Losing a Best Friend & Starting a Show Career

It is hard to believe that just two years ago we drove down a dirt road in Iowa to pick up our sweet Jackson from our amazing breeder/friend! It seems like Jackson has always been our big goofy dog, smothering us in kisses, wooing us with those big brown eyes, and making us marvel at his antics on a daily basis.

April was a bittersweet month for us. All of our hearts were broken, Jackson’s included, when our senior Basset Hound Maggie suddenly became extremely ill with Lymphoma and passed away.

Maggie had been diagnosed with Lymphoma earlier this year but we did not know how long to expect for the disease to progress. In the end were relieved that she did not suffer long, as the cancer took over literally overnight. Her lymph nodes in her neck were so swollen that we knew it was time to take her to the vet, and we laid on the floor holding her  and stroking her sweet face at the vet’s office while they administered the medicine to send our girl to the Rainbow Bridge.

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Jackson did not understand what happened to Maggie, and I’m not sure he ever will. He had never lived here without her in two years, and the first few days he wandered around the house sniffing everything and whimpering most of the time. He would play half-heartedly and seemed to not even know where to relieve himself outside. Our hearts broke for him as we tried to engage him in games of fetch and tug-o-war.

The last few weeks have been better and Jackson is becoming more himself. We all miss our Maggie very much, and our lives will never be the same. I have started taking Jackson to places he has never gone to before, like for car rides to pick up his human sister from school and to go to the local pet store to pick up his Canine Caviar. He has started to love going for random car rides regardless of the destination, which is not as possible when it means leaving one dog at home to stare sadly out the window.

Jackson also finally participated in his first conformation dog show! After three shows he finally took the Best of Breed first prize ribbon and then placed third in the Best of Group contest in the fourth and final show of the weekend. Believe me, this dog momma was overwhelmed with pride!

Although a local show in the dingy training room of a local dog training school is hardly Madison Square Garden, I was as proud of us as if we’d won Westminster! Although we never took an official conformation training class we had trained in our back yard to stack and gait. Jackson performed beautifully, doing all of the things a dog is supposed to do in the show ring! He is the dog who will goof off and try to pull my arm out of the socket to visit the other dogs, and then become all business in the ring, strutting his stuff like a runway model in fashion week!

More shows lie ahead as well as the addition of a new sister for Jackson. Nobody will ever replace our miss Maggie but Jackson definitely needs a doggie sibling to fill in all of those gaps that we cannot.

 

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