BERNICE......MARCH 3, 2005--APRIL 28, 2012.......HOW COULD WE HAVE EVER KNOWN?

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                                        OLIVIA............JANUARY 13, 1994--FEBRUARY 16, 2009    REST IN PEACE, SWEET GIRL

                                                                          

Officially, Olivia was known as 2002 Award of Merit Winner Westminster, 2000 APONC National Specialty BOS, World 1997, Multi-BIS, Int’l., Puerto Rican, Int’l. and Nat’l. UCI, AKC, ARBA, CKC, WWKC Champion Elzbieta’s White Zinfandel, CGC…

Such a big name for such a little girl!!

Born: January 13, 1994  Sire: Elzbieta's Mufinski     Dam: Int'l. Ch UCI Marny z Elzbieta  Breeder:  B.Augustowski    Owners:  Merrilee and Jeff Cirtwell 

Olivia was 22 months old when I got her on November 8, 1995 and had been in another home in Texas that wasn’t working out. The day I picked her up from the airport she was shaved down, had just had a litter of 6 puppies and was a mess.   She looked like a street dog!  13 years later she had a “PONderella” story to tell.

In 1996 she won 2 Championship titles and had a litter of 4 beautiful puppies. 3 are Champions. 1997 was her year!! She received 37 Group 1’s and 17 BEST IN SHOWS.   She also won the World Championship’97 at the World Show in Puerto Rico along with her International (FCI) and her Puerto Rican Championship.   She was ranked ARBA’s #1 Rare Breed Dog of the year for 1997 as well as the #1 PON.

All together she had earned 10 Championship titles.   In 1998 she was again ranked the #1 PON.  She now had 25 Best In Shows…a record for any PON.   Olivia has produced many Champion PONs .    In January, 2006, at 12 years old,  she won BEST VETERAN at our Regional Specialty in Deland, Florida.   If you had the pleasure of seeing her in the ring, you would have thought she was 2 years old.    She LOVED showing...the more applause, the better.

What was Olivia like when not in the show ring?   I once described her by saying that she would be in a home for juvenile delinquents if she were a teenager.   She’d be the one wearing the black t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pack of Camels stuck in one sleeve.   She had a mind of her own. She loved to stalk lizards and squirrels.   She loved to herd sheep (started at age 8), dive in the pool after duck decoys, climb trees and drink out of the toilet! (A disgusting habit we were never able to break.)

She loved the adventure of traveling and we had a lot of fun on the road.   She charmed everyone she met, especially in airports.   She would lie on her back in my arms and hand everyone her paw as they approach.   She was 40 pounds of love wrapped up in a shaggy coat with beautiful hazel eyes that would melt you on the spot.   At night she loved to cuddle in bed with Jeff and me.   We often slept “spoon style” as that was her favorite.

Olivia loved life and looked forward to every new day.   She had changed our lives in the 13 years that we had the privilege of knowing her.  Olivia turned 15 years old January 13, 2009 and had slowed down considerably.  Olivia was the reason for most everything in our lives.  She is the reason we built our home in Ocala, and she is the reason I pursued the Show Scene for 13 plus years.  She taught me how to show.  She was such a natural, and she loved to win...the only reason I was on the other end of the lead was that she needed someone to wear the armband.  She addicted us to trying to be the best in the ring.  She wouldn't settle for anything less.   She was Queen of our home.....she let us know when it was time to eat (6 A.M and 5 P.M.) by going to her spot and staring at the counter.  If we were 1 minute late she had this "3 bark notice", that went off every 30 seconds until you got her what she wanted. She used it often whenever she wanted something.  We used to compare it to a form of "Chinese water torture!"  Oh, what we would give to hear those "3 barks" again!    Olivia always enjoyed her role as Mom,  Grandma,  Great-Grandma, and, "Queen", of course.

In the past month she slept a lot, and we had to entice her to eat most of the time.  Her eyes were cloudy and she had some difficulty getting up and down.  She would drink water and she would go out through the doggie door to go potty.  She never had an accident in the house, (unless she was paying you back for some slight she perceived you had inflicted upon her...but, of course, those were not accidents!)  Up until a week ago she loved to go in and lay with the 8 puppies, licking them, and making them feel safe.  In the last 4 days she refused to eat, and all she wanted to do was sleep.  I sat on the floor with her and brushed her which she seemed to enjoy.  She was very peaceful, and did not seem to be in any pain.  On Monday morning we took her into our Vet, and while we were waiting for the blood work to come back, she licked my hand and when I looked in her eyes, I could see she was saying..."It's time."  The Vet came back in and told us that she was in acute renal failure...it would get worse.  We wanted her to die with dignity, which is the way she lived her life.  We didn't have to make the decision...Olivia had already told us with her eyes.  She went to her forever sleep, very peacefully, knowing she was loved.

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