The life and times of an English Airedale Terrier puppy

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WESWATC Fun Day 2007

On Sunday after lots of indecision, we decided we would go along to the WESWATC annual fun day. We had planned to go with Oscar, and we decided it would still be nice to go and see his friends.

We arrived in time to see the egg and spoon races. In this photo you can see from left to right Mojo and her dad, Russell, another Oscar, Archie and Willow.

Here is Oscar's good pal Archie. They met up at grooming, walks and other club events and got up to all kinds of mischief together. You can't really see too well, but he's wearing his polka dot bandanna from Oscar.

This little cutie pie is Ruby. She was a darling. She's been very poorly so is a bit small and skinny for her age, but she still had great time, not letting anything hold her back in true Airedale style. I had lots of cuddles.

She almost fell asleep on my lap. She had the sweetest fuzzy little face. Hopefully now her medication is sorted out, she'll stay healthy and happy.

We took E and J with us, and they really enjoyed playing with all the Dales. Here's J getting Ruby to sit for a treat. I think they are now quite excited about our new puppy after being quite upset and confused about Oscar's death.

The mummy dog game is a popular one. Basically you have to wrap your dog in as much toilet roll as possible in 2 minutes. Little Willow was quite relaxed about it all.

Her big brother Jasper looked a little embarrassed about it all.

And feisty young miss Mojo was having none of it. As soon as her dad got one piece wrapped around her, she whipped round and tore it off. They eventually managed to get some on her tail in a last ditch attempt!

We took Oscar's cowboy outfit along, as we had had it made for him by Butchy and Snickers' mum to wear today. We asked Mojo's mum and dad if she'd like to wear it in his honour. Even though it was very large for her, she still managed to carry it off with a certain je ne sais quoi and scooped 3rd prize.

There was some pretty stiff competition for the title as you can see. Bob Marley Dale.

Oscar's pal Rupert dressed as his namesake Rupert the Bear

Pirates of the Caribbean must be popular amongst Airedales as there we two Pirates present.

I'm not quite sure what this guy was trying to be, but he seemed quite impressed with his outfit despite looking a bit silly.

Jasper made a very handsome groom.

And Willow was a beautiful bride, though it looks as if marital bliss could be over already as Jasper is about to wrassle her to the floor!

There was much more fun to be had, with competitions for best groomed Airedale and best trick, an Airegility course to try, a sausage hunt, musical chairs and quizzes for the humans. E & J won the "guess whats in the poop bags" quiz. Luckily there was no poop, just doggy related stuff like leads and whistles!


We took Oscar last year. He had only been living with us for a week. He had a blast, though last year there were no other puppies to play with. This meant he got everyone cooing all over him with no competition! Although the youngest by a long way, he was already showing his potential, and won first prize in the "best trick" competition with a "roll over" and a "shake paw".

Here's the group photo from last year. Can you spot little Oscar?

Here we are playing musical chairs. Silly? Yes. Good fun? Definitely!

Oscar was far more interested in trying to sniff the other contestants than playing the game!

He took everything in his stride though, not being fazed that all the other Dales were a lot bigger than him.

This was our attempt at the mummy game. Not bad I don't think, though poor Oscar does look a bit like he's got a huge nappy (diaper) on, bless him!

Tough as it was to go without Oscar and seeing all those Dales, I'm also happy that we got to see all his pals having fun. We also got to chat with Oscar's breeder about the puppies. All being well we can go and visit Cassidy and the others on the weekend of the 29th/30th of September when they'll be 3 weeks old.

Katy and Martin x

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A New Life

Hello all,

After all the tears, heartache and sadness of recent week, we wanted to share some happy news with you. Oscar's breeders girl Maggie (not Oscar's mum) had puppies in the early hours of Sunday 9th September and we have decided that we would like one of the puppies. We have always been in close contact with Oscar's breeders as you know, and they have been a great support over the last 7 weeks. Oscar had a big place in their heart, especially after being taken back to them by his original owners.

We have known since Oscar died that the puppies were due, but at first we were too distraught to even think about the possibility of a new dog entering our lives. We were so numb from the loss of Oscar that all we could think about was being without him. I felt overwhelmed with guilt at the thought of getting a new puppy or dog, thinking Oscar would feel he was easily replaceable, when this is so, so far from the truth. I also didn't want to get too excited about a puppy to find something had gone wrong with the pregnancy or birth and face yet more heartache. We have come to understand now through talking to each other and other people, that by getting a new dog we are in a way honouring Oscar and the love of Airedales that he gave us. I know deep down that he wouldn't want us to go through life unable to open our hearts to another dog, and to have one from his breeders who have litters very infrequently seems fitting.

As I said, the puppies arrived at the weekend, there are 4 girls and 3 boys. All are vigorous and healthy and Maggie is apparently taking it all in her stride. We do not know yet if we will get a girl or a boy, but as long as they are happy and healthy we do not mind at all. They will not have the same sire or dam as Oscar; the sire is English and American Champion
Jumpin Jack Flash at Jokyl, the dam is Magwyr Starlight Over Sherifs. This should mean that the puppies have very distinct personalities, looks and traits to Oscar, but no doubt will share the same clownish love for life as he had.

As you all know, Oscar's KC name was Sherifs Sundance Kid, and we have decided to call the puppy
(Butch) Cassidy as a way of remembering and honouring Oscar. Cassidy is a fairly unisex name I think, so should suit a boy or a girl pup. Funnily enough both Martin and I came up with the name independently (Martin at 4am after waking from a dream about Oscar!).

I hope you will all be pleased to hear our news. Thank you all once again for the fantastic love and support we have received from you all over the last 7 weeks, it has been a great help in us coming to terms with Oscar's death and helped us through some very tough days.

Here is dad, isn't he handsome? He's English and American champion Joval Jumpin Jack Flash at Jokyl. His pet name is Jack.

Here is mum, Magwyr Starlight Over Sherifs. Her pet name is Maggie (another Airedale Maggie!), and as you can see, she's stunning (and muddy!).

And here is the first photo of Maggie with the puppies, though it's very hard to see them as they are just a black mound at her stomach! Apparently they all took quickly to mum's milk bar. I'm sure many more photos will follow over the coming weeks.

Katy and Martin x

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Oscar Unseen

Hello all,

We are now coming up to 6 weeks since our darling Oscar died. Last Saturday (1st September) was a difficult day as it would have been Oscar's first anniversary of coming to live with us. By a strange coincidence, Martin was sorting through his phone and found some photos of Oscar taken during his first few days with us which we hadn't looked at since then I don't think.

Here is the fuzzy one making a visit to our friends Simon and Lucy's house. He was a very good boy in the house, no accidents. Outside however, he did do quite a bit of gardening, dead heading plants that were actually in their prime! Luckily his cute face got him off the hook pretty easily! Here he is having a good game of tug with Uncle Simon.

And here is he celebrating his arrival! Don't worry, the Champagne bottle was empty. He was far more partial to the foam on a pint of Guinness anyway, and would always try and get his nose in there if a glass was left unattended. It's hard to remember him being that small and fuzzy, he grew so quickly, though of course he had already done a great deal of growing by the time he came to live with us.

There were also quite a lot of photos of Oscar playing with Paddy the Poodle, but they're pretty much all just black and tan blurs as the two of them were chasing around like crazies!

I also found this video of Oscar playing with his Wubba that I don't think he'd ever got round to showing you. I think it shows Oscar at his best, a big silly clown who loved life and having fun so, so much. I hope watching it will make you smile and laugh.

Katy and Martin xxx