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I met Dan at the inaugural Pipedream SDT a year ago. He went out of his way to come up to me to introduce himself, for which I (being somewhat shy and awkward) was grateful. I was immediately struck by his gentle and kind nature; he was clearly a very special individual. I've had the pleasure of chatting with him a few times in the subsequent year. I'm saddened that I never got the chance to know him better. I'm grieved on behalf of the greater Border collie community - trialing and rescue alike. And I'm devastated for the loss this represents to Sylvia, his wife who he so clearly cherished.

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What strikes me is that whenever anyone mentions meeting Dan King they express how connected they felt to him. He did that. He made you feel like a friend instantly. His kindness and caring overflowed into everyone he met and everything he did.

 

When Dan King's name came up in the running order this weekend, Donald McCaig gave the most moving and touching tribute that I've ever been witness to. It was perfect. He highlighted a man that was a friend to many and a fine steward of this sheepdog community. In front of a crowd of hundreds, Don narrated Dan's last run with his dog, Fann and it was perfect. No one beat Dan's score last weekend.

 

This photo has been passed around and it's always been one of my favorites because you can *feel* the type of person Dan was just by looking at it. I took it two years ago and while not the best photographer in the world, I'm proud that I could do this very special person justice.

 

dan.jpg

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Michelle, I have always loved this photo of Dan, and it is even more poignant now with his passing. This photo shows the essence of Dan: gentle, compassionate, caring, devoted. He will be greatly missed.

 

nancy

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There has been a lot said about Dan on FB, and maybe that's why nothing had been said sooner here. I appreciate Donald's posting very much.

 

I met Dan because he and I both had pups from the same litter, his second pup for sheepdogging (that I know of) and my second pup for cattlework (my first was killed as a pup). So, with that connection, Dan and I became friends - largely because he was outgoing, welcoming, supportive, and caring.

 

I met his beloved Sylvia within a few years and she, while quite quiet and reserved, was just as lovely a personality as her well-loved Dan.

 

Anytime I ran into Dan, he always made me feel like he was thrilled to see me, and always had a ready smile and a ready ear. Anytime I ran Celt where Dan was present, no matter how badly I bunged things up, he had something nice to say about Celt's run (and something supportive to say to me about my attempts at handling).

 

He had a smile and a hug as big as he was tall (6'8", I think) and he always stood out in a crowd. He was often the one who volunteered to walk the course and, with his long stride, it took him half the time it would take any of the rest of us. When he was in Nov/Nov, he could walk backwards so much faster than any of us that many of us envied him - his dog sure couldn't run the sheep past him.

 

He made the most beautiful crooks.

 

Dan and Sylvia bought their dream property just a few years ago - they built a lovely house and a useful barn; purchased the seedstock for their Katahdin flock from an old college friend of Ed's and mine, and breed and culled carefully, and produced excellent pasture-raised lamb for sale; they had chickens and a great chicken tractor (that I think they made); respected and cherished their guard dogs; and trained and loved their working sheepdogs. It was a piece of heaven on earth, and they welcomed many to their farm from the local community and the sheepdog community.

 

Dan was the kind of person that always made me feel like somebody, someone respected and cared for. When it came time to name my pup almost four years ago, and I just did not feel that a traditional name would suit, I chose to name him after Dan - because I thought that highly of Dan King - and was grateful to call him my friend, and very proud anytime I heard him refer to me as his friend.

 

Godspeed, Dan - and God bless, Sylvia.

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It's impossible for me to find words to do him justice. What a genuinely good person he was.

 

I'm so glad to have seen him a couple weeks ago at Mark and Renee's trial. I arrived after dark, well after the other campers, and was cheerfully greeted at the gate by Dan and a couple friends enjoying a glass of wine. We all shared a lovely handlers dinner in good company, and that weekend he was so proud of his wife, Sylvia, for getting her first competitive shed. The two of them also had their home-bred pups in tow, so very proud of those girls. I wish we all had more weekends like that with such a great guy.

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This is such sad, sad news. I never was privileged to meet Dan King, but I "spoke" to him occasionally via Facebook and here on the Forums. He was always unfailingly kind, pleasant and lovely to communicate with. I had dreamed of some day ordering one of his beautiful custom made crooks, when I felt "good enough" as a handler to justify the purchase. I wish now I had done so anyhow, so as to have that remembrance of a good man. I am grieved to know that someone like him is lost to the sheepdogging world. May God comfort his family and the many friends who mourn him.

 

~ Gloria

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Dan asked me about my ram's horns which I sent him, for crooks. He then kindly corresponded with me about dogs and sheep and was a joy to talk with. He made the project some buttons for us to sell which helped the ag program.

 

What a good and kindly man. I am sorry I did not get to meet him face to face.

 

Prayers for friends and family.

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I haven't been able to find an author, but I have often seen these words:

 

"My goal is to someday be the person my dog thinks I am."

 

Reading the words of his friends--and viewing this photo--I am struck with the thought that this man met that goal, and then some.

 

I am sorry for your loss.

 

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Please, someone pm me an address for his widow. Dan was a person whose kindness attracted everyone. I wish to write the family.

 

Penny

Sent it in a PM.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Patricia Kallen, VP of the Virginia Border Collie Club, posted this link to Sheepdog-L, and I thought I would share it here. Created by Michelle Dobbs, this is a tribute Ms Dobbs made to celebrate Dan King's life.

 

Stunningly beautiful, incredibly moving. I wept throughout, and I was never lucky enough to meet the man in person.

 

Anyhow, just thought I would share.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

~ Gloria

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It does say something when you can cry about someone you've never met, or maybe hardly even heard of or heard from.

 

Michelle did a wonderful job, summing up a wonderful person.

 

I cried again today, seeing a photo of Dan and one of his bitches and his pup, that I had never seen before.

 

He was very special, and I think that's largely because he made everyone else feel special, and he felt so many things in life were special, too.

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