Thursday, September 10, 2009

Royalbon's Angelique

...... Vince, Angel and Bryan..... happy to have their very own puppy again. And she had her Very Own Boys. It was a great match!
Angel was born March 23rd, 1984. This photo was taken 16 days after she came to live with us - May 28th, 1984. Her ears were floppy before this photo, I taped them up one night, as a "joke" on Hildy who had been struggling on taping Min-Pin puppy ears for weeks on end. Angel's ears never went down, and Hildy continued to struggle with the min-pins ears. Smile. Funny thing, Hildy refused for the longest time to call Angel by her name. She said "There is NO such thing as a Angel "Bull Terrier". I told her she was wrong (which she seldom was of course! but This time She WAS wrong!) but... Just in case I named her "Angelique" after the naughty witch on Dark Shadows - a TV "soap" I watched when I was a teenager so many years before it seemed. I figured I would have "both possibilities covered" and name her Angel (which she hopefully was going to be, And WAS - she was perfect of course!) or Angelique, just in case Hildy was right, and she had a wicked side. Angel actually "had" her name before she was born. I had a dream that I had gone to Bonnie Nelson's house (who was her breeder, and owner of the Royalbon Kennels), and picked out a puppy, which I had brought over to my parents house to show her off, and my sister stopped by to meet my new puppy. My sister in my dream asked me what I named my new ALL White puppy girl... to which I replied matter of factly "ANGEL". The only thing I can figure is that the Song that "Real Life" was singing at the time - "Send Me An Angel" was firmly planted in my brain. That was the song that was playing on my radio when Winnie's final trip to the vet happened. Oh I so wanted to run away from that moment in time.. Anyhow, strangest thing. I bought Angel on my cousin Vonnie's birthday that year, and the following day, was mother's day, as it often falls on or near her birthday. I stopped at my mom and Dad's house on mothers day... - and showed them my new puppy. A all white bully girl that I had not planned to bring home, but Bonnie sent her anyhow, borrowing me a kennel to transport her, and a blanket to get her home with. Corie, my sister who was about 8 months pregnant at the time, and her husband stopped by their house too. And... Corie asked me " So what did you name your new puppy?" ........... deja-vu ........... and "ANGEL" she was from that moment forward. And for Hildy, she Was forever a believer... even though she would tease me when Angel would be a wild little thing that she Did have a wicked side. BIG SMILE!

And then... Tessie..........

Bless my friend Hildy's heart, she wanted me to "try out" one of her breeds. She had Harlequin Great Danes, and Miniature Pinschers. (about 20 plus Mini-pins as they are called!). Hildy and I were traveling / show buddies, and dearest friends too. I met her when I got my Great Dane, and we became fast friends, but didn't actually spend much time together until I got Winnie. She was my Biggest supporter. I think she ached when I lost Winnie too. She offered me my favorite of her Min-pins - Tessie. She was BEAUTIFUL. Black and Rust, and such a good little girl, but Scared To Death of the "mini" humans. She would hide in her kennel, skirt the walls to avoid the children. Poor Bryan and Vince really liked her a lot... but there was no way, even after 2 weeks of living with us, that she would settle. My fear that she would freak out and run out the door if the boys opened it a wee bit too far - got to be too much. So I returned her to Hildy and her husband Richard. I enjoyed many a year going over to Hildy and Richard's house, hanging out for hours on end - and more trips in the van to many a dog show - with Hildy till Hildy's passing in the 1990's ... but I am jumping ahead of myself here... I Also realized that a "small" dog that shivered was NOT my type of dog (even though I loved little Tessie ever so much - shown above, and in Tom's lap - so her size can be determined - she was a tiny 5 to 7 pound girl!), We Needed a Dog that could withstand "little boys", one which could handle being patted on the side firmly, and not be knocked over. Winnie taught me to laugh after Edel died and although I Really think one day I could "handle" having another Dane... Bullies had really stolen my heart. so.................

And where to go now..........?

When Edel passed, in March of 1980, I went into a funk. I had seriously thought about getting a Komondor (a Hungarian dog that looks much like a humongous mop! wink) for a brief moment in time, and then I considered more seriously a Beauceron Shepherd (who look an awful lot like a fuzzy Doberman / Shepherd mix.) But before Edel passed I had looked more seriously and started contacting Bull Terrier breeders. I spent many hours writing people the old fashioned snail mail way asking about Bull Terriers. I worried about "Bloat / Torsion" in the breed, and wanted to avoid it. I wanted a breed that would "live longer". And once satisfied that Bloat/ Torsion wasn't going to be a big issue, I jumped in and thought - sure, that is a dog I should maybe have. When Edel died - I just sort of stopped. Didn't want another dog, didn't want to face more heart break, DIDN'T want to go on.... And one morning I woke up and thought... "Alright, I am ready. I need a Dog.... And the Phone Rang (Seriously~) So when I got the call that very day... that Winnie was available, I was thrilled and finally ready to have another dog in my life. I was totally caught off guard when we lost her at an even younger age then we did our Great Dane. (5 years 2 weeks isn't nearly long enough... 3 years and 9 months even less so!). When Winnie died in January of 1984, we had a few days without a dog. Just a few days. And although this wasn't "really OUR dog" - when she arrived, she very much took a lot of ache out of my heart. My dear friend Kris and her then husband were splitting up. Rosie needed a TEMPORARY place to stay. January till March sometime - she spent a lot of time healing my heart, loving my sons, who loved her dearly back, and snuggling with Tom. I secretly (maybe Not so secretly - but I tried not to burden Kris with my wish) - wished that Rosie could stay Forever. Rosie was Champion Hydrojax Inspiration Rose. She was Winnie's aunt. Really - she was.. She was the litter sister to Winnie's father - Champion Royalbon's Revelationist. Oh, and she had a patch that was "somewhat like" Winnie's - different color, but same side. And did I mention she was sweet? She turned 5 years old in March. This was when our son's started to help celebrate the birthday's of our dogs. They were very sad to know Rosie would be leaving and not living with us. So I convinced them to help celebrate a party for her, for going away, and for her 5th Birthday. as you can see - they had a lot of fun. Twinkie parties became tradition from that day forward. Rosie came to stay with us again after we got Angel. And still deep in my heart, I so wished she could live with us... forever. She was a Honey, pure and simple! And my house once again was without a dog. So... was I really wanting another bull terrier? Or was there another breed that would better fit the bill?????

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My first Bull Terrier

My first bully. In the photo - she finished her American Kennel Club Championship. Her name was Champion Magor Martella, and we called her Winnie. I showed her myself! She was very sound, and more terrier type. She didn't have a good head, 'rather plain' was how her breeder described her head. But I showed her and I Did finish her myself. I learned a lot about sportsmanship with her. She lost far more then she won. And with the first win (under a judge that said "you both worked so hard, I had to pick her!" thank You Roger Hartinger! as I am still showing today, because of You!) - I congratulated the others in the ring with me. They all laughed at me and hugged me. What a dope I was! I was so used to saying Congratulations! Winnie was a bit sharp with other dogs and animals. This was more normal then it is now. Back then - the breeders were just starting to really socialize the dogs, and I think I learned how to socialize them better too. As after Winnie, all of my dogs continue to be socialized with as many dogs (all sizes) that I can socialize them with. Winnie sadly was born with a juvenile kidney, one that never grew to the normal size, and she was also poisoned in our backyard of our home. She went into kidney failure, and no matter how I tried to hold on to her, we lost her in January of 1980. She is the other part to my kennel name. ... EDELWIN (noble win - because she taught me so much about being a good sport... Thank YOU Corie for suggesting that I explain how I came to have my kennel name in bull terriers! And here is a photo of Corie and I at Bryan and Amy's wedding in August 2009)

Many cats in my life

There were lots of cats on the farm which I carried around. But the first one I brought home for my very own family pet was Alexandra (Alex for short) - we weren't allowed to have pets in our first "home" - the apartment. So I had to sneak her in and hope she didn't make lots of noise. She was not spay. She peed in my shoes and I had to throw them all away. But Still... I loved her. She sadly was killed by a car. One of our neighbors saw a person purposely go off the road to hit her. Even though she never really did any more then tolerate Edel, - he *loved her*. We buried her in the back field behind our house, Bryan was just a baby still. Edel would lay in the middle of the yard on his cable and stare in that direction. I wonder if he mourned her?
The next cat I got was Panda. Cute as a button. Her mother was hit by a car and killed. so maybe she was sent to me by Alex? I know she loved Edel as much as he loved her. She wasn't at all interested in the bull terriers though. And she was our last indoor cat.
when we moved to our new house in 1995 - and 'inherited' a whole load of cats, most very wild, some - kind of tame. I really enjoyed a lot of them. But if you feed them, they will continue to come... and we had too many. so now I don't feed the cats that come to visit.

And our temporary Dog....

Our friends had a litter of pups. I helped find one of them a home. It didn't work out - so I took her back for awhile to live with us. She wasn't with us long. Her name was Missy. Tom said we couldn't have *two dogs*!! (too many!) - wonder if he realized what he was "in for" - I know I never imagined - I would one day have 5 bull terriers! He is so nice to me! and Yes, I admit to being a bit spoiled! :o)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Really... My Very Own Dog!

So, in 1975, April of that year. I got my very own dog! His name was NuHorizon Edel Riese'. My German friend at work helped me name him Edel is supposed to mean Noble according to what she told me. And Riese' was supposed to mean Giant. Who was I to say? Worked for me. He was fawn with a black mask, and alllllllllll mine! Smile! He was born Feb. 10th, 1975. At 9 months old - he was 90 pounds! the first photo of him alone shows him at 5 months of age! the second one was taken with our son Bryan in 1976. He had a lot of health problems over the years, and only weighed 150 pounds. Pretty thin for a dog 36" at the shoulders, and over 6' tall standing on his hind legs. I lost him when he was 5 years and 2 weeks old to Bloat and Torsion. A very common problem in deep chested breeds. I dabbled in show training him a little while Bryan and Vince were babies/ toddlers. But he never gained enough weight to actually show. His name Edel is part of the reason I chose Edelwin for my kennel name. He loved Alex the cat. And adored Panda the cat I got after Alex was hit by a car one evening. Panda loved him too.