He’s playing games again!

The other day I got a text alert from my sister saying “What?”

I was confused and had no clue what she meant, so I opened up my messages and saw that my phone had sent a random text as it does occasionally while in my pocket

It looked like the random jibberish of a butt text until I looked closer

Would it surprise anyone to know that most of Chris’ computer passwords began with the sequence oppoppop ?

i guess he is letting me know that he’s still watching out for me!  I’ve given up wondering how these things occur, I now just accept them.

Farewell Chip

Am/Cdn Ch. Yasashiikuma Diamond Solitaire

April 18, 2007 – August 14, 2015

The many faces of Chip


From the time he was a tiny puppy Chip had a personality that stood out, and he was always such a card!  Being a singleton, with an indulgent mother who never corrected him for anything, Chip fully believed the world rotated around him!

Chip was the first dog that Chris was ever the breeder on, and he was the first dog that Chris ever owned.   Therefore, he was a little bit spoiled, and it just proved to him that he was right!


chipsfirstpointsFor his first show, at just 6 months old, we entered Chip as a pointmaker hoping that he might just end up with a Puppy Group win.   Instead Chip the novice puppy, along with Chris the novice handler, kicked my butt with the other dogs, going best of winners for his first points.

 ChipNCOCFBestofWinnersMThe next show Chip attended was a supported entry weekend at the Credit Valley Kennel Club.   He finished his Championship at 8 months old – and what I remember about this show is the judge watching him go around the ring and saying “Cute, cute, cute!”  Yes, he even had it then!

ChipGrp1BPIGOntBrdr0208Two months later, Chip went to the Ontario Breeders Association and was shown by Tom Curley to a Group 1 and a Best Puppy in Group!  He made sure people noticed him!  At another show that winter I overheard a judge watching the Herding Group saying to his wife “Look at that little corgi in there – he thinks he OWNS the ring!”


Our handsome little guy continued to dominate the ring (pictures below)for the next year ending up as #1 Cardigan in Canada.  He did well in the U.S. also, but his primary jobs were Chris’ office companion, and chief comedian in the house.


Chip also verbalized.   He made the strangest combination of noises that sounded like he was talking to Chris. 

But suddenly when Chris died in October 2008, Chip stopped talking and went into a deep depression.  His silence continued until the CWCCA Nationals.

When I put the picture of Chris and Chip on his crate, all of a sudden he started talking, and talking, and talking making up for lost time!


At that same show my friend Emily gave me this pin, which depicts Chip with a dragonfly, representing Chris. (See Oct 2008 post)

p1111690I had this painting commissioned by Bram Wolfe as a tribute to Chris.  In it are my horse Manitou, that was the first horse Chris ever befriended and rode, and of course Chip.  As well there are three dragonflies that Chip is looking at.   This picture tonight is extra special, as I am sure the three amigos are together again.

Trot on across that bridge Chip-wich, and go find your daddy and buddy and give them kisses for me.

Memoirs from Chip’s show career:

CWCCA 2008 – 1st round selection in the Megan

Chip Megan 2008 small

CWCCA 2008 – 2nd in Open Dog

Chip CWCCA 2008 smallHamilton Kennel Club – Group 3


 CWCCA 2009 – 3rd Open Dog



CWCCWR 2008 – Best of Opposite Sex in Sweepstakes

dsc_5447sOxford Kennel Club – Group 4


 Windsor Kennel Club – Best Puppy in Group



Five years is a moment in time, or infinity


Another October 17 is upon us, and I can’t believe its been 5 years since Chris’ death.  Losing Chris was the onset of so many changes, and so much feels the same

This past month has been very hard leading up to this 5 year anniversary  First Chip, who had always been Chris’ dog, seemed bound and determined to join Chris.  A very large abcess was found in his prostate, and multiple thousands of dollars later he is back home.  I am thankful for my friend Allison without who I would not have been able to save him

Also a friend is dealing with complications of a botched gall bladder operation, and dealing with liver infection, in and out of hospital, and fighting with doctors for proper treatment.  It has all been a lot of deja vu, and I am very worried about her.   Perhaps the bright side in the loss of Chris, is that I am able to pass on some of the things that I learned during our nightmare.

Life has been up  and down, backwards and sideways for the past five years.   Weeks after Chris’ death I was packaged off from a job, that I had loved along with the manager I loved working for, and several of my peers and staff, when the company was purchased by a large heartless corporation.   Turmoil has been pretty consistent  since then as temporary jobs were found and ended, and companies made decisions I couldn’t understand, but last year I made a bold decision to try a job 3 hours from home.  I invested my severance into another house, and tried to make a life in another community, but  just could not do it.  For once though, things did work out, and I am now telecommuting 4 days a week from Dundalk,  and only making the trek to Haliburton for one day.  Once I can rid myself of the extra house, hopefully life will become more stable, but things are still pretty scary and a lot of prayers go out for things to work out so I can once again establish some peace in my life.

The past couple of years have also taught me a lot about human nature.  I’ve learned who are friends and who are merely acquaintances and there is a very definite line between the two.  I’ve learned that people only feel it necessary to keep their word for as long as they feel that you are of use to them, and then can discard you like yesterdays newspaper.   But I’ve also learned to appreciate more and more those who quietly offer support, and a listening ear.

While the dogs are still here, my involvement the dog show world has decreased substantially.  While the dogs have won awards that I could only dream of at one time, the show world itself, outside of specialties, has lost its joy for me.  I no longer have my companion to travel with, to talk with , to share the joys and frustrations.   I’ve met a lot of new and wonderful people, and I hope that the dogs that I have produced have brought a lot of joy to their families.  But along with the joy, I’ve learned the dark side of showing, the winning at all cost, the side where people take showing so seriously that the “human” cost is no longer part of the equation and people are trampled upon in order to acquire status.  The people who talk out of both sides of their mouth, saying one thing to your face and another behind your back.  The people who attempt to destroy your reputation by spreading lies.  That side doesn’t appeal to me at all.  I like to think that if my dog loses on a day, I can look at the competition and maybe see what might have caused a judge to give another dog the nod over mine.  Every dog that defeats me is not a pet, or a piece o trash.  It is SOMEONE’S well loved companion, and to them the win means every bit as much as it would have to me.  So I also hope that I can always be a gracious loser, and not one of the people who stomps away from the ring, tossing profanities and ribbons as they depart.

The joy that remains in dog shows is watching the junior who have my dogs develop with them and challenge new boundaries.  I feel such pride in these kids and hope that they are making memories that will last them a lifetime as they build their bonds with their companions.

A new joy has entered my life, as 3 years ago, in an attempt to feel alive again, I took up the sport of motorcycle riding.   Again I have made many new and wonderful friends and can’t imagine life without them.   At last I have discovered a passion that can be shared, where no one has to win and no one has to lose – as long as we are all out together, and enjoying the beautiful scenery we are all winners.

And then there is the family.  One of the first trips Chris and I ever took together was to New Brunswick to attend my son’s graduation from the MilitaryEngineering College in Gagetown.  The picture of Chris above is from a favourite spot I had been to before and since.


This is me and Ruari, Ch. Yasashiikuma Briardon Arcturus, in the same spot in Agust 2000 when we showed in New Brunswick after the Canadian Cardigan Specialty in PEI.

Dolly Flower Dog


And here are Dolly and I in the same spot this spring, after Dolly was the Flower Dog for the wedding of two special friends.

But as proud as I am of Michael, and the career he has chosen, I am now being the worried Mom as he is on a tour of duty in not the most peaceful of areas.  On the ther hand, my daughter has, thanks again to a friend, landed a job at just the right time for her family, and is doing well at it.

Yes, a lot of water has passed under the bridge, Chris, and I wish you had been here to share it.  Perhaps with you here, some of the negative might not have happened, but then I wouldn’t have exprienced the growth that came from stretching to fit those bad situations.  Maybe in time I will pick up some of the other passions I have let go since you died, my music, my sitchery and even my writing.  Its a new life, and each day is new experiences – and somehow, as the dragonflies remind me, I know that you are still a part of them.

Love you,


The “Puppy-minium” is shrinking!


Three of the babies have left in the past week, and I’ve been able to shrink the puppy’s apartment a little. This has been quite a trying week, some hard decisions to be made, and thankfully some averted.  There have been some major losses, and some averted.


Saturday started out with taking the remaining Olympic puppies to the vet for their second shots.   Later in the day Hunter gave me a tremendous scare.   Seventeen years ago I lost my very first dog Blaze to liver failure.   In the days before she trembled uncontrollably, and just laid around.   So late Saturday afternoon , when Hunter was moaning and trembling, I contacted the emergency clinic, because I was afraid it was his time.  When the vet called me back, he decided to get up walk into the kitchen and eat.  The vet suggested waiting until Monday for a blood test


Monday morning was a sad time for me.   I made a very hard decision, and I hope that I made the right one.   I had intended to keep Savannah (Cookie) here with me and raise her with Cara.     However, as John Lennon says, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”

With great regret I decided to let Savannah accompany Baron to his new home in Texas.  This was not a decision I’ve made easily.  I have two puppies here from LAST YEAR (Dash and Shadow) who have yet to finish their championships due to a lack of  competition.  I could have kept her here, but she would have just sat around like them, not reaching her potential, and she is such a pretty puppy she has the potential to  do great things, but  I know she won’t do them with me.   🙁   So she is going to be co-owned by Baron’s owner (who prefers to announce this when she is ready), and will start a U.S. career first.

Afterwards Hunter had his bloodwork done.  I cried throughout, being scared of what they would find – and he is perfectly healthy.   She explained that the tremors are a neurological issue that develops with old age.  His white level counts are slightly elevated and he is on an antibiotic, but the real problem is his back.   He hurts (most likely as a result of falling down the stairs when the gate was left open), so he was put on Tramadol and she recommended he see a veterinary chiropractor.  The next appointment with the chiropractor associated with the clinic wasn’t available until November 2nd,, but unbelievably there is one in Minden!!

Tuesday night, Hunter had his first appointment.   By the end of the treatment, he was actually wagging his tail!!!  Wednesday he was a little ouchy again, but by Thursday, he was getting up and walking around, and actually climbed the stairs to come inside again by himself without me having to carry him.

Wednesday was the 4th anniversary of Chris’ death.   It was also the 5th birthday of Carolyn’s “Freedom”  litter, including Libby.  Poor Libby has gotten the short shrift for her birthday as a result.  This year, the dog world lost a great dog man, breeder-judge Paul Hudson, who happens to be the brother of Baloo’s new mother, Collen.   Paul has had a rough few years since breaking his back as a result of a fall from fixing a roof, and had been in a coma for the past month.   Now he is free from his chair, and can run with his dogs once again.

Friday we lost another great dog person, Fanny Edwards, of Markwell Labradors and previously Cardigan Corgis.  Fanny owned Peter, the dog who sired my first litter, and Matthew who fathered my second.  Without her help, and helping me to select the puppies I kept, there would not be all of the dogs in my house today.

Today, there was another departure, but this one is a happy one.

Zeus has found his family.   Welcome to the Yasashiikuma family Tatyana, Eduardo and Alexander and enjoy your new little family member.  Those in the Toronto area will get to meet them at shows in the near future, and hopefully we can give some guidance and encouragement to the newest novice and junior handlers  in our family 🙂