Monday, August 11, 2014

A Year in the Life of Short Snort

Cannon has the exact same Gotcha Day story as Piper Ann. It went like this:




Cannon and I leaving the shelter: Day One.

It's been just a touch over a year since I brought him home, and just like Piper Ann, I have yet to regret the decision. It's been quite a year! We started off with a bang: Cannon passed his CGC just sixty-eight days from adoption, a new personal record for me. And him, I suppose.

After that, we took a break from training in November to get Cannon his nose job so he could breathe easier. Littlest Bulldog ripped the stitches out of his nose on day eight (to which the vet said, "wow, I've never seen that before!" Ain't that special?). To this day, his left nostril is just a bit crooked. I'm sure it adds character, though. Or something.

"Hi! Isn't my slightly crooked but super expensive nose adorable?
Doesn't it make you want to stuff my face full of cookies?
Because I would be okay with that!"

We'd didn't let surgery slow us down for long: in March, Cannon passed his therapy dog test. This came as a surprise to no one who knows him - I've met very few dogs who were "made" for therapy work, but Cannon is certainly one of them. The part that made me happiest about the therapy dog test was when the evaluator pulled us aside afterward and complimented us several times on what a great team we were and how well we worked together. I work hard to make sure a good relationship is the foundation for everything my dogs and I do together, and it was nice to hear someone who didn't know me or my dogs was able to see and appreciate that.

All of the happy. I haz it.
As an encore, Cannon had his WCRL rally debut last month. We worked hard on the exercises, but knowing my own ring nerves and the fact that Cannon is still a rather green dog, my goal for the weekend was to get our feet wet. I half expected him to realize that the people outside the ring had food, and bolt out after their luscious goodies in the middle of our course. "If nothing else," I said, "we should be entertaining."

Apparently, we disappointed a few people - more than one of my friends came up after our runs and told me, "That wasn't funny at all."

Less funny. More super-awesome-amazeballs.
Definitely entertaining.

Needless to say, Cannon and I blew my expectations out of the water. We got all three qualifying runs for his RL1 title with scores of 209, 209, and 206 for an Award of Excellence. This translated into a first place, second place, and fourth place ribbons in a pretty competitive level one A class. I'm not sure where Cannon's competitive career is heading next, but I'm super excited to find out. 

Cannon is more to me than his accomplishments, though. First and foremost, he is my friend and companion, and friendship is made in the little moments. He makes me laugh every day, whether it's finding new ways to be gross, or creative counter surfing, or rabidly trying to hump dogs three times his size. Cannon is always ready to try a new adventure. And he is of great comfort to me as I watch Piper age, knowing that when she leaves me, I will not be left alone in this house full of crazy.

Um, "sanity" being a relative term here. 
This blog post has taken me forever to write because I kept getting distracted facebook stalking my own dog. In such a short year, we have made so many fantastic memories. I started out ridiculously in love with Cannon, and it's only gotten worse. I love how fun he is to train. I love that he is always surprising me with his clever little bulldog brain. I love that I am his happy place. 

I love

I love

I love

Photo by Paige.