Tuesday, December 31, 2013

An Empty Chair

Cyber-Paw pals, it is a rough day for Dog Dad today.  I have been doing my best to make him smile by giving him face licks.  He hugs me and gives a weak smile.  At times he looks at an empty chair, the one where Great Auntie Essex would watch the outside world from.  It is hard to believe she is gone.

An Empty Chair
This is would have been his 10th Bark-Aversary.  Ten years ago Dog Dad drove around three hours to Holmhaven to pick up Great Auntie Essex and then three hours back.  He loves me, but when he thinks about picking her up, all their years together and then the regular New Years Eve stuff memories just surge through him.  He thinks of the little puppy climbing up his arm as he drove away from Holmhaven.  He thinks of all the good times and bad.  Dog Dad is sentimental and misses Essex and Deacon.  It shows today on her Gotcha Day more strongly then when Auntie Essex crossed the bridge.  The memories are strong.

Essex Standing Guard from her Chair

Essex Resting
He tells me how all three of us were very special and excellent collies.  His love and sadness come through.  I wish I could lick it all away, but know I have to let the sadness run its' course today.
31 December 2009 - Deacon & Essex
Essex in Ohio

Dad just hugged me and lets me know I am doing  a good job.

Dog Speed,


Monday, December 30, 2013

Quiet Colliedays

Well folks, Essexmas went pretty well.  I got lots of treats and walks.  Christmas Day we went to one of our friends that has four dogs.  According to Dad I barked to much.  BOL.  His friend gave him two little collie ornaments for our Essexmas Tree.
Sherman and Treats
Collie Essexmas Tree Ornaments
We opened gifts from family to find one with a picture of me, Uncle Deacon and Great Auntie Essex.  Dad got a little misty eyed.  Sentimental old Dog Dad.  We both miss my Great Auntie, so I licked his face to make us both feel better.
Top to Bottom - Essex, Deacon, Sherman
Happy Colliedays,


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Essexmas - 2013

Dog Dad and I want to wish all of you a Very Merry Essexmas.   Despite the passing of my Great Auntie, she will always be in our hearts and this will forever be Essexmas for us. 
Merry Essexmas to All
I won't be able to eat Cheddar Collies until much later today.  First comes our early morning walk and then Dad plans to go back to bed.  Dad keeps up our routine even when he is not working.

We hope the Lord is with you every day and that you know peace and joy.  We hope you take the time to enjoy the important thing in life, family and friends both furry and hooman.  We hope a smile finds a place on your face and your heart.

Dog Speed and Merry Essexmas,


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Betrayed By Cheese

Alas dear cyber-paw pals, I was found and bathed.  It all started this morning with a thorough brushing and cutting of matted hair.  Then came the a most wonderful  aroma.  The smell and the power of extra sharp cheddar cheese was to much for a mere collie like me.  That wonderful smell lured me into the bath room, where I was cornered.

Dad gave me a nibble of cheese, then he got me into the shower stall.  Then he got me wet, but at least the water was lukewarm.  Then came out the shampoo and he gave me a good lather before rinsing out all the shampoo.  Next came my second favorite part, being dried out with the towel.  Sometimes I'll try to hold onto the towel.  Then I got the rest of the cheese.  Ah, heaven.
My Weakness - Cheddar Cheese
Wet & Miserable
Enough Pictures, Dry Me Off
One Handsome Pup
Next I got to dry off, followed by another brushing.  After all of that I looked pawsome.  Though I did smell like a French house of disrepute.    Red, CC and Karma all gave me a thorough sniffing.  I know it will be at least another six months before my next bath. 

Dog Speed,


Sunday, December 22, 2013

I'm Hiding

I am currently hiding from Dog Dad.

I heard him say something about me getting a bath.  I know it has been like nine months since I got one, but I don't need one. 

I am hoping he doesn't break out the cheese, because the temptation may be too much.

I hear footsteps, time to hide.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Deck Is Looking Good

Well cyber-paw pals my deck has new wood on it.  They did a pawsome job too.  It needs to get some stain and water seal, but it is sturdy and looks great.  I had to get on top of it and survey my collie-dom.  Things looked fine from where I was sitting.  All is safe.
Sherman Surveys His Collie-dom
Side View
Dog Speed,


Friday, December 6, 2013

Tearing Down The Deck

Well folks Dad is busy doing his Christmas baking, then it will Essexmas Cards.  In the middle of all this he is having the deck in the back having new wood put on it. 

Last Sunday, three guys came over and ripped all the wood off the top.  Then they carted it all away.  This coming Sunday, we should have all the wood placed back on top of it.  It should make for a pawsome place to survey my kingdom. 
The Deck Has Seen Better Days
A Side View
A Skeleton Deck
The Deck Wood in the Sand - A Pool Was There
Dad is getting the back yard in shape.  In November the metal frame from the pool that blew out when Great Auntie Essex and Uncle Deacon were around departed our yard.  Sometime in the spring we will have grass put in the back.  Dog Dad is telling me how well I walk on the leash, except for the spot where me and a boxer bark like luna-pups at each other.  The house is pretty quiet now, as I don't bark very much, except at the park.  Great Auntie Essex is missed as she was a pawsome Watch Dog.  Fortunately, Dog Dad and I keep each other company.
Things are getting done around the house. 


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope all of you have a pawsome Thanksgiving.  Dog Dad and I are doing well, I keep him company and smiling.  He will be heading to a friends, so there will probably be no dog park today.  I will be getting some extra walks though.  Dad told me he was surprised how well on walk on leash, except for the one place during our walk.  There is a boxer at that section of our walk, and we love barking at each other and I bounce there too.

We both miss Great Auntie Essex, but we are thankful for the time she was with us.  I will remember the lessons she taught me.  Hopefully another collie from Holmhaven will join us this summer.  Dog Dad has his heart set on another tri-color girl.  Keep your fingers crossed. 

Dog Dad and I are also thankful for having an article published in "The Lookout"  "The Lookout" is dedicated to remembering Albert Payson Terhune and the collies of Sunnybank.  Dad sent them an article about the "All Collie Drill Team." after our adventure in the WABAC machine.  My pawfathers were in that team.  It arrived the Saturday after Great Auntie Essex Crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  She and I inspired Dad to write it.

The Front Page
Our Article on the All Collie Drill Team
Happy Thanksgiving Every Paw,

Sherman & Dog Dad

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Visitor Earlier In The Week

While Dad and I miss Great Auntie Essex we are doing well.  Dad talked to Lil and is planning on getting another collie because we are a two collie household.  Unfortunately, Holmhaven is not planning on any tri-colors until the summer.  Sigh.....
Dad and I  are still going to Angel Paws and I enjoy going, though there have not been a lot of pups at the park.  Dog Dad was off last week, so he kept me company.  My pals Tonks and Kiana came over to visit on Wednesday for a couple hours, so I had plenty of fun.
Kiana Checking Out My Yard
Tonks On My Deck
Sherman Joins Tonks On The Deck
I'll try to keep up Dad's spirits with silly antics. 

Dog Speed,


Friday, November 22, 2013

Six Seconds

Dog Dad was sitting on the couch this morning petting me.  Then he got one of those far away looks and started talking to me about a time long ago.  The Holmhaven Foundation male, Bellhaven Enchanting Lancer, was alive and living with my breeder Mom Lil and her Mother Inga, in New Jersey.  Dog Dad was only in the first grade but he remembers.  Today is the 50th anniversary of Dog Dad's first national memory, the day JFK was shot.  Dog Dad has a book that Grand Maw had bought shortly after the shooting from the local paper.  He paged through it this morning.
Book Dog Dad Has From the Local Newspaper
"Lancer" Was Alive Then
He noted that the day was a Friday.  He recalls being in first grade and being let out early.  He recalls his pawrents being shocked and deeply saddened.  He remembers the entire United States grieving.

It is interesting what Dog Dad's recalls.  His most vivid memory is of a riderless horse named Black Jack with the boots reversed in the stirrups.  He remembers the presidents son, John John, saluting the casket as it passed.  He can see Oswald being shot.  He can see news on TV showing the shooting at Dealey Plaza.  He can hear the voice of Walter Cronkite.  These memories are in black and white, just like the TV he watched them all unfold on. 

Fifty years ago today, three shots were fired in under six seconds and the country changed furever. 

Dog Speed,

Sherman & Dog Dad

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Maggie - A Good News Story

Washington, Illinois was hit by a devastating tornado on 18 November.  A man named Jon Byler Dann was able to get his family to the safe room, but their sheltie, Maggie, refused to come out of her kennel.  The tornado leveled their house but the family was safe, but Maggie was no where to be found.

About thirty hours later while sifting through the rubble with friends a faint bark was heard.  Maggie was found.   The 11-year old sheltie suffered a dislocated hip but is safe.  Funds were raised to help her and other animals.  Below are links to two articles:.

Here a couple links to the story:
  Link to E story - Includes information on how to help
  Link to WeatherUnderGround Story - Pawsome Pawtographs
I love posting a good news story.

Dog Speed,


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Origin of Essex's Name

The choice of the name Essex goes back many dog moons, all the way back to the fall of 1975.  Dog Dad was a freshman at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.  He reported early to attend soccer training camp.  His roommate had arrived a shortly before and had selected the bed by the window.  His roommate was a young man named Eric, who went by “Rick.”  Rick’s pawther was an aviator aboard the Essex during the Korean War. 
Why the Name Essex?
Wittenberg was a different world for Dog Dad.  He was from a blue collar family.  Grand Paw worked for Ford Motor; Grand Maw was a house wife.  Many of his classmates had doctors, lawyers and such for parents.  Dog Dad didn’t feel he fit in, but then that is typical Dog Dad.  Dog Dad is a reserved hooman and meeting new people is stressful.   Dog Dad has gotten better at it over time, but he is a hooman with only a few people he calls friends and he avoids crowds.  He would tell you the loneliest place in the world is a crowd. 

 It was during his freshman year, Dog Dad realized something that had a major impact on his life.  Like most teenagers, he felt messed up.  At Wittenberg the light came on as he realized everyone else was just as messed up.  He was not alone.  The rich, the elite and even the popular had problems.  That knowledge changed his outlook on life.  Thus the name Essex marked a pivotal moment in his life.
A Pivotal Moment
Dog Dad and Rick have not seen each other since college.  Dog Dad thinks of his roommate at times and remembers those days.  When it came time to name his collie pup, he wanted a name with a story.  He thought of Wittenberg and his roommate.  When people asked why Essex, he told them his college roommate’s father was an aviator aboard the Essex during the Korean War and it made him think of college.  That is only part of the story. 
The Rest of the Story
Rick's Dad Visited the Moon
Cyber-paw pals, this was Dog Dad’s brush with fame.  His roommate was the oldest son of the “Mr. Armstrong.”   Now Dog Dad knew the son and not the father.  Thus the name Essex makes Dog Dad thinks of Wittenberg, his college roommate, a July night in front of a flickering black & white TV, and above all his beloved collie girl that taught him so much.  Like Dog Dad, the story of the name Essex is simple, complex and runs deep like still water.  Now you know the rest of the story.

Dog Speed,

Paw-SSS - Dog Dad turned the comments off for this story.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Essex - 13 October 2003 - 15 November 2013

Essex's Holmhaven Puppy Picture
Exploring Her New Home
At a Hotel in Her Old Kennel

December 2006 With Deacon
Deacon and Essex
Hunting the Red Baron
Watching the World Outside the House
Sherman and Essex
Last Picture of Essex - 12 November 2013
Part of my healing process is to write a tribute.  This tribute is for my beloved Essex.  When I write my eyes get misty, so I am glad this isn’t paper.  I appreciate all the prayers and well wishers  It all helps far more than you know. 

What was my Great Auntie Essex’s story? Essex was born 13 October 2003, a Monday at Holmhaven Collies in Florida.  It was a tough time for Lil, our breeder. Lil’s 99 year old mother had broken her hip in September.  Lil was visiting her twice a day.  It was during this trying time ten collie puppies came into the world.  It was Holmhaven’s “X” litter and the attendants at the rehab helped Lil pick names beginning with an “X”.  Essex was at Holmhaven, when Lil’s mom crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 14 December. 
Well, one by one the puppies left until only two remained, Essex and Buddy.  Buddy stayed behind to sire several litters, before leaving Holmhaven in 2010.  It was during this time Dog Dad thought about getting a rough collie puppy.  He searched the Internet and stumbled on Holmhaven.  He called Lil and exchanged e-mails.  On 31 December 2003, Dog Dad drove from Key West to Holmhaven Collies and back with a beautiful collie puppy.
When it came to choosing Holmhaven, the Great Dane must have guided Dad.  For Dog Dad was truly blessed to have found such a wonderful breeder.  Myself, Great Auntie Essex and Uncle Deacon have been smart friendly collies. 
Essex was a very reserved collie.  She took her time to know and trust people.  Once that trust was earned, she would greet you with a prance and a great sweeping tail or she might even nudge you with her nose.  That trust could take days, months or even a year.  Essex decided early on that fence patrol was her mission at Angel Paws Dog Park.  She rarely played with other dogs. 
If we approached a stranger during our walks, she would stay near Dad.   When there was a new dog or cat she would approach calmly and slowly.  She was so calm, it was amazing.  If a pup got out of place at the park near her or interfered with her fence patrol mission, she would quickly and firmly resolve the matter in seconds, and let the offender go.  Essex helped Dad make many friends over the years.  She taught me the way of the collie too.
= = = = = = =
Dog Dad here: I will think of Essex sitting on the Papasan Chair intently watching the outside world.  She would bark at the mail truck or when strangers came close to the house.  I would joke with the mailman, telling him Essex was my PAS, Postal Alerting System.  If a person she knew approached our house, there was silence and a wagging tail. 

At bedtime Essex would sleep at several places.  Sleeping on the couch or just outside the bedroom door were her two favorite spots.  If I was sick, Essex stayed in the room watching over me.  When we got ready for our morning walk she seemed to smile. 
I will miss her loving gaze.  Essex was not a Velcro Collie, she was her own dog.  However, Essex had a special bark that said “Dad I want you to let you know I love you, please come pet me and let me go through your legs.”  I could never refuse those infrequent requests.  When Deacon crossed the bridge, she stayed near me, it was like she wanted to console me.  She was so in tune with me.  Essex was extremely intelligent, and there were times you could just see her thinking about how to do something. 

When it came to taking a treat, Essex was the gentlest dog I’ve ever met.  You could barely feel her gently grabbing the treat in her mouth, even if other dogs were around.  If I asked her to jump up on my chest, the jump felt like a feather on my chest, not a sixty pound collie.  She was a lady.

On the way to the dog park, I will miss Essex looking at me excitedly from the front seat during the drive.  Many passing by Angel Paws will miss the “Secretary of Da Fence” patrolling the fence line.  Essex barking at evil golf carts, bicycles and other offensive things.  She would go down to the opposite end, wait for them at the far end, all the while bouncing and barking.  The words “Somebody is sleeping on the job” would send Essex rushing to check the fence line and barking at the offender. She would give gentle collie kisses to those she knew, and preferred fence patrol to treats.   

She was called Essex, Ressex, and Res.  It hurt to see her slowing down and started to gimp this year.  I hoped Essex would be around another four or six years.  I loved her and in many ways Essex saved me.  She brought an aloof man, back to a world full of people, dogs and added so much to my life. 

A great collie crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I am sure she is guarding the gates of heaven with St. Peter.  She will be at the gates telling St. Peter that it will be okay to let me in despite my faults when appear at those gates.  The night Essex crossed the bridge; I kissed her forehead before going to sleep.  I told her I would love her furever.  She will be furever in my heart.    

A heavy rain came through during the night and early this morning.  I like to think that the angels in heaven were crying.

Dog Speed Essex, my gift from Heaven.

Dog Dad

Friday, November 15, 2013

Essex Crosses the Bridge

Dear cyber-paw pals, it is with heavy heart that I report that my Great Auntie Essex crossed the Rainbow Bridge during the night.  Dad woke up this morning, when he went to get our leashes he noticed Essex laying on the ground.  He remembered the expression on Deacon's face and knew she had crossed the bridge.
What Dad Saw This Morning
She has joined my Uncle Deacon.  Dad and I are sure she is reporting to Grand-Paw and Grand-Mutter (Dog Dad's Mom & Dad) as well as Deacon.  We will right more in the next couple days. 

Heaven has gained a great collie.  We can see Essex calmly walking up to every paw and gently greeting them.

Dog Speed Great Auntie Essex,


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Collieween 2013

We hope every one had a pawsome Collieween.  Just like Collieween's past Dad bought a lot of candy (16 bags) and we were put in the back bedroom.  If we didn't go barky, we would probably get to stay in the front room.  Well, it started a little after 6 PM and by 8:15 PM, Dad was out of candy.  Dad figured there must have been over 300 visitors.  

Essex Guarding The Candy
The Candy in the Avenger Tin
Dad had fun and we managed to get out of the bedroom after a couple hours.  We hope all of you had a howling good Collieween.

Dog Speed,

Essex & Sherman

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Silly Sherman

I got Dad laughing this weekend, which is always a good thing.  It seems that it the little things that do that, and we are pawsome at those little thing.

We had come back from the dog park and Dad was busy doing things.  He fills our food bowls. I plop down by the bowl holder and rest my head on the bowl stand.  his on top.  Dad looked at me and starts to snicker.  I look up at him with and give my soulful eye look and Dad chuckled more. 
Just Being Silly
He had his camera and had to take a picture to share.  I hope you enjoy it.

Dog Speed,


Friday, October 25, 2013

Taking It Easy

Well cyber paw pals, Dad spent the entire week at home and did stuff around the house.  It was nice to have him around, though it did interfere with our usual nap times.  It is one of the big tourist weeks in Key West, and Dad doesn't like to have to deal with all the traffic, especially since there is a lot of road construction. 
Essex Resting On The Couch
Below is a video that our breeder Mom, Lil, made of a bunch of our relatives at play at Holmhaven this June.  If you click on the picture it will take you to the video.  Dad was trying to get the You Tube link to work, but silly Dad had problems.  BOL 

Click on the Picture to Watch Holmhaven Collies at Play
On different note, today is the eight year anniversary that Herricane Wilma.  Essex says that a lot of things changed because of that storm.  Like all the carpet was torn up and thrown out.  Essex kept Dad sane while he was throwing stuff out that was damaged due to the storm surge.  Below is a picture of the pool that used to be in our backyard.  Sherman never saw the pool as the gremlins were at work while Essex, Sherman and Dad were all asleep back in September 2010.  Those pesky gremlins made one side of the pool burst open and all the water came rushing out.  The black line to the left of Essex marks how high the flood water came up on the pool
Essex By the Pool
Dog Speed,

Essex & Sherman