In the Victorian language of flowers, the calla lily signified "magnificent beauty". Our Calla has proven herself to
be a true working girl, a natural lead dog on our sled team, full of drive and enthusiasm.
Some very sad and bittersweet days for us here in Minnesota...
This past weekend we were in Bismarck ND searching for that elusive second major. To our delight we found it from judge William Bergum (thank you Mr. Bergum!). These were the last points we needed and this finished the championship of my sweet little girl Calla.
But our happiness was not to last... Yesterday morning I let the dogs out of the house as usual. Calla charged across the back yard with her sire Mazzy, as always in pursuit of an imaginary squirrel. As I watched from the door, she reached the far corner of the yard, gave a small bark, and collapsed to the ground. I ran out there but she was gone within seconds, dying in my arms. Preliminary necropsy results indicated massive internal hemorrhaging with no apparent cause.
[Update: After doing further research, I've found that the majority of sudden deaths like these are often caused by the dog ingesting rodent poison... and that not all rodent poisons show up in a toxicology screen.]
She was the daughter of my Mazzy (BISS CH Donnereign Diamond Deuce WSX) and the late John Donner's Joie de Soleil. She was to be my foundation bitch, my hopes and dreams for our first litter planned for 2008.
Calla was the sweetest girl, shyly affectionate and never bossy. She never did learn not to stick her nose in the most impolite places when saying hello, though. And to her, a "down" command meant a near-certain chance for a tummy rub...
In her brief life she not only earned her CH but also her WSX, of which I'm most proud. She was independent, smart, and an excellent lead sled dog. After a few runs with her in team position as a youngster, I tried her at lead and afterwards never considered running her anywhere else. She had so much working drive and enthusiasm, and was always eager to go, and always eager to keep going. She led our team to earn all our WSX titles over the past few years. In sprint races she was the spirit and cheerleader of the team. I've never been pulled on a sled any faster or further than when she was out front with a big smile on her face, setting the pace for us all. True to her nature, she has gone ahead, leading us down that trail we all must eventually travel. We will miss her.
Calla, my little sweetpea -- remember the feel of the wind in your fur and the joy of the open trail. Now, the sun is shining and the snow is bright through the bare trees. Everyone is harnessed and barking to go. The trail is clear and waiting for us -- you go on ahead. We'll meet you there someday.