I can't believe it has been ten days since I lost Marko. It still seems very near. But I'm doing much better and am now able to remember the years and years of happy times while dwelling less on the end. I did love that dog fiercely.
Top five things to know about Marko:
1. He gave hugs. He would reach his head around behind your neck and squeeze.
2. He was a 65-lb. lap dog. He loved to drape as much of himself as he could across whatever human was closest. Classic velcro vizsla.
3. He had a nerve deficit in his right eyelid, causing it to droop a bit. I always thought this gave him a debonair expression.
4. He was a spazzy puppy. When he was six months old, he broke my nose.
5. He was the reason I decided to buy a house at the age of 25. "Bouncing off the walls" is not just an expression when you try to raise a vizsla puppy in an apartment.
My other two dogs are doing well. I'm glad they have each other. Sam the German shorthair is probably feeling some newfound freedom. Marko was the alpha, and Sam always had to watch his step. It'll be interesting to see if he shows off some sides to his personality that I haven't really seen.
Willow is testing a new bit and bridle. Lately she had started shaking her head emphatically right before I put her regular bridle on. The strange thing is, she'd let me go ahead and put it on, and once it was on she stopped shaking her head. I have no idea if she's signaling some kind of discomfort or if this is just a new quirk. To be safe, I'm trying out a bridle with a cut-back and padded crown (in case it's an ear thing) as well as a fatter version of her French-link snaffle (in case it's a mouth thing). She had her teeth floated six weeks ago, so it's not that. She hasn't stopped the head-shaking yet, but she definitely likes the fatter bit. Foam city.
Trainer Leslie's new focus is to get Willow up from the wither and stepping more under. So I'm deliberately bumping her up in front and at the same time touching her with the whip to engage the hind end. This is rocking Willow's boat rather wildly, but she's getting so much better about just going with it and not assuming the apocalypse is nigh.