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March 7th

Five years ago was the beginning of my adventure into the world of dogs. I had been working on my mom for 2 years, and she finally gave in. It started with this little 9 week old ball of fluff. This is the first picture we took of her.

Her name would be Mandi Mae, and she was destined to be my shadow, companion, barn dog, watchdog, lap warmer – extrodinaire. She went everywhere with me, from the horse farm, family functions, my work, friends’ houses,the mall,

and even to school occasionally. I had a lot to learn, and luckily she had a lot to teach me.

She was verrrry timid puppy and she was 2 years old before she would start approaching people outside our family on her own. She was slow to warm up to dogs too. She woudn’t dare get her feet wet if she could help it, and god forbid she got dirty in any way. Basicaly, Mandi was the exact opposite of Rugby.
I don’t have much cat experience, but I am certain that is what Mandi considered herself to be. She enjoyed laying in your lap…unless you pet her too much – then she would leave. You could find her lots of the time settled on the back of the couch or on the front windowsill, and her favorite place to ride in the car was behind your neck.
This was before my days of dog training, and her training mostly entailed a long list of parlor tricks which she became quite good at. She took it easy on me and learned quickly.
She taught me about food quality control, as we made our way up the kibble food chain, and played around with raw diets. She taught me lots about haircuts. Trust me – I gave her quite a few bad ones that she didn’t mind wearing untill it grew out and we could try again. She taught me what it was like to live with a dog.
Well into year 2 we had started going to agility classes. It was interuppted though for a much needed chiropractic session, and we didn’t get the chance to return. She had just gotten enough confidence to start running to the obstacles by the time we had to quit.

Here is a cute video of her helping my sister with cheerleading.

June 13, 2008 Mandi was attacked by a german shepherd. She died 2 days later.
This was the last picture I took of her.
I started training with Margot two weeks later. Rugby came home with me six weeks after that. I wish I had started with Margot’s only three weeks earlier. Things would be different if I had.
To make a long story short…
March 7th would have been Mandi’s 5th birthday.
Happy Birthday Mandi! 
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