Sally – In Loving Memory

U-CDX Sally Amber Starlite CD, AX, MXJ, OAP, OJP, EJC, EAC, EGC, O-EJC-V, EAC-V, EGC-V, NGC-V, PD1, JS-N, RV-N, CGC *
9/15/1991 – 7/21/2006

Sally at 18 mos

The first time I held her she was just minutes old …

Sally - 4 weeks old… a warm, damp little life, with fur the color of a field of wheat.

A few days later, her eyelids parted to reveal the most heart-meltingly beautiful brown eyes. I can’t explain it, but I knew from the instant our eyes met for the first time that she was destined to become an important part of my life.

Serious and oh-so-reserved in public, at home Sally was a smart, funny little elf-girl – energetic, silly, mischievous, peppery, just a tad imperious … and she had the most beautiful singing voice! She never went through a clumsy stage like most puppies. Like a budding ballerina she was aware of all four feet and knew how to use them from the very beginning.

Sally - 3 1st place Q's in USDAASally and I - U-CDX
As she grew, her wheat-colored coat turned the brilliant gold of a new copper penny, and we began to explore the wonderful world of dog sports together. Sound sensitive and high-strung, she wasn’t the dog any sane person would choose for these kinds of activities.

Fortunately, nobody told her that and God only knows, I was too stubborn to care … so this nervous little elf and her klutzy, know-nothing partner set out and won a bunch of ribbons and titles in obedience

But it was the brand new thing called "dog agility" which would make her heart sing. This dog who loved to move found her passion in a sport that celebrates motion. How she loved to soar over jumps! And soar she did, for a good 10 years of her life, competing for her first time at Bayshore’s first New Jersey AKC trial in the spring of 1995 (in the 18"Novice A class … with a window jump, 1 ring, 1 judge and 80 runs total!) and competing for the last time in October, 2004 in NADAC tunnelers, where she placed ahead of many dogs who were about one fourth her age.

Sally weaving      Sally and the triple - 2002

Jayda and SallyBryce and SallyShe spent her retirement living life to the fullest – happy, active as ever and in total denial of the ever approaching calendar years. She found new joy in a black sheltie puppy named Jayda, and lived a near-perfect life, surrounded by the love and adoration of 3 cats, 2 shelties and 1 person who, as always, would move the earth, moon and stars for her.

How unfair that suddenly, after a day spent playing, eating with gusto and generally not acting her age, that this proud, vibrant dog – who was so full of life and found such joy in movement – would be felled in an heartbeat by an illness that left her prisoner in a body that would no longer do her bidding.

Sally at 14

I let her know that if she wanted to fight then I was, as always, with her every step of the way, but if not, I would not make her stay. She rallied briefly but then, like a caged wild bird, began to pine away.

On July 21, 2006, amidst an ocean of tears, I let her beautiful spirit fly free…

As she left, she took the piece of my heart that she had been holding for nearly 15 years and handed it gently to her special friend Jayda for safekeeping…

She wasn’t always perfect … but she was magnificent!

Sally at Sunset

If you were moved by Sally’s story and would like to honor her memory, I ask that you do as some of her friends have done and send a small donation to ASSA sheltie rescue in her honor – either to the main organization or to one of the local groups shown on the page. Sally wasn’t a rescue, but she was everything I love about the breed. Sheltie rescue is a well-organized and dedicated network of volunteers who work to save Shetland Sheepdogs in need and place them in loving "forever" homes.

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