Farewell My Friend

Several people have sent me e-mails and have left voice mails recently. I have even received a couple of rude follow-ups. My apologies for not getting back to you, I will try and do so this weekend.

I’ve said little about it, but this past Thursday, I laid to rest a Chesapeake that meant more to me than I can articulate. As my heart tries to mend from her loss, tomorrow, I will grieve again as I am reminded of our last moments together, when I go and pick up her ashes. I just haven’t had it in me to follow-up to emails, discuss puppies, plans, events etc… I’m sorry. No. I take that back. I’m not sorry.

Some of you will understand, some will not. Some will say, she lived a long life. True, she did. Some will say, she could have died from other things/or earlier in life. True, she could have. I am thankful, so very thankful for the 13 1/2 years I had with Jessie. And yet, 13 1/2 years were not nearly long enough.

Every day we wish our lives away, wanting the minutes, the days, the weeks, the months to be over. We complain about how time goes by so slow and, yet, I will argue that time goes by so fast. So very fast. Before we realize it time has slipped by. A year. 5 years.  13 1/2 years.  I was reminded that we are each given a limited amount of time to be on this earth and every day we get to choose how we are going to spend that time. Grab a leash. Take a walk – even in the rain or cold. Throw a ball. Give a treat. Snuggle on the couch. Take photos, there can never be too many photos. When our time is up, there are no tomorrows. No do-overs. No second chances. Spend what time you have wisely, embrace it – don’t wish it away.

They say letting our dogs go, when it’s time, is the kindest thing we can do for our companions. This may be true, but I say it’s the most unkind thing to our hearts.

Farewell, my sweet friend.

And she turns 11

Today, our Jessie turns 11 years old. I’m not sure where the time has gone as it seems like yesterday when we picked her up from a Chesapeake Breeder in MS.

Jessie has always been a handful. She’s probably the smartest dog I’ve ever encountered. I know everyone says that about their dogs, but this is true. And, Jessie isn’t just ‘book smart’ (in that she picks up on things easily) but she is conniving and she is always scheming up ways to get what she wants. For example,  one day my mother was watching Jessie for the day. When I went to pick her up, I noticed Jessie standing there very proud of herself with this rather large nice stuffed animal which I KNEW wasn’t hers. I went to take it away from her and my mother stated, “Don’t she earned that.”

Puzzled, I questioned her. “She earned it?” Immediately I think, oh boy what did she do.

The story continues:

Mom: “You know the closet in the sewing room?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Mom: “You know the wire shelf at the very top?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Mom: “You know how there was fabric at the very top?” “Well, the stuffed animal was on top of all the folded fabric at the very top of the closet. She saw it there and I told her, NO, Not for Jessie but she had other ideas. So, I stood back and watched her.”

“You know how there is that small tote in front of the closet?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Mom: “Well, Jessie stood on the tote and she looked up at the toy. She jumped once and she couldn’t reach it. The next time, she jumped higher. The third time she jumped even higher and that time she was able to reach the fabric at the very bottom of the pile on the wire shelf. The next time she jumped she pulled the fabric out of the bottom. As she continued jumping each time she would pull the fabric just a little more. Eventually, she pulled all the fabric down out of the closet and all that was left was the stuffed animal.

You see, she earned it.”

I wish I could say that this is just one story that Jessie has given me. However, Jessie’s life has been story after story after story. Gosh. I wish everyone a dog like Jessie. Although, I’m not sure everyone could handle a dog like her.

Happy Birthday Old Girl. We wish you many more.

Training Day

It’s been awhile since I’ve been out in the field working the dogs.  Sadly, now, we’re coming up on the summer months and it’ll really be too hot to do a lot of training. Anyways, took Morgan and Jessie out for the day. They did great and didn’t skip a beat.



CoolWater's RipTide a Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Dock Diving Report: Orlando, FL

I had a great time this weekend attending the Ultimate Air Dogs competition in Orlando, FL. I took Jessie and Rip along for the fun.

They both did awesome but Jessie never ceases to amaze me. I believe she was the oldest dog entered and she was consistently making some pretty big jumps. In the end, she took 2nd in the Master’s division with a jump 21’9″.

Rip, came in 4th in the Senior division with a jump of 18’8″. This was his first dock diving event — heck, it was his first time ever jumping off a dock at all. As such, I’m very proud of him and how well he did. He LOVED the game, that’s for sure.


Happy Birthday, Jessie!

Each year my dogs get a special treat on their birthday – they each get a white cupcake (with frosting) and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We celebrate our birthdays, so why not celebrate theirs? I must also admit my guilty pleasure of having the pups wear party hats …. and photographing them. Yes. I know. I’m aweful.

 Jessie was so excited to get her treat that her teeth were chattering and her ears were quivering. :)

Dock Diving Report: Jessie

Well, as you know by my post below, Jessie was entered in a Dock Diving competition a couple of weekends ago. She did very well. At the end of the day on Saturday, she had qualified for 4th place in the “Amateur” division. On Sunday, however, she jumped herself out of the “Amateur” division with two jumps over 18′ (18’4″ and 18’8″).  Going into the finals she ended up as the 1st alternate for the “Semi-Pro” division. Even though she didn’t end up jumping in the finals, a photographer that was there managed to get some great photos of her jumping. I thought I’d share them.

Gotta luv them water dogs…

Many people are awaiting news on Morgan and are checking the blog daily — sometimes several times a day. Well,  I have nothing to report just yet. I’m sorry – I wish I did.

This past weekend was beautiful. As such, I took three of the Chessies – Morgan, Rip & Jessie to the local dog park. I talk about this park quite often in my posts as it’s just fabulous for the dogs. Trixie stayed home this time, as it’s too cumbersome for me to try handling 4 Chessies at once by myself. This upcoming weekend, provided we don’t get too much rain, Trixie will be going for her outting. ;) Afterall, I try to be fair to all the pups.


Left to right – Morgan, Rip & Jessie