So here's her note. Excuse her for being boring, she's a hooman bean and they don't know how to have fun...
Words we say way too often in this house, but that's cuz she's got quite the mouth and the reason why I'm letting her write this blog. She needs a job, something to keep her busy....and out of my training books, underwear, socks, and any paper we happen to leave laying around.
Anyway, my name is Dawn and my husband is Shawn. We were married in 2004 and for our one year anniversary, decided we wanted to get a puppy. We knew we wanted a boxer as I lived with one in college and my husband has one (Koho, now 12 years old) that lives back home with his grandma and mom. So, we knew it had to be a boxer. Total no brainer.
We searched the papers and found a breeder in the area. I called, went up there and there were 3 puppies left. Another family had picked out one lil girl and I was there playing with a shy lil girl and a really outgoing lil boy. Both just as cute as could be. The boy was a goober, he barked, he bounced, he jumped, he rolled over. But the girl was shy, she ducked away when you reached to pet her, but turn your back and she was following right under your feet. I had to have her. We named her Rubi.
Rubi at 8wks when we brought her home...
Rubi started out being a smart girl, yet had lots of issues with anxiety and fear (hmmm...wonder how I woulda known that would be an issue?) but we worked through that, built up her confidence, started training in obedience classes and wanted to get her into agility. However, when she was 6 months old, we found out she had hip dysplasia....pretty bad. She had trouble walking, trouble running and keeping up with her playmates, yet she never let her disability stop her. But, it did stop our wish for agility. We continued to do some small-scale obedience with her, enough to earn her CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certificate, then let her retire to "Couch Dawg" which she does REALLY well with.
When she was 3 years old, she had a Mast Cell Tumor removed from her paw. MCT's are common in boxers, but we were worried as it was a Grade 2 with a small chance of returning. Fortunately, it's not come back but a year later, Rubis's trouble with her hips finally caught up with her. Her weakened hips left her susceptible to tearing ligaments in her knee. We were warned. And then it happened....she tore her CCL. She has a huge battlescar to prove just how tough she is because once again...she didn't let that stop her either.
Before Rubi's knee issues, we had just brought home Grady. He came to us at 11 months old from a great breeder in Maryland (mine and Shawn's homestate). Grady is a beautiful brindle boxer pup that I had the pleasure of watching grow up before coming home to us. I had met his breeder online about a year earlier and when Grady was born, I wanted a pup BAD, but we were sure Grady would be with another family by the time we were ready for a 2nd dog! We waited til we had bought a house, fenced in our huge backyard, then we were ready and fortunately for us.....Grady was still available. He was on hold for a show home and it never worked out. So, he was ready for a home that was interested in obedience and agility. Ding, ding ding! We're here! Let's bring our boy home! So we did. Just seems like it were meant to be.
Grady as a pup (before we brought him home. He's about 8 weeks old here)
Grady started obedience classes a few months after we brought him home and he was AWESOME! So attentive. So eager to please. Just happy to work. He was the star of all of his classes and I just couldn't believe how easy he was to work with. My first dog that I had ever done obedience with was a German Shepherd named Jomer. He was so wild. I was 14 and clueless. No idea how we managed to not take out the entire class while doing heelwork, but somehow we earned "Most Improved Dog" at the end of the 8 week session- I think they felt sorry for us, they applauded when we left.
Anyway, in his 2.5 years of obedience, Grady has continued to show he has great working potential. He's earned his Rally Novice title, his Rally Advance Title and, like Rubi, is CGC certified. It is our hope to continue now with Novice Obedience and start getting into agility. He loves to jump and balance, so I think he would really enjoy all the fun that agility has to offer. He goes through the motions in obedience, just to make me happy. But I can see his eyes light up when he sees a jump, so I know where he's happiest in the ring.
Our first Rally Novice Trial. We got 2nd place!
So, that's our story. For now at least. I'm sure Rubi will keep ya'll up to date on all the important stuff and not so important stuff. If she gets out of line, I'm sure Ms. Kitty will let me know.....oh wait, did I mention we have a cat? She's a black cat. She hates the dogs. Hates life. Hates people. But likes me, so we'll keep her. :)
Boxers are a working breed. This just proves it....