Today, the Canadian Kennel Club’ letter of congratulations and our Grand Championship Certificate arrived in the mail.
I’m so proud of this little girl…
In less than four years, she has achieved her Grand Championship in conformation, Novice Rally titles in AKC and CKC, Pre Companion Dog, and Agility Dog of Canada titles.
All this while being the sweetest Schipperke, ever entertaining and lovable.
Just twelve days ago, Ruby was blindsided as she made her way towards a show ring, when a very large dog slipped out of his handler’s control and attacked her.
I was so shaken by this experience on so many levels.
Today, I am grateful that she is alive and is recovering like the champion she is.
She’s an indomitable little Schipperke.
Rolling along, your plans as tight as rails
Beneath the iron wheels,
A painted landscape sliding past as
Stations come and go.
People rise to leave and others climb on board
Your destination’s closer
with every singing mile of track until
A lever’s pulled.
Harsh shrieks lift
The floor beneath your feet, it tilts.
You struggle for your balance, grabbing
Anything to hold.
Jolting to a stop
Will take you,
I rose at 5 AM, excited, bathed my dog, tossed my toothbrush into my over-packed car, and headed to the ferry, bound for the dog show. A weekend of fun lay ahead, testing our skills in the ring, playing games and maybe if all the planets lined up just right and I didn’t kick over a Rally sign, getting a scrap of ribbon for our efforts.
I was not thinking that this would be the day my beautiful and kind Schipperke will be attacked by a big muscular dog, on our way to the ring.
But it happened. The unthinkable.
Your guts might have tightened up when you read that. Perhaps you quickly thought, thank goodness it’s never happened to me. I’m always super careful. And a dog show is not a common place for dog attacks.
The unthinkable can happen to anyone, wherever there are dogs and people.
Is there anything we can do to make it less likely to happen?
The grey sky was muddled with cloud, and the rain was determined. I’d chosen comfort over style, a rain jacket and boots over my ‘show attire’.
Ruby and I won our first Group Four under the careful scrutiny of the Australian judge, Diana Fenton, who assessed the dogs quickly and without ceremony.
She gave handlers very little time to stack their dogs, preferring to assess their structure with her hands and watch them move around the ring.
I was thrilled to be granted our first Group placement.
The next day, the skies were blue with promise. Here I am, wearing my show clothes and my very best “Give us that ribbon” face.
I love my Ruby.
We planted this lovely clematis on the north side of a shed. I’d remembered my mother’s instructions that they liked to have their roots kept cool but had forgotten the part about them needing sunshine too. It languished, a fragile stick, flowerless.
Early this spring, we moved it to a pot on our deck. Roots are still cool but now the southern sunlight shines and we have been rewarded with amazing flowers.
The surest thing I know about time, is that I don’t know anything.
It expands, contracts and stretches wide, intra-dimensionally.
Joy makes my clocks run faster, sorrow makes them slow.
Children and dogs make time flash by.
My lost ones spin out into spaceblack infinity.
Playing in my garden, stops time in its tracks.
Contemplating my first year asparagus,
Shoots me into the future.