his biggest little friends, Rocky.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy birthday, Harry


Harry would have been 7 years old today!
Here he is, 5 years ago, celebrating his second birthday.
Harry nearly didn't make it to his second birthday.
He was poisoned.
He was in the hospital for a week on IVs and then returned home to suffer more before his torsion of the spleen was diagnosed.
Then, after the surgery to save his life, he suffered severe pneumonia that initially went undiagnosed by the hospital that had done the emergency surgery. After we disagreed over the pneumonia treatment that works on wolfhounds, I pulled Harry from the hospital and my now-retired vet saved Harry's life. This photo was taken shortly afterward. (The ER hospital cut off Harry's beard for "convenience," which sparked my lifelong campaign to educate vets about unneeded grooming and shaving.) Later, we discovered that Harry suffered terrible kidney damage as well in the poisoning incident.
So, this second birthday was a cause for celebration. Every day after this was a gift. We were truly blessed to have Harry with us for five more years. This is one of my favorite photos of Harry because one can truly see his beautiful spirit shining and glowing in his eyes and smile.
(and yes, Blake was honored to wear Harry's second birthday hat for his own second birthday photo!)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tribute to Harry (5): A Love Story


Harry meets Ginny, 2006. Copyright photo by Pat Murkland

She was a tiny redhead, just arrived off the plane from Canada.
He was the Big Guy ... The Extra Big Guy.
Some people might not put a tiny puppy in the same yard as an extra-large alpha male.
But this was Harry. As for the tiny redhead ...
It was love at first sight.
It was Magic.
She was smitten. From Day One she had a crush on Harry.
Since he was Harry Potter, registered with AKC as Wizard, this little redheaded Witch named herself: Ginny Weasley. That's the Truth. (Her registered name is Verity.)

Puppy Ginny on an outing with Harry. Copyright Pat Murkland.

As Ginny grew, Harry was nanny, confidante, friend. After every separation, she came running into the house to greet Harry. She always was thrilled to see him.


Young Ginny with beloved Harry. Copyright Pat Murkland.

They were wonderful companions and friends. They had great joy together. She always had someone to look up to, and he felt young again with his girl. They chased rabbits together or just hung out.

As Harry deteriorated, his love for Ginny stayed strong.
Here they are together for the last time:

Copyright Pat Murkland

Although he was having trouble breathing, he still was goofing around with his best friend, his love.
After he died, Ginny came into the house and ran from room to room, searching for Harry.
She has been lying down in his "spot." She has been mourning his loss.
Someday, they'll be together again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tribute to Harry (4)

Coursing Harry
Harry was a fabulous courser in his day.

He was No. 2 in national competition when he was forced to retire from competition due to illness. However, the rest of his life, he continued to course at home, whether chasing or just running for the joy of it.

Pulling ahead of the competition, below:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tribute to Harry (3)


Champion door opener
As noted in a previous post, the wolfhounds are great at opening doors, and Harry was the master of all door-openers. Here, he was caught in the act of opening the doorknob with his mouth so he could go inside with his partners in crime, Ginny (then a puppy, center), and Erin, who no doubt master-minded the whole operation.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tribute to Harry (2)


Harry at six years
Harry very much enjoyed running and coursing and playing. He loved to chase squirrels and rabbits right up to the day he died.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tribute to Harry (1)


Harry and Puppy Omen, 2002
Today Omen would have been six years old.
Now that Harry has joined him in the next world, I believe that their relationship has resumed to what it was when Omen was young. They were the best of friends, and Omen was Harry's shadow. He imitated everything that Harry did. Because Omen had severe temperament issues and was extremely shy, Harry taught him that life is exciting and fun. It was a joy to witness the countless tender ways Harry was the loving guardian of his buddy, Omen. They loved to run together and I picture them running together now — chasing after Erin.
 They still can't catch her.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Our Loss

CH Rysheron's Wizard, JC, 
July 16, 2001-July 3, 2008
This morning we lost our best friend, Harry.
Run free, beloved.
No more suffering, no more pain.
We love you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Doggy Doors

A friend has a houseful of doors that have dog doors: Dog doors to the outside yards, front and back, and dog doors to different rooms. These are downright useful for the dogs, so they can go outside, through the flap, and back in, without asking. Or, one can close the dog door to limit their access and egress when needed.

This friend contemplated the one dog door I have, that came with the house, in back, which is about Cocker spaniel size. He made a comment that it would have to be seriously enlarged to accommodate an Irish Wolfhound. 

I told him that my regular doors ARE dog doors. 

Our smarty-pants Wolfhounds know how to turn doorknobs with their mouths to open a door. Besides, Harry demonstrates how a regular sized-door pretty much serves as a Wolfhound door:
Come on in ... especially if you have a treat!