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It’s Domino Designer 7.x day! (November 22, 2009)  That is, it’s Donahan Domino Designer’s 7 year (or 49 in people years) birthday!!!!

Seven years ago, Bruce and I were considering a dog but were just not 100% sure what kind of dog we wanted or even if we were ready to commit to the responsibility of dog ownership.  In Bruce’s quest to find the perfect dog, our friend Kelly told him that her mother bred English Springer Spaniels and that they were an excellent dog to own as a pet.  We had no clue what an English Springer Spaniel was, but Kelly insured Bruce that he would fall in love with them.  To get Bruce familiarized with the breed, Kelly’s mom brought over their four dogs (Delta, Jeanie, Calvin and Duffy) for him to check out. Bruce never mentioned anything to me about seeing Kelly’s mother’s dogs nor going forward with any thing.  So for a few months things slowed down and not much happened.

Then, a few months later, Bruce showed me some puppy pictures of the breed and asked me what I thought of the puppies.  I thought they were cute, but I had my heart set on a yellow lab.  He asked me if I would like a dog like that (an English Springer).  I didn’t say “yes” or “no”…so I think he took it as a “maybe”.  I am not sure when Bruce did this, but he went out to see the litter of puppies that Jeanie (Domino’s mom) just had.  He instantly fell in love with Domino (Kaleb then).  From that point forward, there was no turning back!  We were now going to be the proud owners of a 8 week old black and white male English Springer Spaniel!

I remember vividly the day that Domino was brought home to us!  He was so little!  He had his first meal at our house, played with us for a while and then fell asleep.

The next item on the list was to name him.  We were thinking something to do with him being black and white.  Oreo was mentioned and some other names. but then I came across Domino and thought of the instant connection between black and white, domino the game piece and IBM’s Lotus Notes/Domino!  What a perfect fit!!!  It was a match made in heaven!!  But now the chore was to put together a AKC name that included Domino.  We thought long and hard on this but came up with a very clever name.  With Domino’s mother’s AKC name, CH Donahan’s Designer Jeans CD, we came up with CH Donahan Domino Designer (playing on his mother’s AKC name as well as IBM’s Lotus Notes/Domino Designer name)  Pretty neat, huh?

What would have been really neat is if back in 2002 (the year Domino – the dog) was born, that IBM Lotus Notes/Domino was in version 7, but alas, it wasn’t (it was in version 6.x)  So, I guess we can’t say that Domino was born when Lotus Notes/Domino was in version 7.x!

So here we are 7 years later with a WONDERFUL pet who has brought us so much joy and laughter into our family!  Domino now has a little sister (Bella) that he has to contend with every now and then, but I think he wouldn’t have it any other way!  But that’s another story!

Thank you Domino, for bringing us all the joy and love into our family!  We are excited to have MANY more years with you and creating unforgettable memories!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOY!  You are the best Domino Designer that anyone could ever design!  We love you so much!

Baby Domino

Baby Domino

Domino Today

Domino Today

My friend, Kelly showed me this Youtube video of Domino’s sister’s litter of English Springer Spaniels.  They are so adorable!  I remember when Domino was this little (and Bella too)!

Since we got Bella about a year ago, life hasn’t been quite the same for all of us!

At first, when we were deciding whether or not to get another dog/puppy, we were not sure if we wanted another pet as life with just Domino was wonderful.  We weren’t sure if we were ready to tackle potty training, teething, biting, etc. again!

But once we went to see the litter of puppies, there was no turning back….we were hooked!  We HAD to get another adorable puppy!!  And we knew we wanted to get a female to compliment Domino’s maleness.

So Bella (aka Digger) was the lucky puppy to get chosen to live with our family.  From the first day that we brought her home, Domino has been a champ with her.  He put up with all of the attention she was getting and did not get angry when she bit his ears or got under foot.  He did not get jealous and act out.  He slowly but surely started to play with her more and more, being gentle at first and then getting a bit more frisky once she got older.

I look at them today and they are inseparable.  When Bella has to stay the night at her “aunt” to get her ready for an upcoming dog show, Domino is lost without her.  He pouts and gets depressed when she is not around.  And the moment she gets home, Domino is beside himself with joy and happiness!  It’s so cute to watch.

I am so glad that we decided on another puppy and even happier that we chose Bella.  She is the best thing that ever happened to Domino.  And we couldn’t be happier to have them both as pets.

Bella and Domino are best friends….

Bella and Domino - Inseparateable

Bella and Domino - Inseparable

I am beginning to believe that I am part dog as I spend literally 24×7 with my two dogs. When Domino was a puppy, Bruce and I shared time with him (since Bruce and I were not married and were living separately at that time), but I would say that Domino still spent the majority of time with me. When we got Bella, I was working at home so I was able to spend 100% of time with her as she grew up. So both animals see me as their main master (although I feel more like the b*tch!) and tend to gravitate to me more than the remainder of the family members.

When we only had Domino, he followed me EVERY WHERE! From the moment I got up to the moment I went to bed, he was constantly at my side. I thought that would change a bit when Bella arrived as he would have a companion to be with and wouldn’t rely on me so much. Well…..that isn’t QUITE how it all worked out. Instead, now I have TWO dogs that constantly follow me EVERY WHERE! I can be going down the stairs (with them in tow behind me) and then decide to quickly change directions and walk back upstairs, and WALLAH, guess who is right behind me??? Yup, my faithful companions, Domino and Bella!!!

Not that I don’t mind them being with me all the time, but geesh, can’t a woman get a break sometimes??!! Honestly, I do not mind it so much as I love my dogs to no end and wouldn’t know what to do if they weren’t around, but I do need that break once in a while from them!

I guess it brings new meaning to the phrase, “leader of the pack”. 🙂

Bella and Domino in lala-land

Bella and Domino in lala-land

On September 13, 2008, there will be an AKC Canine Good Citizen Certificate (CGC) test that will be held locally. CGC is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs.

Why do pet owners opt to get their dog CGC certified? Many dog owners choose Canine Good Citizen training as the first step in training their dogs. The Canine Good Citizen Program lays the foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility, tracking, and performance events.

Some of the test items that a dog will need to perform and pass are things such as:

1. Sit and down on command and staying in place

2. Coming when called

3. Reaction to another dog

4. Reaction to distraction

5. Accepting a friendly stranger

6. Sitting politely for petting

7. Out for a walk

I am more than likely going to take Domino through this testing as I would like for him to become a therapy dog in the future. He has a great temperament and is really good around people. (it’s his little sister, Bella, that is the holy terror!) I always have wanted to volunteer at hospitals and assisted living establishments using a therapy dog. It brings such joy to the ill and elderly and brightens up their days.

I do have some worries on some of the tests that he has to pass, specifically reaction to another dog and his reaction to distraction. If he doesn’t pass this time around, then I will continue until he does. I am confident that he will get his CGC certification. It just may take some time.

At any rate, we hope that he does well. He is a really great dog and would love to see him bring joy into other people’s lives too.

Domino

Domino

Brandon is now officially at college. We dropped him off at WSU Pullman yesterday, got him unpacked and settled into his new home for the next year. The campus is very pretty and has LOTS of hills! The dorm was the basic dorm that you see at all campus’. It brought back lots of memories for me when I went to college. Some things are the same and some things are different. I am very excited for him as I think he will do a lot of growing up there. I am sure I will see a different person when he comes home next.

His friend Tyler is going there too and is in the same dorm as Brandon. We met Tyler and his dad there and took them to lunch (their last real meal!) once we got the boys settled into their rooms. After that, it was adios amigos. The farewells weren’t as emotional as I thought it was going to be. I think it mainly had to do with the fact that his friend was there when we said our farewells. It’s just way too uncool to blubber in front of your friend when you say good bye to your mom! As for me, I didn’t cry, but definitely felt “empty” as he walked away from us with his friend. I don’t think it has quite hit me yet. Give me a few days and I think it will settle in. And then I am sure that the tears will come in my own private moments.

It’s weird to be an “almost” empty nester. One gone, and two more to go over the next 3 years before it is official.

Right now the feelings I have are melancholy mixed with excitement and nervousness. You wouldn’t think you would be able to feel all those emotions at once, but believe me, it is possible! I am saddened that he is gone, but excited for his new future and nervous on how he will do and acclimate. Silly emotions you may think, but real none the less.

Brandon, if you happen to be reading this, we all wish you the best of success! We know you will do well and we are VERY proud of you. Go Cougars!!!

Oh…totally on another note….our “other” kids (canine in flavor)….well, they stayed with Aunt Kelly and Uncle Brian while we were gone. Needless to say, they weren’t as well behaved as my son was! Let just say, Aunt Kelly has one less hanger that Bella chewed up after she escaped from her crate, as well as one very well gnawed on soap that Domino decided to eat! Thankfully, there has been no residual affects from that fiasco! No Lawrence Welk moments in other words!!! Oh, and yes, let’s not forget Bella barfing on Kelly and Brian in bed! I think they are worse than taking care of infants and two year olds!! But we love them anyway…right?! 😉

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