Bunny  (Celhaus Hallel)

8/1/2001 – 10/8/2014

Bunny was from the H Litter (Ashi bred to Droll)

Goodbye, Bunny

CHIC (Canine Health Information  Center) DNA Repository:  GS-DNA-356/S

Bunny, despite dysplasia in her right elbow, was a great agility dog and loved to show.  According to x-rays, the parts of the elbow didn’t fuse as they’re supposed to, but no one told Bunny she should be painful and lame–her body protected the joint with cartilage and she showed only a slight lessening of extension in that leg, but nothing that interfered with her fun until January 2010, when she became lame when she raced around the course.  I retired her (which she strenuously resisted for six months) and with normal activity she stayed pretty sound and did great.


Bunny had her AKC Novice Standard title in both preferred and regular heights (20″ & 24″), her Open Standard Preferred title and competed in Excellent Standard.  She had her Novice Jumpers Preferred title and two legs on the Novice Jumpers.  She had one leg on her Open  JWWP title.  I then switched to NADAC competition (much safer) where she obtained her Novice Versatility Superior rating, Open Tunnelers title plus Outstanding ratings in Open Regular, Open Jumpers, Open Touch N Go, Open Weavers and Open Chances.  

Bunny was a registered Therapy Dog (Therapy Dogs Incorporated) until I retired her.  During her screening and three required supervised visits the Tester/Observer repeatedly commented on what an excellent Therapy Dog she was.  Of course she’d had practice–she’d been visiting the nursing homes since she was 4 weeks old!!

I always said Bless had read the Faithful Hound manual so many times that she had it memorized, and she seems to have bequeathed it to Bunny.  After Bless’ untimely death, Bunny decided she was the family Faithful Hound, supreme cuddler and professional snuggler.  Bless always lay under the computer desk while I worked there, and under the dining room table when I ate, head draped over my feet, body curled around them.  Bunny became quite serious about her role.  She has always slept on the bed, usually at the very foot of it.  She began that at about four weeks of age, climbing over the gate of the puppy pen and traipsing through the yard, up the deck steps, through the doggie door, through the house to my bedroom, waking me with a little “Hello” and a request to be lifted up in bed with me. There she would snuggle into the nape of my neck and nap contentedly until time for me to get up.  As an adult, she moved to the foot of the bed with most of her body in contact with mine and snuggles so tightly against me that sometimes I wake up on the very edge, about to fall off, with Bunny’s head and shoulders draped across my stomach.  Bunny was determined that I will have no doubt that I am loved and cherished.  What a love!  What a gift to me!

Bunny’s OFA hip prelims at 18 months were rated “good”, but unfortunately her elbow x-rays gave us a nasty surprise:  she had an ununited aconeal process in her right elbow.  Known as elbow dysplasia, this is a multi-gene recessive fault.  They are all born with the elbow in three segments, which are supposed to fuse into a solid joint at about four or five months of age.  If they don’t, nearly all puppies will begin showing severe lameness and x-rays at that time will reveal the problem.  Bunny showed no lameness and gave no clue she had the condition.  Even though both her parents and her grandmother had OFA certified elbows, other ancestors carried the bad genes and she got them.  That’s the sorrow in breeding–you do the best you can but you can’t know what will show up.  Here is a perfect example of the need to do health screening on your breeding stock.  No one bothers with elbow x-rays in Germany, and few people in the US admit that it’s a problem in GSD’s.  They are breeding a-symptomatic dogs like Bunny and concentrating the bad genes so that somewhere down the line a pup inherits all the genes and gets the problem.  I spayed Bunny; at least we won’t pass on the genes.
Bunny at 12 years

I called her “Bunny” (after the Energizer Bunny), because she was a very busy, very inquisitive, high drive little girl.  She was petite and extremely athletic.  This girl excelled at agility and would also have been a good obedience and tracking dog, if I had had time.

Bunny was always the first of the litter to try anything physical — steps, climbing over the puppy gate, following me on poop detail, chasing her grandmother Glory’s Jolly Ball and helping kill it during play sessions.  First to retrieve, first to hang on to my pant legs for dear life–always first to try a new thing.  She was a VERY fun dog.

Although she slowed down at nearly 11 years of age, Bunny continued to be just like the Energizer Bunny, going going going constantly. She had her dad’s quiet temperament and her mother’s energy and ambition, quite an interesting combination. She was very nose-driven and was fascinating to watch on walks as she explored intensely. She loved to explore alleys and areas behind stores. She often looked like a narcotics dog as she moved her nose up an object (stack of tires, automobile, whatever), down it across to the next object, up, down and so on. I always knew which cars had been driven recently as she had to check out all the car doors and then follow the trail to the person’s door or the store entrance. On one night walk she absolutely insisted that I lift her up so she could smell inside a pickup bed. I never figured out what she was smelling, since the bed was empty. She shone with intelligence and was incredibly fun, although she definitely got into trouble if she wasn’t kept busy! Even as physically active as she was, she also has great mental calmness.  I was constantly amazed at how the Droll pups observed what was going on wherever I took them and then adapted to that particular situation as if they’d done that forever. They were so fascinating to observe.  Bunny was the joy of my life.

See my favorite agility competition photos of Bunny

see my favorite photos of Bunny