• It’s not just about the dog itself, but the relationship you have with it!

  • Dedicated to Bart, who had the Most Beautiful Tail

    It's very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complex language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer, but for every mood and vibration in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins..." _Hermann Hesse
  • Denali – Queen of our Pack

    C-Myste Denali RAE3,CGC (a.k.a. Wild Woman!)

  • Kenai – Our First Cardi

    Trust 'n Luck Keep an Eye Out (The Funniest Dog in the World)

  • Elbee – Our Teeny Pembroke Princess 1998-2010

    Bridgecreeks Little Bit, CGC

  • Sage – Our Perpetual Puppy!

    C-Myste Baledwr Redwood Sunrise RN

  • Quimby-Sweet Spirit

    Toreth Spirit in the Sky BN, CD, RAE, CGC

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Sage or Quimby – I have to Choose!

This is Sage. He is almost 4 years old. I raised him from puppyhood, age 10 weeks. He is incredibly sweet and funny – he loves people. I love this dog and he called to me from the time I first saw his puppy picture.

Unfortunately Sage is a dog that is easily over-stimulated. He was heavily socialized as a puppy, but never learned to tolerate other dogs and becomes fear aggressive if they get too close. He is fearful of all other dogs and has only accepted Denali, the adult female that we had when he was a puppy. I think he thinks she is his mother. He adores Denali and looks to her as his pack alpha and protector.

He is good with people (very affectionate), but needs a few minutes to get to know them. Initially he is fearful when meeting someone new, but has NEVER been aggressive with a person – and I’ve purposefully pushed him to test this. Due to his coloration (clear red dilute) he isn’t a show dog. Accordingly he was neutered when he was about eight months old.

When I took Sage I was hoping for a competitive obedience dog. He is SO smart – forms concepts incredibly quickly. We started training right away. He was able to compete in Rally at the Novice level (on leash), but can’t be trusted off leash in a dog show environment. After three years of training, I just accepted that he would have to be a pet.

He loves to give kisses and has my heart and the idea of him leaving our household leaves me feeling just shredded.

Sage has always been playful. He’s still like a puppy in so many ways. We thought he might accept a puppy more easily than another adult dog, so in March 2012 Quimby joined us.

Enter little Miss Quimby – now age 9 months. She joined us at 12 weeks of age. She is the dog everyone wants. She has a solid temperament, is sweet, affectionate, super smart and very biddable. 

Quimby has almost completed her third obedience class, starting in “puppy” class when she was 12 weeks old. She has amazing focus, loves to work and shows great potential as an obedience/performance dog. She also called to me when I first saw her puppy picture. I tried to find something that would disqualify her,  knowing we really didn’t need a third dog, but just couldn’t. She was exactly what I was looking for!

When I first met Quimby, at 8 weeks of age, I knew she was “my dog.”  Subsequently she has bonded closely to me. Sadly, Sage has refused to accept her and evidenced fearfulness around her from day one. As she has grown things have become more strained between them and we have an unsafe home situation. I can’t imagine letting Quimby go, but she has now realized that Sage isn’t to be trusted and has become defensive with him. I don’t want to risk spoiling her wonderful temperament either.

It breaks my heart, but it has become clear that it isn’t safe for Sage and Quimby to remain in the same home. I am completely torn as to what to do.

Sage is my little boy. He’s got a quirky personality and needs to be in an only-dog situation with someone who “gets” him. For reasons I’ll never know, he is just extremely fearful of other dogs and feels the need to defend himself. He needs a knowledgeable, understanding owner with whom he can form a bond of trust. I feel terrible when I think of letting him go and worried as to what might happen to him if I do.

Quimby is about as nice as a dog can be. She  could go anywhere, but she too has my heart. The idea of seeing her go is devastating. And if she leaves, I lose the obedience candidate I’ve been looking for for so long.

It is a very emotional dilemma for me. Both dogs came from reputable breeders who have fully supported whatever decision I make and will work with me to find a good home for whichever dog becomes available.

Even so, I am struggling horribly with this decision. I know there are a number of “cardigan people” out there who have faced this sort of an issue. I also know that in the end the decision is mine, but would be interested in advice, observations, inputs from others who have faced this decision in the past.


Ever Feel Like Someone’s Watching?

Last week I put a dog bed right outside my office door. From here Sage can watch me, and keep an eye on the rest of the house. Obviously I found the sweet spot because Sage is using this bed a lot more often now. This is what I see when I turn from my desk…awww!


Day After – Recovery Mode

Following guests around and being on the lookout for falling tidbits on Thanksgiving day was hard work. Last night the dogs hit the pillows and didn’t move all night!

Today recovery continues with a nice nap in Sage’s favorite sun puddle.

Age 3 – Still a Puppy!

Here he is – my Big Puppy – all grown up! Hard to believe that the little bundle I held in my arms at the age of ten weeks is suddenly three years old!

Here’s what he looked like when he first arrived – age ten weeks:

Even with the duct tape crown he was still adorable – and made the cutest little puppy talking noises, some of which he continues to this day.
Always ready to play, he’s keeps Denali busy (which is a good thing!)

Notice his pale coat color. Sage is one of two clear red (pink) dogs in this litter. He was a surprise, as we didn’t know that both parents carried the recessive red gene until he arrived. At birth he was completely white. At ten weeks, he was a very light cream color. His “pink” coloring came in gradually and has continued to darken for his first three years.

Look at the difference today: Now we know he’s a pink merle.

As an interior architect and designer, I appreciate good design. Clearly Sage inherited the need to modify his environment from me.

If he was still a puppy, I’d say that he just hasn’t outgrown the chewing stage. But now that he’s three years old, and officially an “Adult,” (did you hear that Sage?) I have to say that he’s simply “restructuring his living space to suit his personal tastes.” These pictures were taken about a month ago.

Really – don’t you like it? I call it “Collage de Used to be Your Magazine.”

Renovating your space takes a lot of time and energy. Always nice to park at the foot of the bed with your best friend for an afternoon nap.

And when its time to go outside, nothing is cooler than a great pair of shades, man! Doggles are the Bomb!What, you think he’s funny…oh yes! He’s the funniest, sweetest little boy dog ever. And regardless of age, he will always be our adorable puppy!

C-Myste, Baledwr, SN Redwood Sunrise RN (Sage)

Happy 3rd Birthday Sage – and to all the littermates in the Tree Litter!

RN Title – I Earned my Nap!

Sage got his Rally Novice Title today. He was up against some good competition and got his best score ever, a 97. There were two 98s and three 97s. Sadly, we had to settle for 5th place in the order – by seconds. Nonetheless, he did a great job. I am so proud of my handsome pink boy!

Now we’re home and it is time to catch up on some Zzzzz.

A Valuable Prize

To the victor…

go the spoils…

Sage’s Mother’s Day Gift

For Mother’s Day my “son” Sage took me to the park. It was cool, quite windy, and threatening rain when we arrived.

Not put off in the least by the weather, or more significantly the presence of all the other dogs, Sage went right to work. Even the buffeting tape around the ring perimeter was no issue for him. My new little Rally Dog certainly showed what he could do! Minus a handler error on my part, our 96 would have been a 99! Nevertheless, our color for the day was BLUE for RN Leg #2!

When he got home Sage showed his cache to Denali, who of course recognized the booty right away.

Yep, my puppy boy is growing up. When the judge handed us the ribbons, of course Sage had to say hello. The judge remarked on what a sweet, friendly dog he is and gave him a nice pet and ear scratch. Sage was all smiles!

He has made SUCH a lot of developmental progress. Now that he’s not so worried about the other dogs, I am seeing that he’s got an incredible work ethic. I am really excited about what his obedience future holds!

Great Mother’s Day gift Sage!  Thank you so much. Lotsa Love, Mom!