Transition. The word has been in my head lately. Several friends commented – to me, not on the blog – about my End of an Era post, which followed Julie’s Saying Goodbye. Kathy thought End of an Era sounded like a final post for the blog. Vickie mentioned, “how does one comment on that post?” Perhaps Transition would have been a better title.
Transition; movement, passage, change from one position, subject, stage to another. I’ve been in a personal transition the past several years. Small transitions, but changes just the same. Adding another day to my work week really interferes with my creativity. Words used to come pouring out of my head. My fingers couldn’t wait to tap, tap, tap. Up by 4:30, coffee in hand, the keyboard lured me into the library. Fatigue seems to silence my fingers.
Other transitions pop into my head. Or are released from my head. Transition within the Gompa dog breeding program. Transition within my son’s life. My garden is in a perpetual state of transition, which is true of all things growing.
End of one era, beginning of another. We’d been talking about moving down a different path for years, a path with new challenges, something new to learn. Julie began her Judge’s Path some years ago. The Gompas have been my path for a decade, delivered to me August 31, 2001. While we share those paths with each other, it’s the ‘FFT Challenge’ path we’re walking together.
A couple three years ago we challenged each other to earn a performance title on one of our retired Champion. Julie chose a Connor daughter called Lily – Ch. Timbers’ She Tsabo Confidentially Yours. I chose Edie, a Connor granddaughter – Ch. FFT Carpe Diem RN. Note the RN at the end of Edie’s title. 🙂
Melissa upped the ante when she challenged us to have a dog ready to run agility at the upcoming ALAC National Specialty in October. Challenge accepted! Three of my last five FFT dogs have been in agility training for a year and a half. Julie has been working with Lily and Fernando for as long, along with her Gompa dog Rishi.
Looking at the list of agility FFT dogs (and one Gompa) – in training or in the ring – it seems appropriate that Victoria’s son Roman is on the list. Roman (and Mary). Lily (and Julie). Edie (and Debby). Rumor (and Judy). Fernando (and Julie). Rishi (and Julie). Elliot (and Debby). Chloe (and Ginny). Norma Jean (and Debby). And while we don’t deserve the credit, I’ll add Melissa’s dogs from FFT lineage to the list. Josie. Ella. Myth. Victoria is behind the majority of these dogs. As breeders, what better testimony is there? What more could we ask? What better way to make the transition? Champions Gone Agile!
Here’s Julie and Lily – Ch. Timbers’ She Tsabo Confidentially Yours – running and qualifying in Novice Standard…
Ella – Grand Champion FFT Melou “Well Said” runs a nice serpentine…
Rishi – Kunza Rishi – graduates…
In Saying Good-bye, Julie wrote about the timeline, Victoria being there for significant milestones in her life. Looking for a graphic to include with Julie’s moving tribute, I came upon this page from an old ad.
Ah. Victoria. The foundation for the future. Biopsy normal kidneys. Olivia’s daughter. Fourth generation tail female to my foundation bitch Jelly Bean. Renal Dysplasia. Not giving up or getting out. For me too memories came flooding back, memories marking the long and winding road Julie and I have walked together. Indeed Victoria was the foundation for the future. She produced five Champion offspring, including the best Lhasa Apso we’ve ever bred.
(Sorry, but I cannot figure out how to exclude the ad from this slideshow of her Champion offspring.)
Each of these dogs had wonderful careers in the ring, including Specialty wins. C’est La Vie remains with Julie. After contributing to the breeding program, the other four moved on to forever homes.
Move on. We’ve talked about it off and on for years, including deep soul-searching in the mid-nineties. It wasn’t yet time. While enthusiasm waxed and wained there were still goals that excited us. Anticipation of a great puppy in the next litter. Another breeding dog achieving another Register of Merit as a producer. Kicking some a$$ at the next Specialty. Class dogs was my name and Best of Winners was my game. The group ring was Julie’s thing. She did it magnificently. We have bred and/or owned ??? 120 Champions. Our dogs have been consistent winners at Specialties, from Best in Sweepstakes to Best in Specialty Show. Many, many times. Fernando was a Best in Show dog. We’ve had dogs in the top twenty year after year. We still do, in spite of competing very little this past year. What more is there to do?
Tending garden sounds nice. Relaxing on the deck this summer sounds even nicer. Learning something new sounds grand. New challenges outside the conformation ring even grander.
Julie’s right. It is time to go forward on that new path. What’s grandest of all is that she and I continue to move along the dog path together. There’s nothing like old times and old friends, except perhaps, some old wine…shared, of course, with an old friend.
Here’s to us girlfriend! And to Victoria! Here’s to the end of an era! Here’s to our new path! Wherever that may lead us!
Julie wrote the tribute. I couldn’t have done it better. There are things I want to say, want to write. Later.
On April 20th Fleetfire Timbers’ Victoria ROM chose to say “good-bye.”
Victoria had turned 15 yrs old last Halloween, she had been blind for over a year but other than that she was happy and healthy.
I’ve told myself I have accepted death as a natural part of life, and it is better to end life than to suffer. And yet, I find myself in tears each time I think of Victoria. I’m sadden by her loss, of course, but it is more than that. Victoria’s life was a timeline to mine. So many milestones were reached during her 15+ years of life. I remembering naming the litter, sitting at Debby’s kitchen table, how many times over the years have Debby and I shared that experience? I remember Debby gifting Victoria to my daughter Kaylee, her first Junior Showmanship dog-Kaylee is now almost 25 and an expert handler/breeder in her own right. Victoria is C’est La Vie’s mom, the dog that changed me and my life the most. Phone calls on health, new litters and sharing all the wins and losses, the highs and the lows that have been part of my “dog” life. Victoria has been with me through all of them these past 15+ years. For the past couple of years I have been telling myself it is time move on, and although I know it is right for me it is very hard to let go of a past I truly loved and made me the person I am today.
I think Victoria is telling me the time is right, it is time to go forward on that new path- without her.
Awesome day yesterday for the MN agility ladies, canine and otherwise! Experienced to beginners, awesome day ladies! The Twin Cities Lhasa Apso Club is holding its first agility trial this weekend. What an appropriate place for Melissa’s Josie to earn her MACH2 and Julie’s Lily to qualify – Q – first run of their career! Congrats BIG TIME ladies! Canine and otherwise!
I admit envy. 🙂 Edie and I were to make our agility debut this coming weekend. Not gonna happen. She’s in heat. 😦 Instead I’ll be helping at the trial wherever needed.
Q. QQ. That’s pronounced double Q. Josie ran her 40th QQ yesterday. MACH stands for Master Agility Champion. The title requires 20 QQs and 750 points. Points are determined by how many seconds under the standard course time the dog finishes. Josie has now accomplished this incredible feat twice, earning the title MACH2.
Q. QQ. Cue it up. This website will be undergoing a spring makeover starting today. A fresh look. Clean. Crisp. Easier to read. Easier to navigate. A skilled webmaster can probably do this behind the scenes, wave a wand and voila! Instead, you may see changes right before your very eyes as I cue it up.
Q. QQ. Cue it up!