There wasn't a "whip crack" bark when we arrived home from Lake Placid last night. There wasn't a cuddler in the bed. It was very lonely.
This past week has been very difficult for both of us. The day Emily spent at the Ontario Veterinary College, and me by the phone, is one neither of us wants to repeat for a long time, but we know that this is impossibility with our family of aging dogs.
Monday, July 17th, 2000, the Rainbow Bridge had one more traveler, Can Am CH Melville's Poetry in Motion FMCH, OA, TT, ADC, NJC, NAC, VA, HC.
Denia left to join her Hope. Emily's vision of a dark brown Beardie Girl waiting patiently for her mom is one she and I won't forget. The two girls greet each other, Denia "tells" Hope to behave, and off they bounce, running, rolling, and barking like only they could. They look back to say "so long", and travel off together, knowing that its up to us to take care of those they leave behind.
Denia will always be remembered by those who witnessed her compete in Agility. She was the first Beardie to earn an AKC agility title, and has a BCCA trophy in her name that is presented to the top AKC Agility Beardie each year. She was nicknamed "The Talking Beardie" by one AKC Agility judge, and she did her best to live up to the name. Never quiet while working, and often annoyed if Emily didn't keep up, Denia made her presence well known. One of her last runs was at the BCCC Sanctioned Agility Match in May. At 12+ years she still looked great!
But her real love was Flyball. With our barrel racer's start, and her flowing coat, she was impossible to ignore. Denia holds the spot as the number two Beardie on the North American Flyball Association record books, and earned over 15,000 racing points with her team, Some Ruff Competition. Whether it was running back to her best bud "Jack", the Russell, or teasing us with her attempts at unnecessary reruns, Denia gave her all to this sport.
The breed Ring was not her favourite place to be, although in her later years she truly enjoyed her time in the Veterans classes. Here she could strut and speak all at the same time! The rosettes she earned were secondary to the great times she and Emily had.
One of my special memories of Denia was her showing a green handler the ropes at the '92 BCCC specialty and taking me along for her Select win. The look in those deep brown eyes was saying, "Hang on Glenn. You're going for a ride!"
Denia was the "mom" of our family. She was the matchmaker in our relationship, making sure that Emily knew that I was a keeper. She was the teacher to all of our new puppies, making certain that they knew what was expected of them, and how much they could get away with. Whether it was a Border Collie, an Airedale, or her own offspring, she kept them all in line. She was even the nana to our Emma, often sleeping under the crib before and after Emma's arrival.
Today, our family is all aware that someone is missing from the Venham pack. Babe who shares the same birthdate with Denia, exactly 10 years apart, is quieter. Denia's boys are trying so hard to comfort us, the Border Collies have a lost expression in their eyes, knowing that the matriarch of their family is gone, and even our Terriers are very un-terrier-like.
Last night, Jake took Denia's place behind the corner sofa on his own. The leadership has changed forever.
Denia's agility stats can be found on the Canadian non-member page.