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A Christmas Wish



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.


Update 2020 - December 2006 |

Vickie Haywood, Dog Sports Editor and SAAB Member


Over three decades ago the boy on the left, Devonson, was born into my hands. I got Goose bumps when I held him.


When the litter was 6 weeks old I took them to see the stud owner, Mike Lamb. He immediately picked up my pick puppy and said "Boy! You sure can tell he's Devon's son."  The names stuck and in fact, his sire Devon 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 certified therapy dog.  Devonson 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 but he did much more...


Devonson gave a last gift to a wonderful friend and mentor who passed from this life to the next...


Rick Koester lay dying in his bed in Moncks Corner SC that year (1995). 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 Rick's mother had set up in living room and lay down beside Rick, mouthing the froggy to make it play.


For many hours that day Rick 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 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've 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. December 7th, 2020 is the 25th Anniversary of Rick's death.


When Devonson left me and went to wait for me at the rainbow bridge, 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 #1 mini poodle in the country. He was bred by none other than my old friend Mike Lamb. On December 4th, 2004 a litter of 5 was born. There was only 1 boy... he gave me goose bumps.


He is still with me. He is 17 years and 7 generations removed from Devonson and 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.


VICKIE SAYS WITHHOLD POINTS & RIBBONS FROM UNDESERVING DOGSAt 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 but like Devonson, somehow our dogs seem to know...


Memories.  Happy Christmas!


2020 Update: Jager passed in 2018 but left a legacy of family in his grandson Fin who graces us daily with his love. EST 2002 © 12061611



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