Dec 30, 2011

Draco - The Patriarch has died

I lost my best friend today; his name was Draco.

Draco came into my life on March 27, 2010 when I met Robin with Washington Akita Group (Akita rescue) in Boise Idaho to pick him up. Draco was a trooper, he rode all the way from Washington to Idaho, and then I drove him straight home to Colorado.

From what WAG told me Draco was found wondering the streets of Seattle alone! Animal control picked him up and took him to the shelter where they found he was chipped. They contacted the breeder and she refused to take him back, or help financially, the only assistance the breeder gave was to let us know his name… Draco.

The trip to his forever home.
Draco was ten years old and week in the rear, so I made sure to stop at every rest stop on the way home so he wouldn’t get stiff or sore riding in the vehicle for such a long distance. I had to help him out of my Pathfinder then lift him back in when we were ready to leave. Draco was no small Akita by any stretch of the imagination; he weighed about 120 pounds and stood 29” with massive bone to go along with all this wonderful Akita bulk.

We finally arrived home and I lifted him out of the vehicle and let him walk all over the property. He immediately headed back down the driveway the same way we came in, then I realized…. he’s looking for his family. This was really hard to watch, this huge panda bear of an Akita looking up and down the driveway for his family, the very same family that threw him away! They didn’t care about him; they just turned him loose on the streets of Seattle to fend for himself, and here he was with his very first steps at his new forever home trying to find that very same family that threw him away! This broke my heart!

I went into the house and put Dolcenea in her special place then brought Draco in to show him where he would be living. He immediately settled down right in front of the couch and went to sleep. The poor boy, he was so exhausted from his trip, but now he could rest without worry. When Draco finally woke up he started investigating the house and I soon realized as the days passed that he stayed very close to the water bowl. I keep four or five of them placed around the house so at any given time all the 4 leggeds with fur can find some. I tried to get Draco to walk out into the pasture but he refused and went back onto the porch and lay by the water bucket. It was rather obvious Draco was without water for quite a while on his journey through the streets of Seattle.  Too bad the family that threw him away didn’t think about this before they did such a horrible thing to such a wonderful gent!

Draco finally overcame the need to be next to the water bucket and thoroughly enjoyed walking the ten acre property. But it was truly sad to see him sitting down at the front gate longing for his family. I would walk the 1500 feet down to get him and bring him back to the house. Eventually Draco got over this hurdle too, but I know deep in my heart he loved them more than he loved me, even though they threw him away.

I can’t imagine how anyone could make the decision to throw away this wonderful Akita? He was absolutely outstanding, well trained, well behaved, didn’t have a mean bone in his body! The only thing that was failing was his health; would this family throw their kids away if they became sick?  I think the answer to this question is a definite YES!

On July 29th, Draco got to welcome three wonderful Akita puppies into this world, and he immediately bonded with each one of them. He played with them, licked them, taught them how to tear apart a stuffed toy, but mainly he taught them how to dig to China! It was really funny to watch Draco with his huge paws digging a hole as one of the puppies would stand behind him being berried by the on slot of dirt spray!

Draco was a wonderful patriarch to the puppies; he taught them manners and proper behavior but most of all he taught them respect for the next adopted rescue that came to live with us by the name of Gus. The puppies absolutely adored Draco and Dolcenea finally warmed up to him too.

Fast forward to December 2011.
Draco thoroughly enjoys walking the ten acre property, when he gets tired he would lay out on the cool driveway perusaling his property watching the puppies play in the new holes he dug. Draco loved belly rubs, chest scratches and ear rubs. Draco “woo woo’ed” every morning to say hello everyone I have arrived, or when he wanted to go outside in a blizzard, or to simply say “hey, it’s been eight whole hours, I want MORE vanilla wafer cookies”, his favorites.

For the last few months I watched Draco really having problems lifting his rear end, and some times it was so bad that I would have to go pick up his front end then go to his rear and pickup that portion just to get him outside to play with the puppies. Once he was up he was okay, but if he lay down for a long period of time he had a harder and harder time of getting up. The vet put him on pain killers to help with the spinal issues, but I could see it was taking its toll on his quality of life.

December 30th – Friday, the saddest day ever!
Draco had really been slowing down the last few weeks, not wanting to go out and play with the puppies, not wanting to do much of anything. He spent most of his time on his temperpedic bed sleeping and when he would go outside he would bark at the door wanting back in within minutes.

I had taken Dakota over to a drop in agility field for the afternoon and when I got home I knew something was wrong… Draco didn’t come to greet me! No matter how long I was gone, Draco ALWAYS met me at the door, or would come in to see me on the couch and “woo woo” his wonderful greeting of “I missed you… woo woo”, “I’m glad your home… woo woo”, but his time he didn’t.

Needless to say I had to make the worst decision of a lifetime and say goodbye to the most wonderful Akita ever! He was a perfect gentleman, he loved everybody, he was a big teddy bear, and nothing could ever replace him in my heart.

Run Draco, you are now pain free!  We are lost without you!

The morning after.
What a sad day! The puppies don’t want to go out to play, Dolcenea is moping around the house completely lost, and I can’t stand looking at Draco’s empty bed! Everything is completely out of sorts. We are all so depressed this is the worst year end we’ve ever had together! Draco you are loved and missed!

Draco  born: 1/19/2000 arrived at his forever home 3/28/10 died 12/30/2011 the saddest day of my life!

Dec 24, 2011

2013 AKC Agility Nationals qualification changes... again!

Got a call from the AKC today. The person calling said since Dolcenea is ranked in AKC as the #1 Akita in Preferred for 2011 they certainly didn’t want her to be able to attend their 2013 Nationals. They have gone back and looked at our records and realized she only has 263 speed points, so that’s where they came up with the following idea! To eliminate our ability to qualify they would add 400 speed points to their requirements on top of the 6 double Q’s that have to be earned between the qualifying period, and they knew for sure this new requirement would eliminate our ability to qualify for this event!

Dec 17, 2011

No point in going to the 2011 AKC Agility Invitational

Good news: Dolcenea qualified for the Invitational
Bad news: We're not going. There isn't any point when the AKC registers a mix breed dog as an ILP purebred to the detriment of the pedigreed dogs within that breed.

Dec 8, 2011

Dolcenea at the Desert Dawg Sports CPE agility trial in Marana, AZ

I loaded up the truck and Dolcenea and I drove 14 hours straight through to Marana Arizona for the Desert Dawg Sports first ever CPE agility trial.

Oct 2, 2011

Another miserable AKC agility trial

I should have just stayed home instead!

Sep 24, 2011

AKC agility; yes or no?

I have several AKC agility trials coming up in the next three months and I’m just not sure I want to keep running in AKC at all. I’ve looked back at Dolcenea’s running statistics comparing AKC to all the other venues we run in, and I’ve noticed her Q rate has dropped drastically in AKC, especially trials I run here at home.

Aug 3, 2011

Competing in Agility – the way I see it

I read through e-mail posts by agility exhibitors on how wonderful the trials are, how they really enjoy attending the various venues, how helpful everyone always is, and how they can’t wait until the next trial! This is all great and wonderful but for some reason when I attend agility trials, local or otherwise, my perspective on “what goes on” is very different from everyone else.

Jul 24, 2011

July 24, 2011 - OMG what a horrible trial!

Everything was so screwed up I really don’t know where to begin the story.

Jun 20, 2011

June 20, 2011 - Texas agility trial

Packing up the car to head to Texas for this weekends AKC agiity trial. The weather is going to be hot; 103 listed on all 3 days. eek! Thank goodness we're in an air conditioned facility!

Jun 10, 2011

CPE Nationals June 2011

I can’t remember where I found out about CPE agility, but somewhere along the line of running in 7 agility venues I decided to add another one so we could compete in their Nationals planned for June 2011 in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.

Jun 8, 2011

Mr. Lancaster and the Colorado Flag

I'd pretty much given up the idea of decorating my stall (crating area) at the CPE Agility Nationals, after driving to 7 stores in two days without any success of finding a Colorado flag.