Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy…

He entered our lives in the Fall of 1997, a reddish furball of Collie and Australian Shepherd mix. We had just lost our 12 year old Beagle not long before. “No, let’s wait a while I said…it’s too soon.” But hubby had other ideas! And….who could say no to that face! That’s when Dodge entered our home.

Carmen, our first grandchild, was just over 18 months in this picture. It started Dodge on a long road to LOVING kids! He lived through 9 grandkids tugging on him…#10, almost 6mos old, won’t remember the big dog…but Dodge knows he’s another family member!

Dodge grew into a big dog, the size of a Collie, and to some probably looked like he’d take your arm off at the elbow! But he was as gentle as they came. Everybody was a friend and came to visit him not us! He had a way of talking when people came in the house, not barking, but talking. I guess letting us and them know someone was here and how happy he was to see them. Some people even talked back in “Dodge talk”!

I’m going to miss that… as he got older and started losing his hearing, he did that less and less…. one day he stopped doing it altogether.

March 98

Fall of 99

If you were outside, so was he! He loved the outdoors and sometimes it was hard to get him inside!  

Our road was his road, the neighbors his neighbors and he’d visit often. He’d even escort walkers and joggers for a short distance down his road.

He lived through being hit once, chasing a rabbit across the road.

Funny thing with him…I don’t know that I remember him ever killing a rabbit. But always in the summer, he’d find a bunny nest, bring a baby or two up in the yard…. put them down in front of him and wait.

Have you ever heard a rabbit squeal? Well, they do! Kind of like a squeaker toy.

He’d paw at them to make them ‘squeak’! When they’d stop he’d paw again!! As long as they kept squeaking he stayed there! Usually someone rescued the poor thing or it died from the trauma. Silly dog!

The mail carrier, UPS, Fed-ex drivers all knew him and he knew they had treats! It was always funny if we had a sub and to watch Dodge greet them! They were sure they were his next meal!

From 2012…with his buds, Bandit and Jack

He started slowing down the last year or so, his jaunts not lasting quite so long, not wanting to stay outside as long and finally his hearing. CLAP CLAP to get his attention, often startling him. Poor guy.

It was hard for him to get down and up the back steps, something he'd done for almost 17 years. So, we started letting him out the front door, only 2 steps. Let me tell you, old dogs DO NOT learn new tricks. He’d come to the back door every time to be let in! One of us would have to go out, CLAP CLAP, C’MON DODGE… and slowly he’d amble to the front door where he’d need a little help getting up those 2 steps.

He had no strength in his legs and on the vinyl flooring it was like walking on ice! We put scatter rugs down to help him make it through the house.

Sleeping more and more… it was time to have “the talk”… we knew it needed to be done, but it’s so hard!

One of his favorite places… by the front door, sound asleep.

Saying goodbye… his pals were with him until the end. He even got to say goodbye to the littlest one, Daniel.

It was a beautiful evening when the vet came, even then he was happy somebody came to see him! He enjoyed some last scratches…

No more suffering now, he’s at rest. Probably running chasing those baby bunnies so he can make them SQUEAK!

Goodbye, Dodge… till we see you again.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ohio State Fair Llama Show and Silent Auction!

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How many years have we been attending the Ohio State Fair Llama Show… I’ve lost track, but we’ve taken a lot of kids and animals over and had a BLAST each and every time!

This year was no exception! Five of the six kids went, 4 llamas and 1 alpaca….and boy, did Los Llameros kick some booty! All the kids placed in their Youth classes and 4 of them showed in Halter classes against adults!!

Leah did Costume class with her brother’s llama, Lady. Ben’s llama, Rainey, was used by his little sister, Jorden (a Cloverbud in another club). Rainey had tried her costume on a couple of times, which unfortunately needed some fine tuning to keep it in place (we found out AT the show!). Lady was introduced to her costume about 30 minutes BEFORE the class… Oh boy… that was a rodeo!!! More on that in a few…

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Here is Jorden the Clown and Rainey… a table complete with birthday presents and cake!

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Oops… we’re starting to slip a bit!

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Jorden offers words of comfort!
All in all, Rainey did very well for never being in this type of atmosphere before! Too cute!! Here is a video

Now, enter Leah and Lady…..who wasn’t too sure about that THING following her!!!

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Note the lights and silver tree skirt are evenly placed! For the full effect you’ll have to watch the video!

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By this time the sled was removed and in the bleachers… this look from Lady is telling me“Don’t EVER let them put that THING behind me again!!!”
Here is the video…

Everyone was fine! It looks worse than it was!

Ooh the FUN!!!!

So, Friday is more fun activities with the bulk of showing on Saturday. The kids did do Youth Judging on Friday afternoon in a huge group of youth! All placed too!! Woohoo!!

I only got one pic of Lleaping Llama from Friday night, Johnathan and Tobi.

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On Saturday, we start bright and early with the Opening Ceremony. All the kids had spent the night and by the looks on some faces, I think they’d still like to be in bed!

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We started with Youth Showmanship. All the work we’ve done paid off. The kids really were paying attention! LOL!

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Benjamin 191 placed 2nd, Gabriel 192 placed 1st! Both did a great job!!

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Love this of Tobi kissing up to the judge in Intermediate Showmanship! Unfortunately it didn’t work.

We have a Silent Auction to help with miscellaneous expenses. This year I thought I’d put in some canned items…spruced up a bit!

Our Daily Bread designs

Our Daily Bread designs

ODBD Blue Ribbon Winner was perfect for this quart pickled jalapenos!

Our Daily Bread designs

Our Daily Bread designs

I love how my jar of jam turned out! Pennants die with Pennant Swag Alphabet and Blushing Rose Collection for my label! On top I had fun with Asters and Leaves, Zinnia and Leaves, Zinnia.

Our Daily Bread designs

Our Daily Bread designs

We raised well over $600!!! Woohoo!!

Obstacle classes are always fun!!

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Trevor with his year old Alpaca who wasn’t too sure about these hanging bottles! They placed in 3 classes!

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Johnathan and Tobi did well, they were one of the ones in a halter class showing against adults and placed!

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First time for this girl to be in a show, no problem with Ben at the end of the lead!

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Well done!! Woohoo!!! Ben also showed in Halter and placed!

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The pack is put on before they enter the ring, but the kids have to put the gunny sacks over the pack! Hmmm, says Lady!

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Gabriel placed 4th in Jr Trail Pack! He also showed in Halter and placed!

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This was Leah’s and her Llama, Honey’s first show!

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They must have been a good team…

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Leah and Honey were Jr Performance Reserve Grand Champion! Awesome!!

Now we’re on our down time before we gear up for our county fair!!! Whew! It’s like being in the eye of a tornado…then BAM… it’s a WEEK at fair! Oh Boy!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Dawn