An Eye for Beauty, A Heart for Grief

It turns out that we might not be the novices, the amateurs that many people in the incestuous Colorado Mile Hi Golden Retriever Club, as well as the greater percentage of so-called “English Cream” breeders think we are.

Here is the truth in stats and stats generally don’t lie.

Taking World CH in 2012 were Multi CH Dewmist Star of the Blue Hope, one of the most beautiful bitches in existence, and Vice World, the stunning Fiveshill Sound Reason, one of whose dreamboat male pups, out of CH Vine Illusion Sleepysong, (Dewmist Salentino) will be joining us soon.

Taking Champion and Reserve Champion in the Working Class at the 2012 World Dog Show in Salzburg, were Ashbury Angel Heart and Fiveshill Sound Reason. Fluke was to go on to take the title of Vice World Champion at that exhibition.

What do you know.  That’s right, the sires of our Angels Dance in Beauly Highland, and our new stud puppy who will cross the Pond in October, Sleepysong Pheasant Fever aka Reveille, bred by Mr. Dragan Stetin, are, respectively, Multi CH Ashbury Angel Heart, bred and shown by Ms. Cathy Sontag, France, and Multi CH Vice-World Winner Fiveshill Sound Reason, Nederlands. Recently, the 2015 stars on the World stage were Multi CH Tramin Arni Joy, bred by Lena Ushan, Ukraine and grandsire to our Angelo, and the veteran Multi CH Dewmist Silk Screen.

2012 was a long time ago if you are a Golden Retriever fancier.  In 2012 I had but one Golden living with me; the beautiful Gilded Peak Scrumptious Munchkin aka Munch–3/4 English/European– and I were alive and working hard, leading a full time writing life in East Old Town, Fort Collins.  I had closed out my American GR program and believed I would never venture into the problematic world of breeding again.

To say that pedigrees in British/English Golden Retrievers, cream-coated or not, don’t matter, is a  no-win to me.

How is someone going to learn and grow,  without campaigning a dog,  or if you can’t walk, as is the case with me, watching the judging, most of which is uploaded to YouTube, matching dogs to kennels, learning the top UK, European, Eastern European, Russian and Ukrainian kennel names et cetera, which is also how you learn bloodlines and and can actually see beautiful dogs up close on your PC,  all the while studying their pedigrees? Xenophobes, there are beautiful dogs for sale in the aforementioned regions and countries. Ironically, top of the line, polar-bear coated “English Creams” in Europe et al cost several thousand dollars less than “English Creams” in the U.S.  For the record, Eastern Europe is not in the Third World.

Taking the time to learn, we can see who sparkles and who we gravitate to. We can spend hours on drilling down through bloodlines.

But even then, we do not possess crystal balls with which to see around the bend into our dogs’ futures.

When my husband and I acquired the beautiful Angelo from Lislone-Garbank-mentored breeders in Romania and stood him to Munch, who carried the signature Gold Rush, Meadowpond, Laurell and Hillside bloodlines, dam from the  Romanian Kennel Mediguard,  and she whelped only four, one of those a female, now our Ardorgold Celestial Mystique aka Paris, I am glad I couldn’t see around the bend.

Because I would then have known how little time Munch and I had left.  As it turned out, as the puppies thrived, so did the masses of lymphoma I didn’t know were taking over the body of my beautiful bitch.

What a brave girl, never once wincing or crying in pain, enduring all of our recent efforts to get diarrhea and vomiting under control, noticing weight loss and thirst and tarry stools and then, last week, a round abdomen that looked like she was pregnant all over again.

I lay her on her back and palpated and felt a softball mass.

Three hours later, my husband and the vet took Munch into the atmospheric room for putting your dog to death at Colorado State Univrsity’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Oh Fate, you are cruel.  You are heartless.  I wish you had taken me, rather than that big-hearted and spectacular girl whose claim to fame was just that she was my dog, my maternal presence, my guardian angel.

When I break down, I do it alone, and imagine her licking my face.  I can’t stop seeing her, or looking for her, or wondering if I caused this.    Adio my darling girl. You loved me as I have never been loved, not by anyone.

Thank God for your beautiful puppy Paris and our forthcoming boy from Serbia-Czechoslovakia, and for our Malibu from the Ukraine, and our Angelo from Romania. Their wonderful and vital bloodlines, packed as they are with worldwide overachievers, don’t mean as much to me as their love…..




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