Losing a pet is hard, losing 2 within 6 months of each other is immeasurable.
Many say the "puppy times" are the hardest, but that's nothing compared to losing them. It was unexpected and quick. Just the way Saigie lived. But if I could give you one warning, it would be this. If you think your pet is gaining weight, you've reduced food and still gaining, do not wait, get them in to see the vet ASAP. There COULD be something growing inside that shouldn't. Things can grow very quickly. For Saigie, it was a matter of about 6 weeks. Surgery revealed a tumor to large, to entwined on all the other organs with a lining to thin to be removed without severe hemorrhage. It had already started to bleed, so the most difficult choice had to be made. I chose to try surgery, as all her bloodwork came back normal, no signs of anything wrong and she acted normal. Ate, drank, ran, barked, chased, stalked, did all her normal things. In hindsight, I should of known, she would never show any signs of pain or weakness.
Saigie was our 2nd Vizsla, she was a challenge, she was our "Jekyll and Hyde" girl. But we never gave up on her, as she never gave up on us. She taught us so many things and through the years we came to understand. We made MANY mistakes with her and Bear, some we could change, some we could not.
Lane wanted a hunting dog. After failing to get Bear to love the birds, we searched for another. Found a local breeder, who wanted us to pick out our puppy at 3 weeks old or be happy with "what's left". We were still complete novices, so we went and picked out a puppy at 3 weeks of age. Looking back and also raising 3 litters of our own, how silly! At 3 weeks of age, you can't tell anything, they are still just little squirming blobs. At 6 weeks old the breeder said to come get her. As it was Thanksgiving weekend and he wanted them all gone by Sunday. Lane was out of town on a hunting trip that weekend, so my son went with me to pick her up and held her all the way home. Once home, she immediately took to Miss Coop, our Golden Retriever. Miss Coop was tolerant for a time. Having this little noisy thing try to nurse on her constantly grew old fast though and she nipped her in the lip. So Lane's hunting, but SOOO excited his new puppy is finally at home, she hasn't been in the house more then 24 hours and we are already making an ER visit! 3 stitches to her lip. Needless to say she didn't try to nurse on Miss Coop anymore, but did love cuddling up to her and Bear.
Saigie was the sweetest most loving puppy. Loved attention like all puppies do, loved to snuggle, shared food, water, toys and chew toys. That all changed when we brought her back from 2 months at Bird dog training boot camp. She was possessive, no longer liked to share things, or snuggle and only wanted attention on her terms. She was a changed puppy. Like I said we made mistakes with Bear and with Saigie we made mistakes too, just not the same ones, but I feel ones that were worse. But she was one hell of a bird dog! She had a one track mind and that was BIRDS! She had a range you wouldn't believe, always searching, always on the hunt. She knew her job and was very serious about it. I look back over the last couple of weeks and feel I should have realized Saigie wouldn't show pain. Saigie wouldn't show weakness. This is a girl who could run through barbed wire fences, cut her chest open without a yelp and keep on going. One who would run the pads right off her paws and keep going. She came home MANY times from a hunt with welts, scratches, cuts, pad less and sore joints, but never give up. You wouldn't know she was sore or in pain until you made her lay down for a bit and when she'd get back up is when the soreness would show. But not for long, Saigie had drive and heart, she wasn't about to let the "little things" keep her down or away from her birds. She was one strong girl.
Saigie commanded respect from the others and they gave it to her without question, or they'd pay the price. Lane's hunting partners nick named her the "Piranha Bitch" after going on a hunt with her and their dogs. Saigie was fine in the field, but back at the truck, that was hers and more so if it had the days catch in it! She ripped open a few ears in her days, but one thing is true, everybody wanted to have Saigie on the hunt. Saigie could cover a territory before you even left the truck. If you came home birdless, it was because there were no birds. Saigie left no bush, hillside or tree line unchecked. Many times Lane would take a low line area and Saigie was on the upper one, always forward, always busting through whatever she had to. She had no fears, was ready and willing to go through anything to search.
As time went on, Saigie grew more tolerant of the young dogs and her corrections to them were less severe. She also wanted attention more. She LOVED people, just not other dogs. She WAS the Queen after all!
It's funny, the things I miss the most about her, are the things that irritated me the most. We had fireworks going off the other night when I let the dogs out for the last time and all I heard were the fireworks. No Saigie running up and down the fence barking her head off thinking someone was out hunting without her! In the mornings when the birds are chirping and flying low, that's all I hear and see. No Saigie chasing and barking at them to get low enough that she can snatch them from the air. Lane goes out the back door to the garage and it's silent. No Saigie barking, whining and scratching at the door, begging to go with him, no matter where it is he is going, she wants to go too. She was Lane's shadow, his best hunting partner. As I write this out on the patio, I look across the yard and see Lila sitting in Saigie's spot on the mound, I see Bizzy stalking the pigeons across the gravel driveway and think any moment I will see Saigie come around the corner. We're lost, the pack is lost. Saigie was the Queen. I know Miss Coop and Bear was there to greet her, however I am sure she left them quickly to go off exploring and searching her new surroundings.
Til we meet again Saigie Girl, please don't cause to much uproar and give Miss Coop and Bear a lick from us. Run free and hunt to your hearts desire. We love you and will miss you forever and always!
I have gathered a few pictures of our Saigie, for us, each picture has it's own story. She was one of a kind and we loved her.
"There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other.
To those who have never lived through its turnings or walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible.
Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given."
Hug your furkids as you never know when you won't be able to!
Saigie is our second Vizsla. With all the mistakes we made with Bear and not being able to hunt with him, my husband still wanted a hunting partner. So we stayed “local” this time and found a breeder not far. I went out to pick Saigie up over the Thanksgiving weekend 2001. She was 6 weeks old. My husband was on a hunting trip with friends. Weeks earlier we had visited the breeder, saw his dogs and picked our little Saigie out. So this weekend I went and picked her up, brought her home and introduced her to our Golden Retriever, Miss Coop and to Bear. Well, Saigie took one look at Miss Coop and thought she was her Mommy with more hair. Bear loved her right away. Before the weekend was over, Miss Coop got tired of this little “pee wee” trying to bite her belly and told her off. In the process of doing that, bit her right on the lip all the way through. Saigie was wailing something fierce, Bear was trying to hide somewhere and Miss Coop walks over to her bed as if nothing has happened. My son and I rush her to the vet, she needs stitches, oh my. We get her fixed up and bring her home again, this time she wants nothing to do with Miss Coop and goes over to cuddle with Bear. I think, oh how am I going to tell Lane Miss Coop hurt his puppy? Lane gets home late Sunday night, I tell him the story and he is concerned, but after checking her out, feels no real harm done, just watch Miss Coop from now on. I think at that point, the stage was set.
We were bound and determined NOT to make the same mistakes in training Saigie that we made with Bear. So we made different ones! The remainder of the list of“Not to do’s when training your bird dog.” At 6 months old we sent her to BirdHunting Boot Camp. She was there for 2 months and came back a different puppy then what we sent. She was no longer the cuddly, lovable, social pup we once had. She was a loner, independent and did things her way from that point on. She can be lovable, but on her terms. She is very sweet, has the heart and drive for the field, but the mind of a bull.
Saigie is also our escape artist. She escapes from her crate while we are at work and goes counter surfing. One day I came home to find her running around like no other only to find out she had eaten several coffee packets I had left out on the counter. She was on a caffeine high and just shy of actually climbing the walls. Saigie is a smart girl. She wouldn’t escape several days in a row, otherwise we wouldn’t trust her. So she made us think it was our fault that she was out and getting into things. It was to the point that Lane and I were thinking we were going nuts as we were SURE we closed AND latched the crate door. Then we found out it was her who was getting it unlatched. So we tried hooks, and more secure latches. She figured them all out. We now have a master lock on her crate that she has not to this day anyway been able to figure out how to remove.
Saigie has also been in the show ring. I decided one day to just see how she would do, so I started working with her in the back yard. Then had Lane work her, so I could watch and see how she was gaiting and so on. She looked and handled SO much better for Lane. Afterall she is her Daddy’s girl! So Lane agreed to show her in 2 shows. The first day, she was awesome, took 1st place out of 3 in her class. Missed out on Winners by an up and coming young female who had lots of ring experience. We were very proud of Saigie for going 1st in her class. The second day was a total different story. It was overcast, at times sprinkling. Saigie doesn’t like to get wet unless there is a bird involved, so this day was not going to be hers. The judge was wearing a black slicker rain coat with white polka dots, she walked towards Saigie and Saigie backed up. Lane said he even thought he heard a growl from her. It was evident she wanted nothing to do with the judge or the weather outside. It was at that point I knew Saigie just didn’t have the temperament or attitude for showing. So her show career was short lived, but we were very proud of her.
If you chose to have someone else train or help you train your dog for hunting, the most important thing is to find out if they have experience with training and with the Vizsla breed. You can not always use the same training techniques on a Vizsla that you would a German Shorthaired Pointer or another breed and vice versa. If you chose to send your dog for weeks or months training at the trainer’s facility, please be informed. Go check out the place, find out the techniques they will be using, how will your dog be housed, what will they be doing when not in training? Can you come by and watch/visit? In my opinion, the best training comes from the owner, but I understand that is not always possible, so you want to put your partner in the best hands as possible, so do the research.
Your hunting and family companion depend on it and you.