When I took on the task of starting this blog, I did it enthusiastically and enjoyed making entries. I originally wanted to start a blog to share Delin's Westminster adventure, but when he got lost in January, I felt the need to start it with that aspect of events. I had all intentions to keep readers informed and updated in a timely manner the adventures of this friend of mine - Delsin.
My intentions and reality have been two different paths. While I don't feel the need to go into much details, life since this past winter has had, well, its fair share of challenges. Significant challenges. We all have to face various difficulties in ones life, and it seems that multiple ones came all at once.
But, I am happy to say, that my dog family does just fine. While I had obligations more times than not in "the cities" I have been back here on the farm for about 6 weeks now. My own life has started emerging again, and while perhaps not all the challenges of the human family life are behind me, to stay sane, I have held on the the farm life, pursued some of my years goals for here on the farm, and just taken solice in being in the presence of my beloved dogs.
So, Delsin is back to his morning animal chore routine most mornings. I say most mornings, because every now and then the honor gets shared with one of the other dogs. Usually his niece Jyoti, sometimes his son A'kash. But most mornings, weather permitting, it is Delsin that is by my side as he helps me with my increased "animal herd" as I tend to their needs. The scene is repeated with the evening animal chores.
The show ring seems very far away for either Delsin or I. Westminster seems to be another lifetime or another reality completely. I look at the burrs, the dirt, his overgrown ears and feet, but see only a truly happy dog, that can roll in the dew laden grass(or worse!), wander up to the cats in his "I LOVE cats - don't run" whimper, check out the new rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks in addition to the sheep, llamas and chickens, mark until his heart is content, and come running full out when I call him with a broad smile on his face...and I see one truly happy living soul. This farm and this life I lead here has kept my best friend healthy and has kept me grounded amongst turmoil in other aspects of my life...aspect that I am slowly letting go of. And my dogs help me with that process. Live in the moment, let go of the past, don't fear the future.
As lives have ended, so lives have begun. Delsin has pups on the ground. Now one would think that perhaps Delsin has had lots of pups in the past, but that simply is not the case. Much to his dismay, I have greatly limited his sex life. It has nothing to do with him, everything to do with me. As a "stud" owner, I have little control of where his pups go. When I look at Delsin, I see not only Delsin, but Delsins dad K'dar, Delsin brother Toltec, Delsins grandma Hoshi... and I think of how each of them were wonderful, great, loving beings. How each of them loved life, had a great life, none of them confined by kennels, away from people, but accompanied me on my day to day life.... and well, I simply want Delsins kids to have that same, great quality of life. I will probably get hate mail for this, but the fact of the matter, many show dogs have shit for a life. Not all, but many. Off with this handler, to that show, in the crate or that kennel, loved only for the physical beauty and the wins that the dog may gather, alive to feed to dogs owner the for ever hungry ego. Or sold off if they don't "make the cut" or no longer can be bred. Despite Delsins quality, I have no need to have his pups be the "next big winner" in the dog show world. For if anyone has ever, truly looked into a show berners eyes - the ones out with the big named handlers, out at every show - they don't see happiness, contentedness or joy...they see profound sadness and an emptiness. It breaks my heart. So while I can't save those dogs that live a life they don't prosper in, I can limit Delsin "use" and make sure, the best I can, that any of Delsins kids go into a family home, where they are loved for who they are - not what they win.
My soapbox has ended now. I think.
Onto Delsins pups. New life is wonderful and these pups are no exception. 3.5 weeks old, five healthy pups. 1 boy, 4 girls. Delsins pretty head seems to have come through, we'll see what else is there as they mature. But does it matter? Not much - only that they remain happy and healthy and that they find homes that will love deeply and stay committed to them their entire life.
Here are four of the five....the 5th one was too crabby and tired to sleep with the group:
At some point...I will still put down in words, Delsin's and my Westminster debut. It was worth going, but I don't have the need to go back. But that is for another day, to put down those impressions...