Friday, January 6, 2012

Celebration of life.....Sadness in death

Good morning, friends!

This morning is my Libby's 1st birthday!  But I guess, technically, she's  Over the past year, she's gone from this:

To this: she had to grow into her ears :p

To now this more distinguished look of a 1 year old boxer :).  Yes, she is small for a boxer.  She was the runt of the litter.  BUT, we wanted a more laid-back (is that an oxymoron in the boxer realm??) puppy, due to the fact that we have a senior boxer - Georgianna, who is 12 - that we didn't know how she would act with a puppy.  She doesn't know she's small - we call her fun sized!

She's my girl, though, even though she does enjoy daddy once in a while.  She's my little shadow.  She drives daddy nuts until I get home if he gets home before me.  She'll get in my recliner and watch out the window.  As soon as she hears my car, she runs to the door and does her boxer wiggle dance.

She does have her faults.  Her nickname is Destructo Puppy.  She has pulled all the wiring for the cable out from the house.  She digs.  Everywhere.  She has carried fence pickets around the yard and chewed them.  Any toy with stuffing, forget.   She and Georgie enjoyed some lamb chewies last night:

Maybe you can see the size difference there.  Georgianna weighs 86 pounds.  Libby weighs 50 pounds soaking wet, lol.

And, here is the rest of Lib's birthday stash, minus her chopped beef steak that she will have with dinner tonight:

Now, on the flip side of the celebration, there is a sadness for me as well.  Yesterday, a dear, dear friend passed away.  This was someone who I have never met in real life. 

12 years ago, we started our jouney owning boxer dogs.  We have had 4 in those 12 years.  Sampson, who we got as a puppy, 5 weeks old.  Dallas, who was a Hurricane Floyd rescue.  And Georgianna, who came from a rescue in Alabama and Libby, who we got from a FANTASTIC local breeder.  Libby is a little different - she's 1/2 American and 1/2 European bred, so she has a mushier face and is a little more laid back than American boxers.  Our next one will be a male, full European bred.

We had NO CLUE what we were getting into.  They are VERY high energy.  They LOVE their people and that is where they want to be ... constantly.....with their people.  They are NOT outside dogs.  They can jump 6-foot privacy fences.  They have very stinky gas.  Their feet at times smell like Fritos.  They think they are human - and have the facial expressions to proove it.  They snore....LOUDLY.  They are also very prone to cancer :(.

We didn't know what a backyard breeder was (which is apparently who we got our German Shepard Brandy from...sad, sad, thing :( ).  We didn't know what a reputable breeder was.  We didn't know it's bad to give your dogs rawhide.  We didn't know that there are good dogfoods and bad dogfoods out there.  But, all these things we learned from all these wonderful people.

Anyway, I was doing a web search for information on boxers when we decided we wanted another one.  And I came across this page :

This page was run by a man named Dale Ulmer, who had owned boxers for several years.  He did home cooking and everything.  He was also the administrator of Boxer Mailing List along with Maryann Watkins. 

Over the years, I have met many wonderful people.  Shared many wonderful boxer stories.  Gotten TONS of advice.  Laughed.  Cried.  All along with peole I have never met.

Dale will be sorely missed.  Each day, he would post new pictures of his dogs with captions of them "talking".  Emily had a pension for "dandylimes".  Louis was always hiding in the shrubs and waiting to pounce.  Toby could look VERY ferocious.  Ella just wanted a forever home.  And sweet, sweet Tiger Lily was taken way too soon.

When Dallas became ill in early 2003, I started cooking for him.  It's the only way he would eat.  I used the recipe from Dale's site and renamed it "Dallas Mush".  We lost Dallas the day after Mother's Day in 2003 to a brain tumor.  In 2009, we lost Sampson to lung cancer.

Every day, these people come onto my computer via email.  Even though you never meet them, you become accustomed to them being there.  They become a part of your life.

And it's sad when it's their time.

Dale's obituary can be seen here

This morning, I sent off my donation for this :

The BML (or Boxer Mailing List) is donating this to Diane, Dale's wife.  It will have a larger base and a plaque that says that it's from the BML, without individual names.  The title of the piece is High Jinks by Danny Quest. This is what Dale lovingly took pictues of every day - his boxers enjoying life.  More sculptures can be found here

Ok, this has gotten really, really long.  In closing, I'm going to share a part of the email that Maryann sent when she gave us the news that Dale had passed.  This was a piece that Maryann and Dianne shared with us and each other -

Gone From My Sight

I am standing upon the seashore.  A ship at my side, spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.  She is an object of beauty and strength.  I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight.  That is all.  She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear the load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.  And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"

 And that is dying.

~Henry Van Dyke

Sleep well, dear friend.  You will be missed.  We are sending prayers of comfort to your family in this time of sorrow.  :(
Dale Ulmer - 12/12/1938 to 01/05/2012



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