Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Birthday, L&M Nana

Nan turned 12 years old today. It's hard to believe that I have had her since she was 4.5 years old and full of piss and vinegar. She still is full of piss and vinegar but a bit more mellow. We have come so far together, running in three Finals. We did qualify for more but only ran in the west coast finals. She has run in several Double Lifts and did great, and either won or placed high. She has managed win quite a few trials. Our road has been a long one. She was for sale as a Nursery pup but I passed on her and got her daughter instead. Liking the daughter, I contacted her new owner to get a pup from her last litter but all were sold and I ended up with her with a promise she would be here forever.
We struggled for a bit as her heart was stone cold, having three litters of pups and five owners by 4.5 years old. She would do as I asked but it was because she was told and not from the heart. Then, when I was recovering from  my heart operation, I told her that she was the guardian of the house and soon realized she was here to stay and did her role quite well. She also shadowed Tess as she knew Tess was a permanent dog so by doing exactly whatever Tess did, she know she would not be in trouble. Once she gave me her heart, she opened up to everyone and would greet people at the door and have long, extended talking conversation with them. Official greeter and treat beggar.
Our relationship suddenly took a turn for the best, she going all out, with her heart on her sleeve and trying her hardest to please me. I struggled with a high powered dog like her but we worked it out and soon she was a force on the field. She trusted me and would stand up to the sheep, as when I first got her, she was terrified of them.
Taking a break on a huge sheep ranch operation in central Oregon after working range ewes on the side of a mountain, over 1/2 mile away.
The year flew by and we just got better and better. We placed or won quite a few trials and we seemed to have that connection. Woe to me if I was slow, as she still was a high powered dog on the trial field. Off the field, she was Miss Social Butterfly.

At a trial when the sheep were heavy on the draw and she was holding it.
We were as one on the field and just got better and better. The one day, I looked at her graying muzzle and realized she was getting old. She still had the spring her in her step but she was deaf in one ear. She knew enough to handle the sheep and would hold a nice line.

talented at penning....just open the gate and shut up!
I bred her and got a super nice litter of pups. I kept one, named Billie who is like her. A tri with lots of heart and a one person dog. Nan wouldn't work for anyone else, well maybe for a brief moment until the end of the outrun and she would leave the sheep at your feet to go look for me.
Her goal was to hang out in the house, play ball and be my couch warmer until she had to run at a trial. At the trial, she would fall into a deep sleep at my feet, waking up just before her run, go run and then back to bed. She knew that all she had to do was to run for 10 or so minutes, then  was off duty until her next run.  She would run her heart out but once the run was over, she was on relax time.
She wants to please me with all her heart and is very transparent in her love. She wants to be perfect and does everything with full gusto. Well, except work chickens....she will bust through the middle of them then ignore them. She leaves that work for the common dogs!

Our last Finals was at Colorado where her sheep got the best of her and wouldn't more, no matter how hard she tried. The exhaust dog couldn't move them either so the cowboy had to push them off with his horse. You could see the try in her eyes and she did grip but to no avail. She needed the "Don't Fu** with me grip like Maid"...but she tried her hardest and that's all I can ask for.  That was her last Finals and I have run her in a couple of more, short local Open trials. She has done great on those so we have fun with her.
It's been a wonderful journey for Nan and while her path at first was long, it ended when I got her on a promise when she was 4.5 years old and she has been my heart dog. I love her so dearly,  her try and her love to do best. She is very talented and gives me her all. I have been the one who held her back the first few years but she forgave me.
She has been a super partner and taught me so much, to trust, to let me into her heart, of love, of security, to live in the moment, humor and most of to love a dog for that they have to offer, as they do offer a lot and sometimes we don't see the diamond in them.
She has been my shining diamond for years and now she is enjoying her retirement as a back up dog, snack hound and bed warmer. Happy Birthday to my dear Nan, Nana Banana, , Beautiful, Nani-Boo, Boo, Boo and Nanner!
Happy 12 years old to a wonderful soulmate.

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