Connemara's Drummer Boy, CD, CGN, RE, USA RN, HI, SdS, SHDMX,

Connemara's Drummer Boy, CD, CGN, RE, USA RN, HI, SdS, SHDMX,
Little Dog..... Big Attitude

Mesa and Token

 In the past month, I have lost both of my wonderful old German shepherds, Mesa, at 13 1/2, and Token, at 12.

Champion Snowycreek's Dakota Rose, CD, HT, HSs, CGN, RAE, came to Shadowbar as part of the master plan.  I wanted a beautiful girl with brains and spunk and I got it; a dog with no compromise and so much confidence.  She was my go-to girl and kept me busy while my heart healed from the loss of my wonderful Rose.  She was amazing in Rally obedience and really liked sheep herding.  She was a whiz at tracking and although we never entered any trials, she enjoyed finding people and gloves laced with goodies!!
 I remember her finding loonies in our lawn with such precision and then, without a blink of an eye, deciding that it wasn't fun anymore and not looking anymore.  Deb and I never found those loonies.
She loved my friend, Sharlet, who owned Mesa's brother, Ryder, and Mesa accompanied Shar and Ryder much of the time.  Shar even showed Mesa to her RAE and put up with all the nips on her legs (only on turns and out of the judge's eye) and Mesa's  habit of picking up a rally sign  and taking it along with her when she felt like it.  
She munched up a corner of the seat in my van.  She chewed the spare tire cover in the Suburban, and if we stopped for lunch on the road, and she was traveling with Shar, we had to transfer her to a crate in my van first.  What a girl.
And we loved her to the end, and I still find myself taking out her special plate in the morning before the realization hits home that she isn't here.  And when I am done the chores at the barn and I look up the road back towards the house, my heart breaks because she isn't there, looking over her shoulder and waiting for me to walk her back to the house. Oh, Suz, I miss you.

Mesa waiting for me after chores.

Mesa winning everything there was to win in Rally at Skaha!!! Top dog.

Mesa by the flower garden.

Mesa (on the right) and Ryder, her brother.

Young Mesa and Ryder in camper.

Token, Champion Tawnashee's Rose at Shadowbar, CGN, CD, RE, SHDCh, ITD, HT, HSs, came to me at a time in my life where I didn't want another dog.  But Tawnashee Kennels had a litter and brought them to our place in November of 2002 so we could see them and Deb and I decided that maybe we should take one. 
So Deb chose Token and took her home. Within a month, we sent her on the road with Larry Clark, for some socialization and she came back much improved at meeting people.  I thought she was very beautiful and I was happy for Deb to have such a dog, but I did think it kind of odd that Deb would take a soft, reserved bitch over a Mesa Sue kinda girl.  
Well, as luck would have it, Deb ended up going to Utah to babysit Beardogs for Carrie Hunt at Wind River and she left Token with me.  In September, Shar and I attended the Spruce Meadows Masters as part of our Prairie Dog Entertainment group and we had only Buschman to perform.  We took the two youngsters, Mesa and Token with us as there was no one with whom we could leave them.
I recall very clearly the moment when the decision was made for me.  I had Token on a leash in between performances and I took her out of her PD kennel and stepped down onto the astro-turf of the performance area and looked down at her........ and saw ROSE! As clear as day.... ROSE.
She walked like Rose, she matched my step exactly like Rose.... and when I lined her up and asked her to go over four jumps, through a tunnel and back over the four jumps, it was like having Rose do it. I was really shaken. And I knew then and there that the little dog that Deb had chosen had been chosen for ME, not for Deb.  And here I had kept her at arm's length and refused to let her into my heart all that time.  I phoned Deb and told her that I couldn't let her have Token back. I just couldn't.  And she said, "Well, it's about time you figured out she was your dog."
And oh, she was indeed, my dog. Every minute my dog. My heart dog. I was so proud when Jeff Popoff, her breeder, took her around the conformation veterans ring in 2013.  She was so beautiful.  In June of 2014, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and we began a program of palliative care.
October would see her follow Mesa across the rainbow bridge.  And leave me to go on...

Mesa, Token and Ryder 

Token 2014 

Token sunning on the deck 

Token at Leach Collieries 

"How lucky am I to have had something that makes saying goodby so hard."


Tammy Taylor said...

So sorry for your losses. Very beautiful photos and words for 2 beautiful dogs.

Hope memories help your heart heal quickly.

Judi said...

Thanks , Tammy. So hard ..