If you know Ben and I, you know Spliff. And if you know Spliff, well… you’re just plain lucky because he’s pretty freakin’ sweet. He’s our best bud. He’s our first born. He’s our baby. I love him more than I love myself. If a car were barreling down on him, I’d jump in front of it to push him out of the way. I’d take a bullet for him. That’s how much I love him. But the dog just doesn’t think sometimes. He just happens to be very lucky and very dumb. He’s great with obedience; he’s so intelligent when it comes to understanding what we’re saying to him. He knows how to bark in low and high volumes for cripes sake! But when it comes to depth perception and eating random crap, he’s just not your guy.
If you want to cry, play this song in the background while you’re reading. It’s Ben and Spliff’s song… ;)
In honor of a very scary emergency vet trip this morning, I thought I’d do a little post about one of my best guys… Shadow Ridge Spliffington Dudley’s Peener Botnen (AKC name… yep… he’s got papers).
I’ll start at the beginning. It was March 26, 2008. Belle and Dudley welcomed a litter of 9 beautiful, healthy puppies.
Just looking at the pictures of all the puppies, we knew he was the one. I remember being so excited the day that we received our first email with all the pictures of the males. We had waited for 9 months so that we could have first pick of the little boys. I forwarded the email to Ben, and without even discussing it, we were both immediately smitten with the little guy above. He was named Gray Boy, because he wore a gray collar to help the breeder tell the pups apart. He had that certain something in his eye, that you couldn’t put your finger on. He was so much more alert and brave in his pictures. We never discussed our feelings for Gray Boy, because we didn’t want to commit too soon and disappoint each other if we didn’t agree… until we got this picture…
That attitude! It sealed the deal. We finally were brave enough to say to each other that we were both in love with Gray Boy. All the other puppies looked timid and shy in their pictures, and Gray Boy was just chillin with his homies. Look at this guy… such an adorable dump truck…
He kept growing into the most beautiful Berner of the litter. Our breeder asked us at about the 5 week mark to decide on a puppy. The other buyers were antsy to pick and we got to go first, so they were all waiting on us. Gray Boy! It was a no-brainer. I was later told that every couple who wanted a male wanted Gray Boy. The stars aligned and the most incredible dog in the world was ours :). We continued getting progress reports for our guy, soon to be named!
How adorable was he?!?! I still can’t get over those giant paws and that lovingly clueless expression, which he still has to this day. We couldn’t wait until Memorial Day weekend when our little guy would be flying in from Washington state. Finally the day had come! His flight was delayed and we were nervous, anxious wrecks. We just wanted our baby! And then, he was there!
What a guy! I was the lucky one who got to snuggle his furry butt the whole way home. One of the best memories of my life. I called the breeder from the car to let her know that he arrived in one perfect piece, but she was so emotional about losing him that she was unable to speak. She really loved him. We got him home and took him out back to get acquainted with the yard, and to relieve himself, which I’m sure was much needed after 10 hours of travel!
Ugh… I love that dog… and if you know him, you know he hasn’t changed a bit since puppydom. He still gets that wild hair which makes him tear around for brief periods of time (he tires easily lol). He still loves peanut butter, and breaking up fights between the cats. He still loves to roll around on his back in the snow. The only thing that’s really changed is his weight :). Oh, and that he is the best big brother in the world. Zoey loves her some tri-color doggie.
We’ve had so many awesome memories with this dog. He’s epic. Truly epic. Everyone that meets this guy loves him, and honestly, how can you blame them? It’s like he was born to please…
How can you not love him? I dare you to not love him. Like I said earlier, he’s the best dog for Zoey. He loves her so much. No joke, a few weeks back when we were all sitting in the living room Zoey tipped backwards and Spliff put his head down to catch her. Now that’s love. He’s the best big brother we could have asked for…
We were so proud of him in August when he passed his AKC Canine Good Citizen test, and Ben hopes to get him into therapy dog classes this year. He has so much to give and it would be selfish to keep him all to ourselves. He can help so many. We just feel like the luckiest family on earth to say that he’s a part of our crew. We love him like he’s our flesh and blood. We never go anywhere without him. He is the true definition of a “once in a lifetime dog.” Our best friend and companion…
Dang, I really love him. Just going through all these pictures makes me kind of emotional. I suppose I should get to why I felt inspired to write about him today! Don’t worry… he’s healthy and fine! We just had a bad scare Christmas day, and then again this morning.
We were out for a walk on Hastings Golf Course on Christmas day. It was beautiful out, and we were so happy to be outside. Spliff loved rolling around on the frozen ponds. Snow and ice are his jam. We were having such a great time and it turned terrifying in the blink of an eye. Ben and Spliff were crossing over a bridge, and out of the blue, Spliff decided to jump over the bridge wall and down 8-10 feet onto jagged river rock in the pond below. It was like it happened in slow motion. A scene straight out of a movie. He plummeted down face and chest first. I screamed expletives and sprinted to help him. He immediately got up, a bit disoriented and limped up the rocks. A broken leg can be devastating to a dog his size so we were freaked. My heart was racing to the point where I felt dizzy. I’ve only been terrified a few times like that in my life. After about 2 minutes of slow walking, the limp was gone and he escaped with a scraped up chin and mouth. I can’t believe he didn’t break a bone or his neck. We were so lucky.
Then, this morning at about 3:45 am, he began throwing up some nasty stuff. It wasn’t good, so we rushed him to the emergency vet in Coon Rapids. With big dogs like Spliff (he weighs around 115 lbs) you have to worry about bloat. Bloat occurs when the dog’s stomach flips inside their body cavity and dies, causing almost certain death. You only have a small window of time between onset of symptoms and resolution before it becomes fatal. We are very wary of it, and so we may have overreacted. With his fall a few weeks ago, and then a nasty spill he took last night down the deck stairs, we were worried something had happened and it had gone unnoticed. It was an expensive morning, but we both went to work with smiles on our faces, because our boy was fine. Diagnosis, eating gross stuff in the back yard. Phew! All I can say is what a relief! If dogs don’t have nine lives, then he is extra lucky. I’m pretty sure he’s used up at least four (makes me think back to several near accidents with wild hair sprints toward the road and oncoming cars).
Some people may think that our deep love for this animal is ludicrous, but we don’t think so, and don’t really care. Maybe you’ve never met Spliff. ;) Our house may be covered in fur and our clothes may be caked in slobber but we love him. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
To our big guy… We are so glad you’re alright! We love you like a human member of the family! Here’s to you, Peen! (Dang, I wish he could read this! Too bad he doesn’t speak human!)Long may you run, bud! Long may you run!
Did you cry? I sure did writing this.