2018 Veteran’s Day Celebration

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This year on November 9th, 2018 Skyy and I will be attending a very special day in the Bethel Park School District celebrating and remembering our veterans. Although we have yet to meet, Skyy and I feel a special kinship towards a young man helping in the organization of this event. Matt is in middle school and has a particular passion for aiding our veterans and current military men & women. Skyy and I have heard that he is organizing boxes to be sent over to the guys and gals currently serving overseas, and Skyy’s information will be in there!

If you are a service member and received a box from this school, please comment below (if you are able) so you can let our buddy Matt know what you think!

We can’t wait until November 9th!

Thank you for your service!

The Border Collie rescue 9/11/2001 plus some!

Skyy and I wish to pay homage to Cowboy! Just look at his story below…another amazing hero!

By: Craig Wirth 9/11/2016

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – We have seen the anniversary stories about 9/11. Each is of tragedy and each involves heroes. This is the story of a man and his dog. We first met them right after September 11, 2001. We never forgot them so we went back to find the man. This update and remembrance is special and, definitely, ‘Wirth Watching’.

We all saw the pictures from New York City, Washington DC and Shanksville, PA. They united a country. And first responders became the new symbol of America.

Well after 9-11 it was a story of tributes and a story of heroes. For one Salt Lake man, it was a really special hero. A friend. The man is Dave Richards. The friend was a dog named ‘Cowboy’.

After the attacks of that day, within what seemed like just a few hours, they were at ground zero. ‘Cowboy’ and four other Utah dogs were indeed first responders. Among the best rescue dogs around.

Dave Richards remembers, “When we would ride the bus every morning from the Jacob Javits Center down to the World Trade Center, New Yorkers would be in the middle of the street with signs and flags supporting the efforts at the world trade center.”

For years, back in Utah, they had trained and trained at local construction sites and dumps with other rescue dogs for this kind of a calamity. Something about Dave and ‘Cowboy’ became very special, almost magical.

Richards says, “I think he knew. I think he spoke English. I could tell him anything I could…Get down from there and go there. Don’t do that just wait here for a second. It wasn’t, Stay!”

In a story we did 15 years ago, ‘Cowboy’ showed he could find the scent of a buried reporter in 20 seconds. But in New York it was the real thing. It was walking on top of beams that were still hot from the explosions. And over fires from the smoldering debris.

Dave told me, “I think about what he thought we were doing. You know, he didn’t know the trade centers had come down. He just showed up at this stinky pile of crap and concrete but he was the same dog. It was just like what are we doing today.”

The two looked for a miracle of life in the rubble. But there were no miracles. Just more rubble.

In our chat of 15 years ago, Dave remarked about how ‘Cowboy’ would never give up. And how he never balked at the challenge. Richards said, “He doesn’t have gloves and knee pads and hard hat. He just has what God gave him and he is giving his all in conditions without a respirator and working his butt off.”

For 8 days, they searched and searched. It was demoralizing to know there weren’t any people alive, just bodies. But it was in these conditions where ‘Cowboy’ seemed to sense he might have a unique gift that could bring some moments of calmness and relief to the responders.

Dave says, “If there was a stick on the ground or a ball he would grab it and flick it at you. So these firefighters sitting down all exhausted in a row outside the pile he would come up to them and he would look at them, pick up something and flick it at them and it would whiz past their heads, they loved it so they would find things for him to flick. He helped bring some sanity to the situation because it was pretty bazaar, it was pretty sobering when you got there.”

There was only one ‘Cowboy’. He would go on to work in Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

But like all heroes, they become lost to the ages. Cancer had set into the little sheep dog. Just as they had spent all the other days, Dave would spend cowboy’s last day together as one. “I took him to Sugarhouse Park and we spent the whole day laying on a blanket just watching the world go by.” A difficult world that cowboy made better, as a hero.

At the time, Dave and Cowboy trained with the Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs. Three other dogs went to New York from Utah to join dozens of others from throughout the county. The last 9/11 dog died this past spring…. All heroes.

Car Cruise @ HCR ManorCare North Hills

Skyy’s buddies at ManorCare had a car cruise today! We decided to go and check out the event!

How awesome is this….

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Skyy and the Mustang

It was a beautiful day today, but the pavement was a bit hot for his feet, so we stayed in the grassy area and drank lots of water! It was a wonderful event and our boss Brianna did a great job organizing the whole thing!

There was even a guy (Ron) drawing caricatures of people for free! Of course he immediately nailed down Skyy’s weakness and exactly what he was thinking…

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“I love the ball”

What a great way to end a weekend!

Bath time

Many dog owners feel a cringe when they think about giving their dog a bath. This task brings to mind fighting with an animal who has no need or want for a bath (in their own mind). It also bring to mind violent shaking of the dog sending water splashing everywhere.

To mitigate my own reaction to this as well as Skyy’s reaction, I decided to train him to enjoy a bath. While it was not simple to do, he now cooperates with the whole ordeal (although deep in his eyes you can see him cussing me out for this grave indignity).

The following video was shot on 8/1/18. We had just got back from swimming in a pond at Misty Pines in Wexford, PA and he needed a bath…

enjoy…(There is really no need to watch the entire bath, so just the first 1:30 of it should give you an idea of what it is like for him.

Please like and/or comment and let me know how your pets do when it’s bath time!

Adoption Day!

July 23, 2016, (this date 2 years ago) our buddy Skyy made the first journey of his life. He left his mother and the farm near Sandy Lake, PA and drove home with my wife and I.

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Little did we expect what a loving dog he would become. We got lucky (and so did he I suspect) with what a great companion he’s become not only to us but to his buddies he visits on a regular basis.

143 Skyy!

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Lake Erie fun!

Somone remarked in an article I read recently tht the border collie is nature’s all terrain vehicle. Rain, snow, sleet, hot sun, water, mud, ice…all of this can be overcome without issue by the dog.

This description aptly describes Skyy and his incredible work ethic and drive.

Skyy loves swimming in water. So I wondered what would happen if I took him to a portion of the largest freshwater resource in the world: Lake Erie.

No suprise, he loved it!

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We all had a good time throwing the ball into the water and having Skyy and Syrah chase it down.

Next time we go, we will have to see how they do in waves!

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