Friday, January 18, 2008

Pack Dynamics, Pt. II

One early spring morning, I happened to be looking at the want ads, and there it was. "Brown Standard Poodle Puppies for Sale"- and about 15 minutes from the house. It had to be a sign, right? So, me and the DH went to "look" at the puppies. We decided that, since Hershey would be directly involved, that maybe we should take her with us, let her help pick out the puppy she wanted. Well, poor Hershey sat next to the window and drooled the whole time we were there. This should have been a clue that Queen was quite happy with the way things were, and did NOT want a puppy. Did we listen? Nope! We brought home Kyra. Her registered name became Kyra-Boo Houdini. When we left her at the house, we locked her in bathroom, the open door replaced by a piece of plywood that was nearly 4 feet tall. We came home to find her loose in the house, the plywood still in place.

And, yes, the picture above describes her PERFECTLY! She would aggravate Hershey until she would finally give in and play with her. I remember looking out in the back yard on numerous occasions to see a little brown puppy dangling from Hershey's ear. They played hard, so it hard it scared me. But, I soon noticed that if Hershey knocked Kyra off her feet, she would back up and give her room to get up, and then the wrestling would start all over again. The first year of her life, I noticed that so many times, when having her in the car, the song "Brown eyed girl" would come on the radio. So, it became her theme song. She quickly became Gene's dog.

He started training her in obedience, where she quickly sailed through her Novice and Open titles. She is fully trained in Utility, but has lost her nerve in the ring. (I just think she has decided that agility is WAY more fun!)

She also excelled at agility, qualifying in 5 out of her first 6 Novice A runs. This dog lives for agility, and food, and nothing else. She does agility as a means to an end- that end being the treats! She was well on her way to getting a MACH when she had 2 terrible experiences on the teeter that put an end to her teeter performances during a trial. After a year of retraining, she is happily performing teeters again. At 7, the cards are stacked against her getting her MACH, but she is willing to continue that path if Gene is.

Kyra has always been the most submissive dog in our pack. This worked really well with Hershey being Alpha. The two slid into their roles without any grumbling or groaning. This dog will suffer any indignity for food. When Gene pulls out the grooming supplies, the other dogs scatter like roaches, but Kyra is there, begging for her turn. Because she knows that food will be at the end of the road. I have often thought that I could slice her open with a scalpel, give her a treat, and she'd stand still to have it done again.

Poor Kyra has had a rough go of it. She is allergic to so many things in dog food, that we have started her on Nature's Variety Raw. It is the only thing she can eat that doesn't keep her up all night scratching at her face. It has taken us nearly all of her 7 years to find this food that she could eat.

Luckily, we never had to worry when bringing in a new dog with Kyra around. Being the most submissive dog on the planet, she was quick to let the new dogs take over. She is now 4th in our pack.


Ginger said...

She is beautiful! (As are all your Poodles.)

We definitely have a Queen at our house - that would be Delilah, our first Standard. Then Abrial. Then Cosette - she's our goofball.

I would love to do agility with my girls. But now, with kids and homeschooling and horses, my Poodles are just family members. But one day.....

Oh - and (although you turned comments off on the your "breeding" page) I wanted to say that I totally agree with your point of view. My Cosette was purchased with breeding in sight, but as she matured, her head, her eyes, and her chest were just a wee bit "off." People in my area said, "But she's so beautiful. And you're not going to show the dogs. Breed her anyway." Nothing going. If they don't meet breed conformation (among other things), then I'm not going to breed.

Poodlebugs said...

Thanks! We think so, but of course, we're partial. Dontcha just love the Queen-like attitude? She just cracks me up!