Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Last Match

I first met Terri Zimmerman when I bred Abra to her Zaltana. This breeding resulted in Halo and her nine littermates, and Terri has been a wonderful and supportive dog grandma and friend.

Zaltana died during an operation to remove his twisted spleen just a few short months ago; this is just one in a series of deep and profound losses Terri has recently experienced and her heart has been beyond broken. On Sunday Dawson, Zaltana's grandson, went to live with Terri to see if her broken heart has room for him. As one person commented after seeing the picture of Terri and Dawson, "it is good to see her smiling again."

I believe that while our beloved friends cannot stay with us as long as they want, they send others to take their place and carry on their loving and supportive work. I see Abra in all the dogs around me -- her way of being present when her body just would not allow it any more. I hope Dawson is able to carry on for Zaltana, Zane and all the others than Terri has loved and so deeply misses. Let's all think good thoughts for Terri and the puppy she will call Zed.

Zoey and Faith went tracking yesterday. An advantage of living in the middle of no where is that tracking is very easy -- we just walked down the hill behind the house! I laid two very short tracks (about 8 feet each) for each puppy. The food is spaced closely together -- think Hansel and Gretel. At the end was a sock with a yummy treat on it. Our goal yesterday was simply to teach the puppy to follow the track of food. We said nothing but gently pointed to the next food drop if needed. Both puppies caught on quickly -- and so did Galen!

I have also included a picture of Faith looking up at Galen after tracking -- she is wearing her miracle medal (thanks, Lynn!!!). Zoey is in the picture by the chair and also getting ready to pounce on the cat and chewing on the dryer hose. I took that away right after I took the picture!

Tomorrow I am going to post pictures that the new owners have sent -- wait until you see Madison on the beach!

Have a lovely day and thanks for visiting. Nicole -- I hope I got this posted early enough for you!


  1. When I first saw the post heading, "The Last Match", I wondered how on earth M-A was going to keep Zoey from future wrestling matches with Girlie! Then I saw the sweet picture of Terri and Dawson/Zed, and thought, "Now THERE"S a match!", and then thought "Duh! That's the last match!" A little slow this morning! Zed is so lucky - Terri is as committed a Berner mom as M-A. I know, having one of her grandbabies for the last 6 years, and having received many birthday cards etc. for Bella from Grandma Terri. It's so nice to see the F litter all homed. And Galen, look at that girl track! M-A, I've started saving newspapers for the G litter!

  2. Joan, that is exactly what I thought when I first saw the title and top picture together . . . ;)

    M-A, I wonder if Galen might be so inclined to record and post some "training videos" for us, from his sessions with Faith. I know that I am trying to learn all I can right now about puppy training, mostly from you and Ian Dunbar's books, but it would be really great to SEE what positive training looks like in action. Especially since a puppy has to be a certain age before s/he can go to puppy class (and Ian Dunbar says puppy training has to start right away in the home) . . .

    Looking forward to meeting you this weekend,

    Liz A.
    Urbana, Illinois