However, the "tricky" thing about Taylor was that she was a cropped dane, when I had a natural eared boy and Trinity's ear were already standing and long out of tapes when she came to stay with us (I think I forgot to mention it, but she was with us for six weeks). Taping ears is a whole art unto itself. And if you don't have someone who's willing to explain it to you and help you out, you can easily cause permanent damage to the ears. This was one of those times when I started to realize that Heffner's breeder wasn't the mentor that I was looking for. When we did the hand off of Taylor, she basically gave me a small ziplock bag of some ear supplies and told me to just keep doing what she had been doing. At the time it seemed simple enough. Late on though, I realized just how much more there was to it. The first few weeks were a bit rough. And Heffner wasn't helping any because one of his favorite games was to chew on Taylor's ears, especially right after I had just gotten done taping them. Apparently they were just screaming at him to have the tape ripped off. Yeah, that wasn't a whole lot of fun. Thanks to many helpful people who were part of an online dane forum, I started learning how to actually tape ears and slowly got better. The first stages though looked a little something like this:Taylor fit very well into our family and we were pretty much sold on the idea that we were going to keep and not give her back once our new puppy was born. This was something that the breeder was very fond of. And boy did Heffner love his new little sister!
Starting in September of 2007, I started taking Taylor into the ring! We had been going to handling class religiously and we were really working well together and I really enjoyed her. At our first conformation match, not only did Taylor win the puppy breed, but she also got a puppy group 1st!! She was getting fairly tired of her long day by the time we went into the Best in Match ring, it was pretty much all I could do to keep her standing up! Prior to going into the ring the judge was nice enough to let us get a picture with her. While it's not the best shot since Taylor really was not longer in the mood to be a show dog, I still think it's cute!
We really felt like she was a great addition to our family and Heffner was very obviously taken with her. We took her every where with us. Many trips to the beach!
Trips out to my parents' property in Pine Grove.
And a trip out to Sunriver.
After about three months living with us, I started to find out about some issues that the breeder was having in her personal life. While not entirely related, I really feel that these issues played a large part in some of her erratic behavior and the decisions that she was making. Unfortunately, she and I had a difference in opinion about things related to Taylor that eventually ended with her asking for Taylor back. Since I was not a co-owner or otherwise of Taylor, I had no rights with regards to keeping her. We very much wanted to keep her because she was a very sweet dog and the plan had been for us to keep her. At the time, it felt like a great blow. However, as with many things, it turned out to be for the best. Losing Taylor opened the door for getting Bess and gaining a breeder who was EXACTLY what I needed in a mentor. So while it was sad and hard to let her go, we are much happier for it and in a much better place now.
As I was looking through all the old pictures I came across some old videos too! Hopefully these come through alright.