I think it's time to tell the story of a dog named Spike. It's in honour of his flyball debut last weekend, and because I am so proud of him so I have decided to finally tell how Spike came to be, and where he's come from.
The story of Spike actually starts with the story of a dog named Mortimer. I was new to teaching in Northern Saskatchewan and I was shocked by the fact that there were stray dogs everywhere I looked. They just ran loose, scavenging for food, wherever they could. I was horrified by the condition some were in, had a love of animals and really had been wanting a dog- my first as an adult. So, the second week of work, a puppy showed up at the high school and I made the split second decision to take him home; a friend drove me back to my house where I deposited the puppy to wait for me to arrive home from work.
Morti was sick when he arrived; he was full of worms and covered in lice. I nearly did the poor tyke in, dosing him with Nix shampoo to try and get rid of the lice. A friend from down south sent dewormer to help out. I worked hard to get Morti healthy and back on track. As Morti grew, he also began to develop a personality; he was a tough, Northern dog who challenged me every step of the way. I loved Mortimer dearly but I knew that he was LOTS of dog for the first time owner. At one point in his life, Morti was challenging me so much I resorted to making him earn every piece of food he recieved. For every kibble, he had to perform something; a sit, a down, anything just to try to teach him that nothing in life is free.
I had Morti for 10 months when he lost his life on a trip to La Ronge. I was in a major car accident, nearly 4 years ago to this day. I lost control of the car, causing it to roll, thereby throwing Mort from the car. I was lucky; I walked away from that accident stiff and sore and bruised, but otherwise unharmed. Poor Morti did not.
I grieved for Mortimer, but was smart enough to know two things. Firstly, everything happens for a reason; Mortimer WAS too much dog for me and the way the accident happened, he would not have suffered at the end. I was able to let it go with time and move on, knowing that I had done everything I could to train him, to teach him, to help him. But, I also knew that I wanted another dog and wanted to make sure it was one I could train to run agility. Sarah had worked with Mortimer and I and had introduced me to agility for which I am grateful. So, very quickly after Mortimer was gone, I set out to find my next dog.
This is where Spike comes in......but before we get to him, I need to say I am forever grateful for Sarah and her patience teaching me so much about working with dogs. And, I am forever grateful to Mortimer for working with me, for trying, for being a tough but good first dog. You are still remembered, little Morti Moo