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Allen Hickenbottom

Eileen Stein

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I'm assuming that most already know about Allen Hickenbottom's situation, but just in case . . .


Allen, a well-known handler from Illinois and a great guy, suffered a coronary episode last Friday, in which he blacked out and drove his truck into a ditch. He was hospitalized and stabilized, and on Monday (two days ago) a cardiac catheterization was performed which showed a coronary occlusion in four arteries plus a life-threatening ruptured aortic aneurism, which had fortunately clotted before Allen bled out. Repair of the ruptured aorta is a very delicate and dangerous procedure, so Mike and Laura Hanley arranged for Allen to be flown to Lexington, KY where an experienced surgeon performed the repair and coronary by-pass in a 10-hour operation yesterday. Allen has awakened following the surgery (during which he was on a by-pass machine throughout and was placed on circulatory arrest for roughly two hours), and is recognizing people and talking. He is very lucky to be alive.


Insurance is unlikely to cover his flight to Lexington and certain other expenses, so Laura Hanley has posted the following to Sheepdog-L:


When I sent the post remarking about the expense of Allen's flight, I

really hadn't even been thinking that this might be construed as a

request for donations. However, I should have realized that all of you

understand the expenses incurred here will be huge, and everyone wants

to help. The offers for donations to offset expenses has been

overwhelming. Someone suggested that I create a pay-pal account for

donations for Allen & Sharon. I have done so.


Allen & Sharon are going to shoot me for doing this..... but they'll

get over it!


If you would like to make a contribution directly to pay-pal, the

address for your contribution is allenhickenbottom@wildblue.net


If you would like to mail a donation, please send it to:


Allen & Sharon Hickenbottom

C/O Laura Hanley

1400 Munch's Corner

Lexington, KY 40515


If you write a check, please make it payable to Sharon.


Thanks for your overwhelming support and prayers. I will keep everyone

updated on Allen's progress.


Kind regards,



ETA: I was mistaken when I originally said that Allen would still need to undergo coronary by-pass surgery in the future. He had the quadruple coronary artery by-pass at the same time as he had the aortic dissection repair.

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Thank you so much for posting this. I'm out of town on business and is hard to access my email. I had heard about Allen's situation but only scant information. Thanks to this I now I know what's going on.


He is the nicest, kindest handler I've had the pleasure of meeting. Always ready with some kind or funny words after a run or advise when you need it!


Will you please post another update when you hear anything? I'll be gone for 2 weeks and checking here on rare occasion.



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Here is the latest update from Sheepdog-L:


Hi Everyone,


Allen is talking! His breathing tube was removed last night and he

recognized his family today. He told us he was in Lexington, and that

he arrived by helicopter. He is in far better shape than we ever



Someone inquired about the allenhickenbottom@wildblue.net Yes, it is

an e-mail address, but is also the pay-pal account name. If you have

an existing pay-pal account, you can transfer funds to another pay-pal

account by using the account name, in this case



Sharon's sends her gratitude to all for the grave concern shown for

Allen. She's tired, but thirty years of wrinkles dropped from her face

when she heard Allen say her name......



Laura Hanley is posting these. God bless them for pitching in at this time.

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Allen is a miracle. After just reading the latest on Sheepdog-L I can't believe that he is talking about running his dog in December. But a miracle couldn't happen to a nicer guy.


I should add that I just met Allen for the first time this June at a trial in Tingley, Iowa. He is a very nice person.



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I had the opportunity to meet Allen at the practice field for the Finals at Gettysburg. His kind, friendly, and generous nature was obvious. The Hanleys, too, are wonderful people.


They aer all in our prayers and thoughts.

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Updates from Laura Hanley:


Hi Everyone,


I just came from the hospital and Allen continues to do very well. He

is St. Joseph's miracle man. The miracle of your prayers has certainly

played a strong role in aiding his recovery. Though Allen continues to

progress in leaps and bounds, we have to keep in mind that he is still

seriously ill and his road to recovery is still tenuous. Allen isn't

out of danger yet. The time Allen spent on circulatory arrest has,

thankfully, not seemed to have impacted his brain function. He

certainly is worried about whether or not he can run Hector in Ranch at

Hartford in December! However, we don't yet know the toll it has taken

on his bowel and kidneys. They too were deprived of oxygen and blood

flow for a great period of time.


We're hoping to keep Allen in the ICU for another day or two for close

monitoring. Though, as Bobbie Washer stated, the tubes and lines are

coming out, the nature of his surgery is cause for continued vigilance.

If he is transferred to the floor, I will be spending the first few

nights in the room with him. Allen is awake and able to talk for very

short periods of time before lapsing back to sleep. He is weaker than

a newborn foal. He has difficulty moving his arms and legs related to

his fatigue. He has yet to be out of bed and up in a chair. Perhaps

today (Thursday).


When Allen is moved from the ICU he will advance to a telemetry (heart)

monitored floor. He will continue to require much peace and quiet to

continue on his extraordinary road to recovery. Sharon is well aware

of how much everyone loves and cares for Allen. So many friends will

be close to Lexington this weekend for the Perryville trial. Sharon

knows it will be hard to resist the temptation to come by. However,

she requests that you please do resist. Allen is easily fatigued and

his immune system is not up to battling the germs that will be carried

in by numerous visitors. Sharon doesn't want to hurt the feelings of

any of their friends, but Allen's continued well-being is her first

priority. Sharon hopes Allen will have the strength to see visitors by

the middle of next week.


Thanks to all of you for your words of encouragement, prayers,

donations and endless support. I told Sharon that Mike and I wanted to

bring her husband back to her. We're almost there.... Please don't be

offended if we hide him, covet him and protect him for just a little



Sharon is a wife protecting the husband that she nearly lost. I'm the

momma bear protecting her cub.


God bless you all,





Hi everyone,


I sat down this morning to cut and paste all of the e-mail notes of

support onto a word document for Sharon. It ended up being 6 pages

long! I thought she would appreciate seeing all of the notes of

support that they received.




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Tess is going to be entered in this trial....and the best part, she is gonna run like a champ....anyone else want to compete?



Hi Everyone!


The Allen Hickenbottom cyber trial will take place on Saturday, Nov 17th...

in the realm of cyber space. Deadline for entries will be Friday, Nov 16th.

We have an unlimited supply of cyber sheep, so all that enter will be

guaranteed to run. The cyber flock will be quite challenging... a mix of three

separate flocks that have known each other for one day... we have a flock of 4H

Suffolk show lambs, a flock of cheviots and a lovely flock of mountain

ramboullet... and a few goats with kids thrown in for good measure... !


The beauty of a cyber trial is that you can run whoever you want. You can

run another persons dog, you can run a brace, you can get a free pass from

Heaven and run a dog who lives there... we don't mind who you run!


Entry fees are $20.00/ run, but don't stress yourself out, we'll run your

dog if you send a dollar!


The Hickenbottoms will receive a list of the people who ran in the trial, as

well as one check. The amount that you send will not be displayed, because

the amount is not important. The love that is sent with the check is all that



Just one class, Open. That's the beauty of cyber trialing... everyone can

move up!


Please send entries made out to Gina Kirwan. Please be sure to tell me the

dogs name, and if it's living on earth or in heaven.


Gina Kirwan

2430 Hume Bedford Pike

Lexington, KY 40511


The field is a beauty... an eight hundred yard bowl with a meandering creek.

Gently rolling all the way to the top, green like Kentucky when we have

rain, wild flowers everywhere. No dead spots, perfect acoustics.

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Tess is going to be entered in this trial....and the best part, she is gonna run like a champ....anyone else want to compete?

Bear and I are going to beat everyone! Finally, the dream of going to the post with the Big Dog is going to become (cyber) reality.


I met Mike and Laura Hanley at a trial this year, and they were so much fun to hang with. I think their efforts during this ordeal have been heroic, and though I do not know Mr. Hickenbottom, I am pleased to lend my support.

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