by Clondike Kintsfather
As readers of previous editions of this column will remember, I don't consider slaving over a word processor part of my job description as a livestock guardian. I tried to convince Penny that, as a poor, sick cancer patient, I wasn't really up to doing this. Of course she has read Daddy's report on my treatment and knows that for the moment I'm in remission and feeling very well. That's one of the drawbacks to being a celebrity. The papparazzi are everywhere!
It has been quite an eventful year in my life as a dog. The lymphoma thing has kept the folks pretty busy chauffering me around to various vet appointments, but for the most part I've managed to avoid the drug reactions I had experienced last summer. Mostly I schmooze with the receptionists, chat with the other dogs in the waiting room, and mooch treats from the staff. Don't believe the rumor about me flirting with an 11 week-old puppy. I was just being friendly.
While I missed several therapy sessions last summer and fall, I still manage to make the occasional therapy visit to the local nursing home where I continue to wow both residents and staff. Some humans in Texas who have formed the Tails on Wheels pet therapy group selected me their 1998 Hero of the Year. This is a great honor, but I'm not sure what I've done that is so heroic (click here for photos).
The big event of my year was my attendance at the GPCA National Specialty. As you have probably read, Daddy entered me in Veterans and Mom insisted that he actually show me. Now I must admit that I have long had a suspicion that show dogs are wimps. Boy, was I wrong! To be able to travel for many hours, get settled in a strange hotel, party all night and still be able to race around the ring the next morning takes a tremendous amount of strength and stamina. I'm afraid I didn't show at my full potential due to the 8:30 am ring time.
While the show itself didn't really do much for me, I loved all the attention I got at ringside, and the show "do" that Dave Simon gave me Friday night was fantastic. He really knows how to make a girl feel special!
It was really sweet of Buff Boy (Gunner Migas) to send me roses at the hotel, and then when Aunt Dianne and Aunt Barbara showed up at ringside Saturday morning, it made the day very exciting. Tami McKenna and Janet Ingram helped build up my self-confidence (I'm a very self-possessed guardian, but was a little nervous about my show potential).
The judge was very nice and seemed to understand that 8:30 am was a pretty ridiculous time to expect a girl to be at her best. My only competition was a champion from Georgia named La Neige. While I would have liked to beat her, she demonstrated the social graces that make a champion and she showed to Pyrfection. For my part, I graciously refrained from taking a bite out of her fuzzy butt (click here for photos).
The Pyrenean Ball was phenomenal. Those midwestern Pyrs sure know how to party! While I missed Barney and Gunner, a young Tip 'N Chip stud proved a charming escort. The belle of the ball had to be that Bingo girl. She danced all night!
Since the National my social life has been a little slow. I missed the Pyrenean Fun Day because it was just too hot, and I have just learned that I'll be missing the tailgate party following the Club's supported entry because the whole show has been cancelled due to storm damage from Hurricane Floyd. Bummer!
Even the Fun Match has been postponed, but maybe I'll put in an apPyrance at the fall Walk-in-the-Woods. The Holiday Party should be great fun this year as we again will have full Pyr involvement.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Rescue. It has provided Pyr supervision to lots of humans who might otherwise have had to go through life with entirely too much free time on their hands--time that is much better spent brushing the dog, feeding the dog, playing with the dog, walking the dog... well, you get the picture.