SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2012
Saturday's Club Day
Big thanks to Mary Ellen for being our Rally O judge and for bringing to our attention where we lost our points. We certainly had enough dogs to make up a morning of Rally.
Those of us who knew Jackie Clemens took time to share our best memories of time spent with this gentle, kind, amazing, assertive, independent lady, which seemed fitting as her family and friends in Spokanne, Washington, were attending her memorial service.
Shar recalls most of all how Jackie spoke her commands to her dogs in Spanish. Everyone recalls her absolute kindness and regard for all living things.
The first time I met Jackie Clemens, she marched right up to me and said, "Where did you get that
wonderful little dog?" He is amazing. She meant, Tom Thumb, my husband's sheltie. And that was the beginning of a long, wonderful friendship. We visited back and forth and Jackie stayed with us many times on her way to and from agility trials in Calgary and area. I loved her bumper sticker....
"Uppity women.......UNITE!" and have looked for one just like it forever. Jackie was the reason
we called our scent hurdle team, Due South, as she was the furthest south being from Whitefish, Montana. Her sheltie, Nickles, loved the game and Jackie loved that Nickles loved the game.
When I began herding with my shepherds, Jackie tried the shelties and she had a great time. Her shelties had over 150 honest titles in various performance events and then there were some that we just made up and added out of cheekiness. "Uppity women, you know."
When Jackie decided to retire and move to Spokane, Washington, she was excited that she would be closer to more 'doggy' events. Little were we to know that her enjoyment and participation would be curtailed by the diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor. She kept us informed as to her treatment and
progress and we planned a year in advance to have her in shape for the Rally Obedience ring at Cranbrook. She was no longer able to drive on the Highways, but in 2010, I believe, thanks to a wonderful young man, Matt Kochel, who became her driver, dog attendant, and friend, we did it.
And she competed and qualified....with BOTH dogs in the rally ring. And we were elated.
We spoke on the phone more often than on the computer as the tumor did take a toll on Jackie's memory. It was just easier to phone once a month and share everything our friends had been doing in the 'doggy' world. And it was so important for her to continue to be part of her 'Canadian' friends' lives.
Shar and I made our last visit to Jackie's home in Spokane, Washington, in late March, 2012, and her family and her caregiver were gathered to formalize plans for Jackie and the dogs, Crispy and Geordie, to move into a long care residence, where they resided until her death last Sunday morning. The dogs were with her until her last breath, and Michael, her son, said that in the last four days of her life, they had to pull Crispy away from Jackie's side, in order to feed and exercise the dog. Both dogs have been returned to their breeders and will continue in the sports they enjoyed so much. Jackie would have approved.
And the rest of us will be left with heavy hearts but lives enriched by the wonderful smile of a true friend. God, I've made myself cry. Jeez.