Sunday, March 8, 2009

Who was Merlin?

I thought everyone might like to know a little bit more about Merlin and who he was. Here is the story from Helen who was his breeder and his owner. He had a very special place in her heart.

This is Merlin AKA Ch Aragon Silver Cloud CDX TDX

When I decided to bred Merlin's mother Ch Ekohils Cinnamon Life CD CC TDX I knew I liked the Aroi line. Luckily, Georgiana had a blue brindle male, Aroi Moody Blues aka Martin, a blue brindle boy she was willing to breed. Interestingly I only ended up with two puppies-a black brindle female (like her mother), Jesse, and a blue brindle boy (like his father), Merlin. Merlin earned his name from being the first to escape from the whelping box.

From the start he was full of life and good humor. Although growing up, he was often in the shadow of his sister, I didn't realize the gift of fun I had in him until later. Even though he wasn't the obedience star and would often try my patience; he finished his CD first with multiple HITs (196.5). He finshed his CDX with back to back first places in an all breed trial.

Along with great highs in the obedience ring also came great lows. I remember the time in Open he went out to retrieve the dumbbell (one of his least favorite exercises) and decided it was too heavy to carry so he pushed it with his nose across the ring. About 10 ft of pushing and he decided that it was no fun and he quickly snatched the dumbell up and brought it to me with a proud expression on his face for what he had done. We did pass that day!!! Another time in Open it started raining while doing the retrieve over the high jump. He hated rain and in fact he hated to get wet if it wasn't his idea. He flew over the high jump and skidded into a perfect sit. I thought to myself great one more exercise and....he took off running out of the ring back to the set up. He ran through the Novice obedience ring with both the Open judge and myself yelling at him to come back. He looked over his should at us but Nope he wasn't going to. The last time he showed in Open at our specialty he failed every exercise until we got to the sits and downs-normally our safe exercises. We were coming back to the ring on the long down and facing our dogs. Before the judge could say back to your dogs-he flopped out of line like a fish out of water across the ring to me. Everybody forgot what they were doing watching him. He got halfway across the ring and jumped up with fire in his eyes "WHO WANTS TO PLAY WITH ME". The judge yelled at me to get my dog before he could fail everyone. Oh well.

In tracking training he followed behind his sister for a year while I trained her for TDX. When she passed and it was his turn he had learned everything there was to know for TDX by watching his sister. I entered him in a test with 3 weeks of actual TDX training tracks for him. It was his first test and off we started. We got to the second leg and he decide we were done for the day and stopped tracking-which is why had I started with his sister first. I convinced him that "No we weren't done there was more-and alot more". He agreed and finished the track and earned his TDX on his first attempt. Actually he got both his TD and his TDX on his first attempt.

He also was an awesome runner. He had no use for plastic-I wish I could have shown off his speed and agility to lure coursing people but when he saw the lure he yawned turned his back and never looked at it again. In the open field he was a different dog. I guess I didn't appreciate what he could do, the older we get the more we have seen and the more we have to compare to. In the open field he outsprinted the racing whippets off the line. Greyhounds don't do that-I remember the two Whippets were out of Don Papin WindyGlen line. He just ploughed over top of them and left them behind. That day in the field he didn't draw Athena who had been the Grand Course winner the year before to run against but he was so impressive he beat her in scoring and won the hunt. He then tore a toe ligament and it took quite a while to heal,
it brought back memories of what I had to go through with his mother so I retired him from open field competition.

He was a thief at heart and would steal food in a heartbeat. I can't count how many loaves of bread I left cooling on the counter that disappeared. Yes I should have learned better but....
One time a client gave me a pound of fudge for Christmas. I had to run into a deli for about 2 minutes, I slid it deep under the drivers seat. When I came back out Jesse his sister was in the front seat with an empty container. I yelled at her and put her in the back seat with Merlin. I muttered all the way home both for my stupidity and her thievery. When I got home only Jesse wanted her dinner-Merlin didn't and started vomiting up fudge later. I can just see what happened. Merlin watched where I put the fudge and quick as a bunny he pulled it out and ate it all the while telling his sister how good it was. When he was done he jumped in the back and she went up front to see what was left-and I caught and yelled at her!!

What I remember most about Merlin is his sense of humor and fun in life. In the years I have had greyhounds Merlin is only the second dog I can say truly had a sense of humor. No matter how mad I got at him for something he would look up at me with those laughing eyes saying...but you don't really mean it.


Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

A very special boy! How long ago was that?


Anonymous said...

Merlin was born in Jan 1991 and died in July 2004. He retained his sense of humor and devil may care attitude until the last year of his life. Luckily I collected him once and froze semen many years ago. I never thought I would be a "breeder" so never paid attention to details like that. I had no thoughts of ever breeding him. A friend went to have her dog collected and I went along to keep her company. Somehow I got talked into collecting Merlin and I am so glad I did. His puppies are doing great. Everyone thinks they got the best puppy in the litter including me so that makes breeding so worthwhile.
I think I need to figure out how to quit this anonymous thing and get a real title.

BrittBeah said...

What a nice story. Thanks for sharing.
It is so cool to see these pups being born to sires that have been gone for so long (we see it more and more these days). It is sad in a sense but happy too because you get a little bit of that special boy back.

Hiking Hounds said...

He sounds like a great boy! I love the obedience stories. Thanks for telling about him.