Sometimes extended family comes home. At least for a visit anyway. This past weekend I held a Ridgeback Family Reunion at my house and invited all the dogs I'd sold within reasonable driving distance and of course anyone else who has Ridgebacks who might also want to attend. As it turns out we had only Ridgebacks that I'd bred able to come but I am hopeful when I hold another event in the Spring that not only more of my puppies can attend, but also that my non-related RR friends who were not able to come can attend as well. As it was we had 9 Ridgebacks here and one bossy Puli.
Delta was the first to arrive with her family and she was a little concerned that she was the only dog here who was not part of the 'pack'. It's intimidating for a lone dog to come into an established pack and none of the dogs know or remember each other, it's been over a year since they were together. Delta started to relax a bit though and a few hugs and cuddles from Daddy were just the ticket.
Cash arrived and shortly after that his little sister Rue showed up. They became instant friends and spent a lot of the time wrestling and showing off their long legs. Cash is from the first litter and Rue is from the second. Rue is an absolute carbon copy of Leeloo, it's uncanny, and I am very curious to see how she matures and how the two will compare. I'm quite sure Raimi's genetic influence has not kicked in yet since her feet are still a little large for her body!
Once we had 6 Ridgebacks in attendance it was a free for all and Cora had a great time showing everyone around the property. She doesn't mind other dogs coming over to play! Esme spent quite a lot of time trying to herd everyone but I think she gave it up as a lost cause in the end.
I saw Cash last June when I went up to Canning for a dog show, his mom Jill was nice enough to put us up for a couple of nights. At that time Cash was just a year and was every bit the gangly out of coordination teenager. Since then however he has matured and discovered that he now has complete control over his limbs. And he uses them. I could tell he was running for the pure joy of being able to run in complete harmony with his body, it was lovely to see him so coordinated. He is very tall still (obviously) but he's well put together and incredibly fast and fit.
Once there were more dogs to take the concentration off of her, Delta relaxed quite a bit and had a round of showing off by herself. Once she comes to a couple more events she will be more comfortable and enjoy herself a lot more. Most of the other dogs in attendance have seen each other as they were growing up so it's hard for Delta to come into a party where she doesn't know anyone but they all seem to know each other. We've all been there Delta.
Franco arrived a little late but made up for lost time by getting right into playing with his brother and best bud Cash. They have spent a lot of time together growing up and the instant they see each other they set to playing. It's also very obvious that Franco also adores Jill, Cash's mom, and it's great to see families meeting up and becoming friends through the dogs. Franco reminds me a lot of Raimi, in looks and personality. He is clearly a happy go lucky sort of guy who doesn't have a mean bone in his body - he just wants to bring joy to the world. It's hard not to like him.
It was a cold day but we suffered through and stood to watch while the dogs ran and ran and ran. At one point there were 8 or 9 dogs chasing about on the lawn and it was an incredible sight. My neighbours must have been having a heart attack. I love that I can now provide a safe, open and landscaped space for the dogs to come and play. I am a bit of a hike away from where everyone lives but to see the dogs in their glory, getting along and playing so well is certainly worth it. They are all so well behaved, no one argued, no one was hiding or scared, and everyone had a great time.
Raylan had the benefit of being here a couple weeks ago so he had a leg up on all the other guests. I am very impressed with how he's maturing and he's even looking better than he did a couple weeks ago. Sandra is doing a great job with him and he will be an incredible Ridgeback when he's all grown up. I hope to show him in 2013 but I'm still waiting to see how (ahem) tall he gets! So far so good ...
Rue's buddy Ethan suddenly became very popular when it was discovered he had some treats in his pocket. I hate to point out that 5 of those 6 dogs are mine. Archer is on the far right and although I no longer own him he certainly developed some begging habits while with me. It looks like he taught Raylan a thing or two as well. The other 4 are definitely mine!
The only dog there that wasn't a Ridgeback obviously, was Esme and she didn't have any issue with a Ridgeback invasion. Why? Because as this photo clearly demonstrates Esme owns this joint. I love this photo of her as she demands to be the centre of attention. Ridgebacks? What Ridgebacks?
These Ridebacks. It's a choir of hounds; actually they are trying to grab each other's ears and play bite but I think the moment is pretty cool of them appearing to sing together. They could form a pop group with Raylan in the middle singing lead and Rue and Cora doing back up vocals.
And that ... was that. We had a potluck in the house and as I opened the door to let everyone in someone said "You're letting all the dogs into the house?" Sure! Dogs live here, they are allowed everywhere in the house, and since I know none of the dogs were raised in a barn they all have house manners. There they all are, nine Ridgebacks, all related. Thanks to everyone who came and I hope to host you all, and more, again in the Spring.
Back row L to R: Archer, Raylan, Raimi, Leeloo, Cora, Franco
Lying down L to R: Rue, Delta, Cash