Wednesday, July 18, 2012

OohRah 6/29/05 - 7/17/12

Rah is gone. It's hard to even write those words, but so many of you knew him that I have to tell everyone, share him with everyone even in his death. 

I still remember the day I met him - in the main office at DRU in NH he barged in and caused a ruckus, falling off the couch. I can't tell you why I brought him home, but he didn't kill cats and Willow didn't hate him so that was a start. I was told this blue dog, taken from a gang in CT and esconced to NH in hiding, was destined to be returned repeatedly because he was nonstop - he needed a job and he needed to be worked. They were right - after four days of no sleep at all, I was all set to return the dog that panted and circled, didn't know how to lay down, and had not slept a wink - then he curled up on the couch with me and I was hooked. 

OohRah was my party boy. It took over a year to see him lay down in the house of his own volition outside of the crate (and I thought he was sick). He was the worst pet known to man - he stole and ate so many things that he was a pro at induced vomiting. Thanksgiving turkey, 6 lbs of chili, a whole pizza, banana cream pies - he was quick, he was stealthy, and he knew how to break into the trash. The night before I lost him, he stole all the tupperware out of the sink methodically to clean them one by one.

OohRah was a big dog. Not just because he stood 32", but he filled a room. He demanded attention, he demanded to be watched, he demanded that everyone focus on him all the time. He was the class clown. If anyone laughed while he showed, he got a glint in his eye and bad things were guaranteed to happen. He was to the end, a showman. Many remember his first venture into obedience at DPCA nationals in 2007 - him biting me in the ring, running around, jumping ring gates. I still remember all the wonderful things said to me, urging me not to give up on the blue dog. He bit me in the ring the day he finished his UD too. 
OohRah was a first for so many things. He was my Novice A dog. He was my first CD, first CDX, first UD, first UDX leg. He was my first dog to get rankings. He was my first blue. He was my first tournament dog. He was the first dog I ever had to get an agility leg, the first to try bitework, tracking, flyball - so many things we did together. Anything I have done, he was the first. 

OohRah was NOT my first dog with DCM. At 4.5 years old, in routine screening with his cardiologist he was diagnosed with occult DCM in the arrhythmogenic form. I was devastated, but it didn't stop us. We had just finished his CDX (a success at DPCA nationals 2009 where he walked away with multiple blue ribbons) and he was preparing for utility. I decided that this diagnosis would not rule our lives - if Rah wanted to show and train we would. And we did. 

OohRah was the third dog in the nation to participate in the Stem Cell Study at University of FL vet school. I made the scariest decision of my life when I let them inject stem cells into his heart, knowing he could not wake up - but he did, and he flourished. He was the first dog to make it to the completion of the study and he did the entire time showing, having fun, and living his life. I am forever thankful for all who supported us and the time it may have given us. I am also thankful for his wonderful cardiologist, Dr. Goodwin at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in NJ - aggressive treatment gave me what time I had. Never enough, but it was time. 

OohRah was a party through and through. Every day I showed him, every time I entered the ring people watched and people laughed. There were many tears shed when we finished our UD - it took a village not because he didn't want to do it - but because he wanted to do it too much. Anyone who watched him could see that. I will forever be thankful to the Walkers for believing in us when so many others didn't and for being with me throughout the way and crying with me each time I needed to (including last night). Every morning, every night - I laughed and thanked whomever you thank for a dog like this. 

Rah was my special boy. There's an emptiness here without him, and I will spend the rest of my life looking for another dog like him. Not just because he was a great doberman, but because he was an amazing dog. He had heart and he gave everything he had and then some. Everything he did, he did for him - he loved the show ring, he loved life, and he loved living it. He was hard headed and obstinate, he ignored what he didn't want to do and ruled the house and my life. I had 6 marvelous years with him, and it will never be enough. 

Rah collapsed running in the yard of a fatal arrhythmia - he had eaten cereal with me for breakfast, barked at the neighbors, and run loose in the parking lot at work. He had almost knocked my coffee over, taking me out while running, and did his "Rah scream" while playing bitey face with his sister as I herded them both into the yard. His last moments were barking and running - He was gone before he ever hit the ground.

Keep chasing your lights Rah, and know that I will miss you more than I could ever say. You will forever be the dog that everyone else has to measure up to - and they will forever come up short. No one can ever be what you were -  my blueberry, my noodle. 

Wherever you are, I hope it's Six Flags forever. More flags, More fun. 

2008 CDSP #11 Nov B
2008 APDT #17 ARCH
2009 F&F All Breed #10 Open A
2009 F&F Working Group #3 Open A
2009 F&F Doberman #2 Open A
2010 CDSP #17 Nov C
2010 CDSP #9 Open A
2010 All Star #7 Super Rally
2011 CDSP #16 Open C

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rah is gone

i dont know how else to do this, or what else to say. but rah died this morning. i still cant believe he's gone.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

the littles go to a match (video proof!)

last weekend i took three new dogs to matches, and one new handler.

my boyfriends sister has the "showyourdog" bug and has her young english cocker spaniel (incidentally, my dogs very bestest friends!) in obedience classes - hes ready to start matching and has his first entry (in rally) this month.

so i took rock it!, cherrybomb and chill to the match. it was everyones first real match - cherry and chill have had one at our own training building, but this is the first time ive asked them to perform in front of others at another training building.

the dogs did spectacular! i was so concerned cherry would disconnect from me, but she was a super star! she was so attentive and focused and up and bouncy i was so pleased! chill was his super star self and while we had some issues with clapping that we had to work out he did so well ! rock it and chrissi were amazing too - i didnt want to be too forceful but i had a lot of hints for her because she's brand new to this - i wish i had someone to hold my hand when i started, and i WISH someone had told me that 5 minutes of awesome high energy fun training is better than 30 minutes of half hearted. i want my dogs 100% into me, and in the beginning i want play and fun - and she had her little english cocker spaniel heads up prancing in heeling and tugging like a doberman :)

without further adieu, i do have videos of two of the entries :)
i used a few of them in a training discussion on another forum - because i used a physical correction on chill, i use an ignore and reset on cherry with her heeling, and i have to look at see if i can find NRMs in there.


the bomb!

what these videos have taught me: i need to start really working fronts on the babies. for real.

oh. and i need to get cherry her PAL.