Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Big 'O'

Oliver came to me all the way from Finland. He and his brother McCoy made the journey over here and after a heart failure (from me) as they didn't arrive on the flight they were supposed to, our friend Cindy, found them on another flight and picked them up in Chicago. She kept them for a week or so and then they headed off to McCoy's mom's place for about a month until I could go down to pick him up. We hadn't decided yet who was going to get which one, but I always like Oliver better. I think it was because of his head. While his planes aren't level I was drawn to those big eyes, and huge ears and the overall look of him. I'm glad that he was the one that was coming to me.

From the minute I first saw him (he ran into the kennel when I came to the xpen to great him) he had a soft temperament. No one will ever know if he was like that in Finland, if it was the trip over, or his stay at the other houses before he came to me. Since he can't talk I guess I'll never know but I spent a small fortune on trying to get him well socialized, having him take week long trips to other people's homes and places of employment, taking him to the bank, the feed store, everywhere I went. He has the exact opposite personality from Sadie too. Oliver doesn't like new people, but he loves the ones' he knows. Even if he hasn't seen them in a long time. He is my lap dog, and is always trying to get onto my lap, and at night he shares my pillow and lays watching me. He's such a great dog that way. He also loves to play ball and is the fastest and smartest dog when it comes to finding the ball. I can't even spell it anymore as he knows what it means!

Oliver due to his shy temperament wasn't working as a show dog. His front really never turned out and after his brother was found to have HD at such a young age, we xrayed Oliver and he also had mild HD. He was neutered. He also had no contract and no guarantee so I was out the small fortune. The money wasn't the biggest deal, but there were high hopes for him considering his prestigious pedigree.

Now Oliver is another performance dog, but he excels at obedience and rally. He has received his RN in three days, three qualifying scores. He was the first title on a dog (getting his RN before Sadie's NAJ).

Oliver worries a lot. We've tested his Thyroid, its normal. I've increased his food and changed it a few times and I cannot get him to gain weight. His heaviest he was 34 pounds and I think he was a pudge then, so I think 32 or so would be ideal. He is currently 28 and I can't for the life of me get him to gain weight. He doesn't have worms and eats like a pig. He's very active and runs constantly in the backyard. He is my watch dog and alerts me to when there are new cars coming down the road.

Look at that pretty head and neck. A gorgeous red brindle color.

I think his back is roached because of his hips and having to compensate for the lack of socket. I'm having his hips redone for OFA just to see if there is any difference and if they have gotten worse.

His chest just never 'came in' and he appears wide because of it. His front right foot turns out a lot (I've seen quite a few Cardi's that if they have one that turns out more, its usually their right one..any idea why?) and his nails get wore down more so on that foot because of it.

He is my fastest dog. He runs like the wind and I can't believe he has HD (no clinical signs) the way he runs.

He's my buddy and an amazing sheep herder. If I ever have sheep out he takes to them like a duck to water and moves them beautifully.

Both he and Sadie are going to the national next year to do their herding instinct tests (which i know they'll pass) and Oliver will do rally or obedience there, and Sadie will do agility.

Up next. Mac!

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