Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thank you friends...

We are overwhelmed by the wonderful words of support and condolences received after we lost our beloved Wotan last week.  I truly appreciate the outpouring of love.

Wotan, running in the Salt Marsh on Cape Cod, one of his most favorite places in the world.  Trixie and Jam in the distance.

One friend, who knew Wotan well, whose words especially touched me:

I am so sorry to hear of Wotan's passing.  He certainly was a life-changing dog for you - opening up an entire world and tons of friendships.
You just can't say his name without a smile - he was that special.
I know you will miss him with an ache in your heart but knowing that your life was so much richer because of his presence.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Goodbye my Wotan

Who could have imagined the amazing journey he took me on and the lessons he taught me...he will forever be in my heart...
  Windward's Standing In Motion, JH, AX, AXJ, NSD, CGC, V
September 13, 1996 - August 19, 2010
(CH Greywind's High Flying Cloud, JH  x  CH Windward's Perfect Harmony, JH)

Wotan was my heart and soul dog.  He was a truly wonderful gift from his breeder after a  tragic accident killed his sister.  He was my constant companion and kept me company as a pup, while on bedrest during a difficult pregnancy and as my personal therapy dog during chemotherapy.  So tolerant of a then novice handler, Wotan was my "A" dog, and guinea pig and exposed to almost every dog activity out there.  I showed this boy myself and put a 4-point major  on him but we retired him at 13 points, just short of finishing his championship, as we tried unsuccessfully to get that last elusive major.  He would not work for even the best handlers as he was such a momma's boy. 
Wotan had incredible drive and athleticism.  Extremely birdy, he finished his Junior Hunter title easily and loved to hunt at the preserve.  He even earned his first leg with a very pregnant handler traipsing behind. 
We then discovered agility and immediately became hooked.  Wotan was born for this sport but it took years to bridle his extreme enthusiasm and drive, and gain control and consistency.  He humbled his handler at many agility trials and if anything, always provided the entertainment. Amazingly at the age of 12, he completed his AX and AXJ titles with first places at all breed trials.
Known as the Houdini dog, Wotan broke out of every crate made and would rather just guard the house from his perch on the couch.

Wotan retired from agility (at age 12), and up until the very end, he still loved to hike, run around the yard and cuddle next to me in bed.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back to normal...

Wotan has made such an amazing recovery from his bloat incident. It's hard to believe that it was only a week ago that he was released from the animal hospital. He's enjoying being home like nothing happened, lounging around the house and watching the girls romp in the yard while he suns himself in the grass. His biggest struggle was not getting treats while he was on a modified diet but now he can have them and is thrilled. He still wakes me up during the night to come up on the bed and snuggle with me.
Getting ready for an afternoon nap...
Enough with the pictures already!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Welcome home buddy!

After a two day stint in the animal hospital, Wotan has made an amazing recovery and is doing great. He is happy to be home and as if he never left, is napping in his favorite chair. We are beyond relieved that he's fine and finally home, as the house just wasn't right without him.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My shadow is away

My boy is never far from me but has grown an aversion to having his picture taken in recent years. I was able to sneak the camera out and get this picture last week before he got up.

A very stressful day as Wotan is spending the night in the animal hospital after bloating late this afternoon. We were very lucky as I immediately recognized the signs of bloat and rushed him to the emergency vet before his stomach torsioned. The x-ray showed a tremendous amount of gas and a procedure was done to remove the gas. They will monitor him overnight and I hope he can come home tomorrow.

If you are not familiar with bloat and own a large chested breed, you need to be familiar with the symptoms because this can occur very quickly and if not treated immediately can be deadly. From the WCA website:
Gastric Torsion or GDV, bloat/torsion, twisted stomach:
Bloat is a disease common to deep-chested dogs that can involve twisting or torsion of the stomach with a subsequent blockage of the esophagus at one end and the intestine at the other. Bloat happens quickly and is often fatal without immediate veterinary attention.
Its symptoms include retching with no vomiting, extreme salivation, obvious discomfort, and distention of the abdomen. Gulping food can bring on an attack of bloat, so Weimaraners should be fed twice daily to avoid the hunger pangs that lead to eating too fast. Some breeders believe that foods containing soybeans shouldn't be fed to breeds that are susceptible to bloat because the beans can produce gas.
Many cases of bloat occur in the evening, after the dog has perhaps shared the family snack of pizza or some other highly-spiced food and then exercised. Treatment is expensive and not always successful. Feeding moistened dog food and postponing exercise for a couple of hours after the meal may help prevent bloat. You can also visit the The Great Dane Bloat Book for more info.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday nap

Yes, Wotan really does sleep in this position...maybe dreaming of belly rubs!

Monday, June 21, 2010

First day of summer

Enjoying the backyard while it's still cool outside...
At my age you're still making me do obedience and pose with her???
Good man!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Loves toys...

Toy, bone, toy, bone...decisions, decisions...
The old boy still loves toys, especially when he can steal one out of the puppy box!
Someone else's toy is better to nook on...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Always a pup...

I love this picture of Wotan and me that Sara took on her recent visit. Wotan looks like such a puppy here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What about me?

Wotan looking forlorn when he realized that the bagels and lox brunch did not include him...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cuddle time

Wotan and Jam, cuddling on the couch, in front of a blazing fire, on a frigid winter eve.