Thursday, December 18, 2008

2008 in Review

Looking back, I think I and my dogs have had a very good year. We have all been blessed with health, love of family, and the friendship of our close friends.

Zena celebrated her 12th birthday in May. Although "Mammaw" is a bit slower, doesn't see or hear as well as she did a few years ago, there is no dog more close to my heart than her. On clear days, she lies out on the southside of the house in the sun, watching the driveway, and the street. When I come home each day, she ambles up to me to give me a big kiss. I hope that we get to celebrate her 13th birthday in 2009. She still loves her dog biscuits and cookies--and yes, I bake her some fresh homemade biscuits every few days. Age has it's privileges.

Vidalia celebrated her 11th birth day in June. She is still a little bit ornery at times and can still give the neighborhood cats a run for their money. I think it puts a little bounce in her step when she makes them leave the yard. She, too, is slowing down. She likes her cookies, too; of course, she gets them. She often stays in the yard with the younger puppies, ever watchful and patient with them. Like her older sister, she enjoys a good nap in the sun.

Diesel joined our family this year, and he has become a fixture here. You would think the old man has been here his whole life. Diesel turn 5 in July, and we have almost completed his AKC championship--he just needs one more major to finish. Hopefully, we will get to add CH. to his name early next spring. We were lucky enough to have a litter sired by him this year--and his babies are beautiful. If all goes well, in 2009 and should have another litter.

Mona & Reba who are both 4 yrs old--my Vidalia and Tug girls-- matrons and divas in their own right. Reba surprised us all and got her first points--a 3-point major! Hopefully 2009 will be her year to finish her Championship--she loves to show. Sister, Mona hates to show--but her beautiful babies, Hope & Gracie--have become wonderful show dogs! Mona will remain her at home and we have a wonderful breeding planned for he in 2009.

My beautiful brindle girl, Boudi-Ch. Morrigan's Celtic Queen of Kiokee-she finished her championship in March of this year with back to back Majors. We have retired her from the Ring. Boudi loves everyone and everything--always happy and never a moments trouble. She was 4 years old in August.

Cooter, my big gorgeous goofy goober! He finished his AKC championship in November ( Ch. Kiokee Drunk in Publick, Too) after a very limited showing this year. We will continue to spot show him this next year as a special. I plan on taking him to the MCOA speciality this year. He just celebrated his 3rd birthday.

Sweet Sara Lee lives with Crystal Landreth of Pisgah Forest Mastiffs. We have a litter planned for her in 2009. Three of her puppies will be shown this coming year--Jimbo, Chance, and Winne--and all will be at the MCOA speciality!

My sweet lovely Gracie--Kiokee Lionhearted Savin' Grace--needs just 1 more point to finish her championship. This is a dog who sits and looks up at me with nothing but love in her eyes. She was with me when I had my wreck back in July, and escaped from the van to chase the ambulance that she saw me leave in. Thankfully, a NC state trooper chased her down and put her in his patrol car and followed my towed vehicle to the garage. The tow truck driver was kind enough to care for my dogs until my family got there to get them. We had lots of angels who watched over us that day. I ended up with 2 broke fingers--but all three of my girls (Reba, Gidget, and Gracie ) were fine.

I was so worried that the stress of the wreck would impair my girls--no chance! All three can't wait to load up and go! Since then, Gracie has really turned it on and became a wonderful show dog. She is a Momma's girl--but she does it to please me.

Gracie's sister, Hope--Ch. Kiokee Lionhearted Hope and A Prayer- finished her AKC Championship in just 4 weekends just 15 days after turning 1 year old. I can't wait to take these girls to the MCOA speciality this year!

Sweet little Gidget-Kiokee Against all Odds- my sweet little Boudi daughter. She turned 1 year old in July and although I affectionately refer to her as "Gidget the midget"--she is perfectly proportioned. She is maturing into a sweet loving girl so much like her dam. I hope to show and finish her Championship in 2009.

Then there is the two new boys on the block--Chance & Jimbo--my Sara Lee and Trojan boys. Chance was originally placed in a home and was returned back to me a few weeks ago.. His family couldn't keep him--so the name"chance" (yes, I changed it!). Brother Jimbo lives with his Co-owner Maggie over on the NC coast. Both are goofy sweet boys--who are going to make handsome show dogs. Both of these boys will make their debut in 2009--so watch for them!

There is one other family member, although he doesn't live here with me. It's Wesley--Kiokee StoneHouse Wes By Gosh Va. He is owned and loved by his co-breeders Karen and Micheal McBee in Fairmont W. Va. Wes just needs 3 single points to finish his AKC championship and hopefully we will do just that early next year. Wes has so many of his dam's traits--I see a great deal of Vidalia in him. But I also see the intelligence and sensibilities of his Sire, Willie, Ch. Stonehouse Steamboat Willie--who was loved and owned by Karen and Micheal. Wes holds a special place in my heart--it seems that I am the only person he will listen to and "let" show him-- and his grand-ma Catie loves him.

Karen & Micheal McBee also have Winnie--a Sara Lee and Trojan daughter--and she keeps their life exciting with her antics!

Mastiffs have a funny way of worming their way slowly into your heart until you wake up one morning and realize that you never want to be without one. Each and everyone of mine have their own personalities, likes and dislikes, and habits. I love each and everyone of them for just being their own special self.

I look forward to 2009. The MCOA Speciality will be here in NC and it looks to be a very special time for us. I look forward to attending the awards banquet to see Boudi's breeder--Jim Bennett of Morrigan Mastiffs-receive the Collar award and the Hall of Fame award for his beloved Morrigan--Boudi's Dam. Don't think for one minuter that I won't cry. It's a night that some of us will remember forever.

Also in 2009, my daughter Amiee and her husband JR will present us with a new grand-baby in May--about the same time as the MCOA Speciality! It looks as if we may get to have a boy in this family after all!

To our extended family that check in here ever so often--we wish you a very happy holiday and hope that the New Year finds you and yours happy and well. To each and all, We wish you the very best in 2009, and God Bless.

Catie, Mitch, Leila, and the Kiokee Gang