Our Thank You Page & 2006 Reflections
(2006 was an eventful year for us, good & otherwise... I haven't had the heart to do another page since)
Many of my friends now are into 'blogging' ~ so I guess this page is somewhat like that :-) I wanted to start a "what I am thankful for" page in the spirit of the holidays, along with reflections on the past year.
As many of you know, Fred & I welcomed our first Vizsla about 10 years ago -- our friends & family can't believe it's been that long, although they all remember the time Christie came into our lives. Christie had a blow out 10-year birthday bash in late October this year, with a cake baked by yours truly & a large pack of red dogs (including her sister, a few of her kids, nieces, nephews & even a grandson!) to help make the day extra special.
So, the year 2006 has turned out to be somewhat of a reflective year for us. Christie & Bisous' Dam, Autumn, passed away in late January (CH Rivercity's Autumn Whisper JH ROM). Although Autumn was regularly hunted in the hills of Northern California, she went through the 'motions' of getting her Junior Hunter title at the age of 10 (for AKC purposes <grin>). What a gal! The last time I saw Autumn was at the Vizsla Club of America National Specialty in Arizona in 2002. She was as spunky as ever, & I experienced first hand from where Bisous gets her penchant for speaking her mind! (She's quite a talker). We were ever so sorry to learn of her passing this year. Christie's brother Fival also crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this past summer. Fival was an amazing dog, and an absolute tribute to the love & dedication of his breeders, Terri & Danny Mankins. Fival was still born, revived by mouth-to-snout by the Mankins. Fival was truly a one-in-a-million dog -- he was the ultimate 'companion who was an honor to meet & be greeted by.
We also saw the unfortunate passing of my parents' Vizsla, Oia in July. Oia was special to so many people, despite the fact that she fell ill shortly before her 2nd birthday & therefore didn't get out of the house much thereafter. She demonstrated a very strong field drive at a young age, so we had her out training every weekend ~ unfortunately, she contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever which took too long to diagnose & did irreparable damage in many respects. Oia was the first puppy we bred to be titled in any venue, although her most important imprint on our household was as my mom's absolute tried & true companion. She always made you feel like you were the most important person on the planet. We gratefully thank Dr. Allen & Dr. Tosach & their team at the Upstate Veterinary Specialists clinic in Greenville, SC for giving Oia the absolute best in veterinary care along with unparallel compassion during her illness. ~ she loved you as much as she loved us. We would like to thank everyone who supported Oia (& us!) through your thoughts, prayers & emotional support. We are also especially indebted to those generous souls who aided in Oia's extensive medical bills. The Vizsla community is truly close, and those who have relatives in need come through in amazing times. We feel exceptionally blessed to be a part of 'such company. Through our experience with Oia alone, if not already convinced through our friendships we made with Christie ~ there are no friends like those made in the company of a Red Dog.
On a lighter note, joy has filled the household with the addition of Maya, the puppy we kept out of Bisous & Dillon's June litter. Ever see a Vizsla smile? Maya always as a grin on her face. She doesn't know a stranger & will be happy to nibble on you, just as her mother would. She's great fun to be around, and we are looking forward to seeing where she takes us...
Thank you to Terri & Danny Mankins, Quail Quest Vizslas, who trusted us enough to send Christie half way across the country to a couple 'newbies' who really wanted a red dog 10 years ago despite having nothing but a gut feeling to go by, and our promise that we would welcome this puppy into our house like our own child. (The trip to collect Christie was... well, quite a trip -- mud slides, snow storms... we should have named her Karma). So, it was no surprise when we headed back to California a year and a half later to collect Bisous. We will forever be indebted to Terri & Danny for allowing us to bring these wonderful girls into our lives.
Additional thanks! ~ We are deeply grateful to Penny & Imants Rasins, Stellar Vizslas for their continued support as friends & co-breeders in our limited breeding program -- only they know how deeply our gratitude runs, especially through rough emotional times when the level of need can never be quantified.
I would also like to thank Eddie & Jackie McAuliffe (Avatar Vizslas) for their support on Dillon & Bisous' litters ~ they have been gracious & hospitable, and just plain nice folks :-)
Finally, we would like to truly express our gratitude to all of the families who have adopted Vizslas from us. We deeply appreciate the love, attention & commitment you have dedicated to these special red dogs. We love all that they have brought into our family ~ companionship~ love ~ laughter ~ challenge (how many crate pads can a dog consume?! <ha, ha>)~ and even heartbreak when you have to say goodbye. The most important thing of all to us, is knowing that our puppies are in happy homes, being spoiled & rotten like they would be, had they stayed with us. These red dogs leave really, really deep footprints on your heart. Just ask Oia... her footprints are forever deeply imprinted in mine.
THANK YOU TO:
Sue & Mike, Jason & Jessica, Chris & Julie, Jonathan & Barbara, Jeff & Caroline, Dave & Karan, Casey & Sam, Bruce & Cybil, Pat & Rob, Bob, Jamie & Mike, Joan & Mark, Damon & Family, Jon & Christen, Penny & Imants, Jacque & Bill, Randy & Donna & Rachel, Ben & Jessica, Jason & Danielle.