Last night we helped my 16 year old Dalmatian, Pinky, crossover last night. It was time. This morning the sun is shining and I think about the amazing journey we had together and about everything and everyone she brought into my life.
- Our journey started when Dalmatians weren’t so popular. I once had to write a 1 page essay on why we should be allowed in an agility class! LOL
- As a puppy, she was an energetic girl who would do a few obstacles and run over to visit a Rotti practicing on the other side of the room. I’m certain the owner (who was concerned for Pinky’s safety), wanted to throttle us each time! (I don’t blame her, it was so embarrassing!)
- Our first competition, my instructor at the time realized a few minutes prior to our run that we’d never done a full sized table. It showed in the ring <g> and after about 30 passes UNDER the table, the judge said “Would you like to go on?” at which time Pinky ‘popped’ up on the table unexpectedly. Oh and to say we missed the down contact on the a-frame would be an understatement! Regardless, as we left the ring, someone said “She is going to be amazing…”
- They were right…
- Soon we started training under Stacy Peardot-Goudy (in WI) and one day I said “I wish we could get a MAD title” (USDAA). She asked “Why can’t you?” and I said “Because no other Dalmatian has ever done it…” to which she replied “Why can’t you be the first….?” and a world of possibilities opened up to us.
- Pinky did earn her MAD and later her ADCH with a Super Q at the huge Lexington, KY show. I believe to this day she is still the only Dal with an ADCH and the first Dal to have earned an agility championship title anywhere.
- We traveled across the US competing in the big USDAA & AKC shows and hit just about every state, making friends along the way.
- Pinky LOVED the excitement of the big shows and at the age of 11 participated in the AKC’s first Invitational. She placed 4th overall in the 20″ class and earned a 3rd place in the finals. I was higher than a kite and she soaked up the attention.
- But most of all, she was and is a part of my soul. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding, she loved my husband almost as much as me and she raised our pups to be good dogs. When I developed severe arthritis, she eagerly jumped in as my service dog. Many a day she had to help me out of bed, but never complained. When I developed Diabetes, she once again adapted and was able to alert me of sugar lows.
- As she became older, it became my pleasure to return the favor and serve her.
- In the end we held each other, content that our life together was damned good. And that’s what I’m going to forever remember, because it was beyond DAMNED GOOD!
Happy Handling to all and let’s have a great day!