Nikki aka Champagne
CHAMPAGNE, FKA NIKKI
AN EMAIL MESSAGE TO CAROL BACKERS AND LIZ DUNCAN-BURGE FEBRUARY 10, 2012
We brought Champagne home on the tenth of December, so I thought it would be interesting to do an update today. (February 10, 2012).
Dec 12th he weighed 37 pounds on my vet’s scale, was 22 inches tall and 22-23 inches long. By early January he was 25 inches tall and weighed 47 pounds. On February 9th, he weighed 66 pounds, and is 27½ inches tall! He is longer than he is tall, so maybe 29-30 inches. Now he can put his chin on the table like everybody else! BTW, he learns very fast, and often decides to learn things on his own. So, for example, while he can put his chin on the table, he doesn’t. He has observed that the standard of behavior is to lie down and wait until after the people eat, and then get a treat. Hope he gets beyond stealing laundry pretty soon, too.
He is growing both undercoat and outer coat. The pigment is now stronger on his lips and nose, and lots of pigment spots show on his skin. I hope he doesn’t get freckled like Bond and Missy. I like it on them, but they have the big areas of color to provide a base for the freckles. I’ve never seen a dilute grow up before, so I am really interested in seeing what happens.
That first night, he was so exhausted that he went away and found an isolated place to sleep. We tiptoed around and put a dog bed cover under him, and removed the bathroom rug. Now that he is strong and healing, he really enjoys a good snuggle; and, like most Borzoi that we have/had, after he has replenished his cuddle reserves, he finds a dog bed for sleeping.
I found out when I weighed him at the vet’s office on Wednesday that he is shy! Never would have guessed. We’ve been calling him Honey Badger because he is so confident.
Clearly we’ll have to get him out and about. Since he is about eight months old now, I’m planning to wait a bit to be sure that he is out of the eight-month fear period. Maybe we’ll start with a warm-up activity of putting him in the car just to drive down the driveway and return a few times in the next couple of weeks.
Have a great weekend, everybody.
ADDENDUM DECEMBER 2023:
We did indeed take him out and about. He learned that he liked meeting people everywhere. We completed the paperwork to register him with the AKC, to get his Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) so that he could be entered in lure coursing competitions. When Champagne was about 18 months old he earned 3rd place in the Open Stake at the Field Trial of the 2013 BCOA Nationals in Lancaster Pennsylvania.
Champagne was a happy and vigorous dog who loved to increase his strength by playing chase me with the other five Borzoi we had at the time. He invited them to try to catch him as he played the Wolf. Not one of the six would play unless I was there to provide safety. When Champagne got tired, he came to lean against my knees and all of them happily settled back into Borzoi serenity.
Unexpectedly and without warning, Champagne died on October 22, 2013. Sally MacDowell