Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dog Stories Part VII

Leia is the most recent dog we acquired. She was more by accident than anything else, but we are so thankful to have her in our home.

One year ago today, a friend of mine died very suddenly after a brief illness. Todd was famous in our breed of dogs. His kennel name was “Ravendune” and he along with his partner produced over 120 champions in toy, miniature and standard poodles. Todd was quite a character and very influential in our breed. Since Todd’s passing was so sudden, and he had numerous dogs in his kennel, all of the poodle people were needed to pitch in to take care of the dogs and find good homes for them. I ended up with a lovely miniature “Quiana” that I placed with a lovely widow in northern Michigan. She has since been renamed “Princess”.

I also took in a standard “Camelot Princess Leia”. Leia was born December of 2001. Leia had a rough start to life as she was part of another kennel in Florida prior to being purchased by Todd. She was largely unsocialized and lived her entire seven years in a kennel. She bonded to me immediately. I carefully screened homes for her and settled on a nice couple in the Grand Rapids area. I met them half way and cried all the way home the day I placed her.. I knew they would love her dearly. I told Leia the day I let them come to meet her that if she didn’t like them, to go ahead and bite them so I knew she didn’t want to go with them. She didn’t bite them, so I figured she was fine with it.

A month later they called out of the blue and said “this isn’t working out”. I said okay I’ll meet you in a couple of hours to get her. They said she was soiling in the house regularly. Mind you I had no housebreaking issues with her before I placed her nor after. The only conclusion I could come to was that she was used to being surrounded by dogs. At my house, even when John and I were away, the other dogs were there to keep her company. At their house, when they left her she was totally alone and I think she had separation anxiety.
So Leia “bounced” back to us in June of last year and John and I just decided that since she was happy with us that we would keep her.

She is totally devoted to me and minds very well. Her only quirk is that she is a “spinner”. A spinner is a dog that spins non stop in a circle usually due to living in a kennel and only having that space to move around in. It is her coping mechanism. She spins when I mix up breakfast in the morning, and she’ll spin when she is stressed. Haven thinks it is so much fun that she has taken up spinning at breakfast too.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

I was walking with my black miniature poodle the other morning, admiring how nice I thought he looked after his recent haircut, and a thought ran across my mind. I wonder if Ravendune Kennels has a new website? So I got home, "googled" the name and found your blog.I'm so glad you posted that day. I first contacted Ravendune in Dec 2004 looking for a new puppy and worked with Jerry at that time. He said Quiana had a litter on Dec 9 and promised me a male. The next time I called I was shocked to find out that Jerry had passed away suddenly and that's when I met Todd. What a nice guy - I was saddened to hear in your blog that he has passed also. When we made the trip from Central Illinois to pick Remi up, we asked to see his mother, but Todd said she wasn't "cleaned up" that day, so we didn't press the matter. I have always wondered about Remi's parents, if they had similar traits and mannerisms, etc. How excited I was to know where Quiana is and that she's still alive. Do you think that the lady in northern Michigan would allow me to contact her? I'd love to ask her some questions about Quiana.
I also wanted to tell you that I admire your weight loss struggle - I too have had a life-long weight problem and have joined and left WW too many times - hang in there - I know it works and I'll soon be back again myself.