Columns: No Margins, No Limits, No Kidding!
A Christmas Wish
FOR ALL WHO HAVE LOST A FRIEND
He was a show poodle-therapy dog and when we visited my dying friend, I realized some dogs can cross the rainbow bridge both ways - especially at Christmas.
December 2006 | TheDogPress.com
Vickie Haywood, Dog Sports Editor Writer
Over two decades ago the boy on the left, Devonson, was born into my hands. I got Goose bumps when I held him. He was sired by a dog, who at that time was just a nice stud dog from Raleigh, owned by my handler friend and fellow club member.
When the litter was 6 weeks old I took them to see the stud owner, Mike Lamb. I carried them inside in a laundry basket and he immediately picked up this boy and said "Boy! You sure can tell he's Devon's son." Indeed, his father went on to become one of the top producing Miniature Poodles of all time. His Name was Ch Kiyara Name your Pleasure.
Devonson stayed with me and became a Group winning, multi group placing, puppy Champion.
At the tender age of 11 months he arrived home from the handler and we said well what now?
The "what now" became a CD, a CGC and a TDI therapy dog. One of the most wonderful therapy dogs I have ever had.
Beside the big boy on the right is Loganberry. Loganberry as you may remember from my last column was that great senior therapy dog.
Devonson was much more. He was a kids therapy dog and a true ambassador for his breed.
He participated in obedience classes as a teaching dog, class room therapy, classroom education, parades, fairs, and played the part of TOTO in the local production of the Wizard of OZ. He was featured in the first all Poodle Issue of Dog Fancy Magazine.
Devonson gave a last gift to a wonderful friend and mentor who passed from this life to the next some years ago.
Rick Koester lay dying in his bed in Moncks Corner SC that year. He had been diagnosed with terminal non Hodgkin's lymphoma. Rick was one of my dearest friends who gave so much of himself to me. I took a drive on a Thanksgiving Saturday with Devonson at my side. We arrived and as the door opened Devon grabbed the present we had brought, a huge green froggy that played Christmas tunes and lit up. He leaped to the hospital bed in Rick's Moms living room and lay down beside him, mouthing the froggy to make it play.
For many hours that day he stroked Devons fur, kissed him, loved him, laughed at his antics. We played music he loved and talked of many things.
When I left, long after dark, I knew I would never see my friend again alive in this world. As I closed the door I heard him say, "that wonderful poodle gave me the best hours of pain free peace I have had in weeks. That is a true Gentleman poodle." Rick lost his battle only a few days later, but he gave me a gift I will always have.
When Devonson left me and went to wait for me at the rainbow bridge with Logan who went before him, I was sure I had lost a part of me I would never experience again....
Fast forward to 2004. I had an opportunity to breed one of my Champion bitches to the number 1 mini poodle in the country. He was bred by none other than my old friend Mike Lamb, owned by a new friend, and I did the breeding.
On December 23rd of 2004 a litter of 5 were born. There was only 1 boy... he gave me goose bumps.
He is still with me. He is 19 years and 7 generations removed from Devonson.
Only time will tell if he has the attributes to make him a great therapy dog. Right now my sights are set on canine freestyle. He has another year at least to grow up before he might finish his championship but that is not foremost in my mind.
What is foremost is that The DOG GOD works in mysterious ways and somehow managed to return to me a poodle who is so very much like his 7th great grandsire that I do double takes from time to time. It is so much more than just his looks, it's his mannerisms and personality. He is my constant companion.
At this time of year we all take time to reflect on our lives, the "ones" we miss so terribly, be they dog or human, and we should be counting the many blessings we have of life, health and the wonderful dogs we share our lives with.
Take the time to reach out to a friend, a dog, or someone in need. They are all around us. Sometimes we don't even know they are in need.