Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Things to Know about Me (Miss Stella)

First, big slurps to all the condolences about Nakita. She was a very special furry friend to me. We got along just great. I will miss her sweet face.

I saw that Maverick the Pirate and Holly had this questionaire on their blogs, so of course I thought I should do the same!

1. Your age? Nearly 2 1/2 years old. (My birthday is Dec. 13, 2004)

2. Your age when came to live with your people? About 8 weeks of age.

3. What color is the collar you’re wearing right now? A new white collar with the look of embroidered flowers (Maverick's humans helped to pick it out at PetSmart!)

4. Who is your favorite person other than the people you live with?
Lisa! Maverick may call her Lisa the Mean, but I adore her!

5. How much do you weigh? In the neighborhood of 100 pounds.

6. Most expensive thing you’ve ever chewed up? Hmmmm...well, its all related to each other. Let's see: the deck stairs, the deck itself and the wooden siding of the humans' house. Oh! And I ate the phone line, so that was expensive 'cause the repairman had to come out!

7. Do you like other Dogs? I like some but adore my kennel mate, a small gray Siberian by the name of Stormy.

8. Who is your best non-human friend? Stormy...paws down.

9. Squeaky Toys or Tennis Balls? I love my squeaky zebra tail toy, but there's a photo somewhere of me as a puppy trying to stuff 2 tennis balls into my little mouth!

10. Do you like to be brushed? I'm not a big fan of it.

11. Peanut Butter or Cheese? Both! Mixed together would be delightful!

12. Do your people cut your toenails? Yes

13. Any formal education? Yes: I've been to both conformation classes AND puppy obedience classes. I loved going to those.

14. Couch potato or Energizer Bunny? Energizer Bunny at first, then a couch potato, if the humans aren't looking.

15. Five nicknames your people call you. Smella, Stellamonster, Stelly-Louelly, Stell the Smell, The Stellanator. You get the idea: I have a body odor problem.

16. What is your best trick? Doing my doggy aerobics: Lay down, sit up, lay down, sit up. All for a tasty treat, of course.

17. Do you like kitties? I would LOVE to eat a kitty.

18. What did you have for breakfast? 3 cups of soaked Iams or Eukanuba.

19. Can you hunt? I try...there's a bunny who comes out every morning that taunts me.

20. When & why was the last time you went to the V.E.T.? When I got my "yearly" (i.e., rabies shots, ect.)

21. Where do you sleep at night? In the kennel area (air-conditioned/heated garage), in my crate.

22. Do you like to swim? I HATE water!

23. Can you make puppies? Yes, I could. The humans have promised me a spay once I finish my championship. The humans do not want me to have puppies at all.

24. Do you give kisses? Big, wet, slobbery, gooey, sticky kisses!

25. Can you potty on command? Yes, the command is "Hurry up!"

26. To Cuz or not to Cuz? I saw them at PetSmart, and wasn't impressed.

That's all for now. I'm on my way to Oklahoma City with Lisa to see if I can win a major or two. Keep your paws crossed!
Miss Stella

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A new angel in Heaven

A note from Stella's old female human:

On Friday, June 22, we unexpectedly lost our dear Nakita. She had a bout of cancer in the past, and it came back to claim her. A tumor we were unaware of ruptured, and we freed Nakita of her agony. It was an unfair and cruel life's end to a dog so sweet and kind to so many. We are still reeling from her loss, and have yet to come to grips with it. Life without her seems surreal.

Nakita was registered as Nakita of the Smoky Hills, and as a 2-year old came into rescue when her owners were convinced that because she had growled at another dog in obedience class, she would bite their two young boys. Rather than see her go to a high-kill western Kansas animal shelter, I took her in. A sweeter dog would have been hard to find. Although Nakita didn't go looking for trouble with other dogs, she stuck up for herself if another challenged her. With humans, she never, ever growled or even made a stiff stance. Nakita had many opportunities to show an aggressive side to humans (if she had one). This dog was my partner in presenting sled dog and Iditarod programs to schools, libraries, churches and senior groups. We would bring our sprinting sled, books on sled dogs, the Iditarod, and stories by Gary Paulsen and other great children's writers. Nakita was always gentle and approachable. Even those terrified of dogs would steel themselves to pet her because of her calm and quiet demeanor. She would often give small kisses to children, and then lay down and sleep during the presentation. Often I would have to remind those smitten with her that she was not a typical Siberian in the fact she was so quiet and calm. I always let my audiences know the good and not-so-good sides to owning a Siberian. (You other Siberian owners would naturally know the list by heart!) They are not dogs for everyone. My other Siberians that had tried their paws as Library Dog would often whine, woo-woo, constantly move, or try to be the Fastest Tongue in the West. Nakita was never a "in-your-face" dog. She was a dog you could leave out in the house while you left and know it would be in one piece when you returned, and with no "surprise gifts", either. She was a dog I could absolutely trust with my two young boys and with other children. Many times after a presentation, all you would be able to see of Nakita would be an ear or tail, as children swarmed around her to pet her. She loved all the hugs and pats the kids had to share. This would-be shelter dog, possibly another kill statistic, managed to make the front page of two local newspapers, and numerous other times in the newspaper back pages, in school papers and church bulletins. Nakita was well-loved by all she met.

Nakita was my husband's most favorite Siberian. We are all missing her very much.

Nakita was of the old Marlytuk and Monadnock bloodlines, with a smidgeon of Innisfree. I thought she was beautiful on the outside, but knew for certain that she was beautiful inside. Nakita had a heart -and temperament- of gold. I know we were blessed to have had her in our lives. Our angel is now everyone's angel.

Somewhere, there are five of her progeny, all likely out in western Kansas somewhere. Her first owner bred her to a puppy mill-bred male Siberian, and the resulting puppies were all red and white. I know nothing of their whereabouts. I am fortunate that Cecile and Lisa Toth so generously offered a co-ownership on a young Nakita cousin...Eddie. Eddie will follow in Nakita's footsteps some day as the next Library Dog. He has the sweet demeanor and calm temperament that the job requires, and his breeders hand-selected him for the job. He already has shown how well he gets along with kids when my 8-year-old son walked him around a show site, then stepped into a fun match junior's ring for the first time, and won it with the help of Eddie. Our family is ever thankful for the Toth's generosity. I have no doubts Eddie will be right for our family and right for the job of "Library Dog".

Please enjoy Nakita's photos. I know I will see her again some day at the Rainbow Bridge.

Nakita's young cousin, Eddie (D'Azul's On the Dark Side), showing Nathan how to be a junior showman.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Look at General now!

It's been about 5 1/2 months since my female human rescued a 24-year old bay Quarter Horse gelding, "General". Although he still needs to fatten up some, he's come a long way from the filthy bag of bones he was on Dec. 29, 2006. At first, my human jokingly called him "McRib", but it was serious stuff to start feeding this guy right without killing him. From 2 scoops of senior horse feed a day, with brome hay (a flake at a time), to 16 pounds of feed and all the brome hay he can eat, he's doing a heck of a lot better. General also had to have two molars pulled when the equine vet/dentist came out to float his teeth, once he was strong enough to handle it. He has been microchipped in case of emergency (or theft), and gets brushed out often. My human went to a Pat Parelli clinic with her oldest son and neighbor's son (who is also taking riding lessons). General and my female human are really working well together, and are becoming more bonded with the Level One Parelli lessons. He has even given the youngest human (5 years old) a short bareback ride. General was thrilled to be working again...his ears came up, his eyes brightened, and perhaps he stepped out a little more proudly.

It feels good to be needed...and loved. General has become a beautiful, shiny, happy horse.

Miss Stella

ps-Here are General's "before" and "after" photos, on Dec. 29, 2006 and June 12, 2007.