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Kaylie: 1993-2007


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An empty collar stays within my reach these last few days. It has become the "security blanket" of my adulthood. The collar belonged to my beloved Kaylie.

 

Kaylie ABCA 68853 was born on June 21, 1993. Her sire was Walt Jagger's Imp. Celt ISDS 167036 and her dam was Imp. Jill (Jen) ISDS 177852, owned by Melanie & David Campbell. Kaylie was the first dog of my own as an adult, and also my first Border Collie. My research on different breeds resulted in plenty of warnings from friends and breeders of Border Collies about how difficult Border Collies could be to live with as a "pet," but after months of looking at several options, it still seemed the Border Collie was the right breed for me.

 

Kaylie was a very challenging young dog--high drive even for a working-bred Border Collie--but returned my dedication to training her a hundredfold as an amazing friend and companion. With Kaylie, I was introduced for the first time to obedience training for competition, stockdog work (sheep herding lessons), agility, and flyball. In each venue, she was very talented and natural, although I lacked the resources to support the ongoing training (for both of us) necessary to achieve elite levels of competition.

 

In my adventures and partnership with Kaylie, I learned many things. Most importantly, it permanently solidified my dedication to the working Border Collie as my breed of choice, as well as insidiously getting me hooked on pursuing stockdog lessons, developing goals to trial with my dogs, and even entertaining the fantasy of someday owning a "gentlewoman's" flock of my own. At the time I brought home my new puppy Kaylie, I enjoyed watching sheepdog trials and stockdogs at work, but getting involved with sheep with my dog was the last thing on my mind. What a clever girl to convince me she should at least be tested on sheep to "see if she's got anything!" Soon after that first introduction to sheep, I found myself driving 90 minutes each way for our first lessons. Funny how that happens, isn't it?

 

Kaylie was fighting a number of problems relating to age and compromised kidney function, but in her last two weeks she began to show symptoms of neurological trouble, presumed by our vet to be caused by a brain tumor. After a last-ditch effort with medication, I had to face the fact that she was not going to get better, and helping her go was the right thing to do for her sake. In her last few days, she was unable to manage anything without assistance, including walking, eating or drinking, or safely negotiating even the familiar layout inside our home. It was hard to equate this incapable, somewhat depressed animal with the lively "brainiac" dog I'd known for nearly 14 years. It was time to make things better for her. On April 27, 2007, I made one of those incredibly difficult "right" decisions, brought Kaylie to the vet for the last time, and helped ease her way out of this world.

 

Now I have an empty collar. Oddly, it brings me a little comfort, sometimes.

 

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A shamelessly large photo tribute to Kaylie follows.

 

 

Our first day together, August 1993.

Firstday2.jpg

 

 

A few days later--who can resist a puppy head tilt!? KayliePup.jpg

 

 

Such a perfect puppy! Just a few months old, at a horse show.

Perfectpuppy2.jpg

 

 

The only photo of her working that I have scanned in to my computer. I know I've shared this this plenty of times, but I gotta post it here, too. 1994.

smallKaylieworking1994.jpg

 

 

Kaylie doing her meerkat imitation in 1995.

KaylieMeerkat1995.jpg

 

 

 

Non-posed photo of her with the Disney cat, 1995.

KaylieDisney.jpg

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What beautiful and clearly special girl. That puppy picture- made me say "aw, honey bunny"- a phrase reserved for only THE most cute pups.

Thanks for telling us about her- she was obviously a great ambassador for her breed. Look at you now!

Julie

 

A shamelessly large photo tribute to Kaylie follows.

Our first day together, August 1993.

Firstday2.jpg

A few days later--who can resist a puppy head tilt!? KayliePup.jpg

Such a perfect puppy! Just a few months old, at a horse show.

Perfectpuppy2.jpg

The only photo of her working that I have scanned in to my computer. I know I've shared this this plenty of times, but I gotta post it here, too. 1994.

smallKaylieworking1994.jpg

Kaylie doing her meerkat imitation in 1995.

KaylieMeerkat1995.jpg

Non-posed photo of her with the Disney cat, 1995.

KaylieDisney.jpg

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Snow day!

inthesnow.jpg

 

 

Snow day II (making up for my lack of skill, as usual!).

badthrowgoodcatch.jpg

 

 

A Christmas photo of us.

Christmas2.jpg

 

 

Yeah, I make my dogs look foolish once in a while...they patiently tolerate my nonsense so we can carry on with the good stuff! :rolleyes:

ChristmasKaylie.jpg

 

 

She "smiled" on command, but it wasn't easy to catch with the camera.

smilingKaylie2.jpg

 

 

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Megan, she was a beautiful girl. Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story. In time, when you think of her the memories will bring a smile to your lips, instead of a tear to your eye. My sincere sympathies on your loss.

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What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful companion. I still have the collars of my two old ones. They are a comfort.

I know you will miss your girl and my thoughts are with you.

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What a beautiful dog. I'm sure you miss her. I have one of those empty collars on my mantle, as well and you're right -- it does help. I'm glad you have such wonderful memories.

 

Regards,

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I said I'd stop reading this forum, but I just read your story.. and the tears are a'flowin. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl. I hope it gets easier for you.

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So very sorry for your loss. What a treasure of memories and photos you have! Kaylie was such a gift in your life as I am sure you were a gift to her as as well in hers! What companionship and love between you both... We are so very touched and her last days'/year photos are so vivid and she so lovely, and what expression..., very gentle and so dignified...

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That is a beautiful photo tribute to a wonderful dog. I am so sorry for your loss. Although I saw this thread earlier, sometimes I just don't know what to say, but yesterday while working on a project, I came across something that was fitting, something written by Albert Payson Terhune nearly a hundred years ago for his Lad, and that is a portion from another quote which went:

 

Oh there was something with the old dog went

That I had not thought could die.

 

Thank you for that tribute to Kaylie

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I really should know better than to read these threads at work. I had to get up and shut my office door so that no one would wonder why I was crying. I'm so sorry for you loss. Kaylie was beautiful and looked like she was a real firecracker in her youth. Thank you for sharing her story, even though you made me cry at work.

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I'm so sorry for your loss. We lost our first fuzzy baby, Buffy, a BC mix about 11 months ago. She too was the light of our life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you both.

 

post-7486-1179873633_thumb.jpg

Buffy 4/03 - 6/06

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