Friday 4 February 2011

We Lost a Good One

In 2006 Cathy emailed an inquiry to me about our Standard Schnauzers, immediately I felt this was going to be a great home for one of my pups. We discussed the breed, her past dog experience and a little about her life and how she saw a Schnauzer would fit into it. Although I didn't have pups at the time I was a co-breeder on a litter in the US and connected Cathy with the owner of the pups. When it came time for the pups to leave for their homes I traveled to the States to pick out one for myself and one that could share it's life with Cathy. There was a handsome, outgoing, very naughty energetic male that stood out, I took him back to Canada and placed him on a plane to join his new owners on the East coast of Canada. In Cathy's own words she writes; "Eli arrived on PEI after quite a journey for a such a little man. At 7.5 weeks old he drove with Lori from Milwaukee, then flew from Toronto to Halifax where Kiri met him and drove home to Charlottetown. Then he proceeded to the easiest part of his journey, the part where he ran around the room and stole our hearts!" I loved receiving updates and photos from Cathy about their adventures, I would even occasionally receive emails and blogs from Eli, Cathy had a sense of humour. She trained and worked hard, learning about the breed, learning to groom him and eventually gaining a Canadian championship on Eli. Cathy loved the training but decided to hand Eli off to husband Allan for the show ring, they completed his championship with a Group 4th placement. Cathy decided the highly social Eli would be a great therapy dog, she started by taking him to kindergarten classes, below is one of my favorite photos sent to me by Cathy. Eventually he would visit with special needs adults, or as Cathy would call them, Eli's Special Friends. She taught him manners and tricks and Eli and Cathy were a big hit. Cathy and Eli were great ambassadors for the Standard Schnauzer breed and I knew that I could send new Dinsdale puppy owners her way and she would happily befriend them and offer advice. Along with a good romp on one of the beautiful east coast beaches. I loved her photos of Eli just being a dog best, this one that I posted on the Blog last summer was one of my favorites. I worked a little Photoshop magic on it and sent a copy to Cathy. I didn't hear back from her about that photo for a couple of weeks, when I did it was then that Cathy informed me about her cancer diagnosis. The last several months I have been kept up to date on Cathy's battle with the disease via emails from Cathy and her family. Updates on her extended trips to Toronto for treatment and the painful recovery from them. My last email from Cathy was a month ago, she sounded exhausted but still hopeful about beating it. It was with great sadness that I received the news about her passing on February 2nd. My heart goes out to Cathy's family. I know Cathy touched the lives of many other owners of Standard Schnauzers, if you would like to pay your respect and send condolences to her family a memorial has been set up here, just click and you will be taken to the tribute page.
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