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A Tribute to my Killian
(SG-Argon vom Haus Johann Dale)

May 23, 1998 - Nov. 14, 2008

Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence (AAC)
V-ATChC, C-ATCH 4, CS-ATCH
SchH3, IPO3
2006, 2007 # 1 German Shepherd Dog AAC
2007 #5 Veteran Dog AAC
2007 #9 Top Dog CPE Regular/Veterans
1st Place Specialist 24" - CPE Nationals 2008
2nd Place Veterans/regular 24" CPE Nationals 2007

V-MSCDC (AAC)
NA, NJP (AKC)
ChSt, ChJP, ChCl, ChWc,ChJp,ChSn (CPE)
Novice Versatility Award, OAC, O-NAC, OJC, O-NJC, OCC, O-NCC, S-TN-N, TG-O, O-TG-N, WVS-N, HP-N (NADAC)
RNMCL, RAMCL (CARO)
TT

Looking back on the memory of the dance we shared…..
For a moment all the world was right.
How could I have known that you would ever say goodbye.

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance.”

The Dance  sung by Garth Brookes

 

 

How do I describe and pay proper tribute to Killian? How do you paint a picture of a dog who worked his way into your heart at first sight?  How do you describe that feeling of oneness with your partner no matter what you were doing?  How do you describe the comfort you got from running your hands through his hair or stroking his ears (he loved that the most)?  How do I describe his endearing habit of carrying one of my shoes in his mouth - he never chewed any but I always had to hunt for the second shoe and sometimes found a pile of unmatched shoes in another room.

There are no words that can relate that feeling so I will describe what a great dog and wonderful partner my boy was.

Killian came to me from Seattle when he was 11 weeks old in August 1998.  He was in his crate for more than 12 hours and yet he came out calmly as if to say “I’m here, are you my new mom?”  That was Killian – he was one of the most laid back German Shepherds you could find.  He was a stubborn and pretty independent puppy and not that easy to train.  He was my first Schutzhund dog and I learned a lot through him.  He had an incredible nose for tracking and while the other dogs in our club got excited when they got to do protection, Killian saved that excitement for the tracking field.  He was not a top competitor in Schutzhund but he had lovely obedience and tracking and together we achieved the highest level SchH3 and IPO3 with V (excellent) ratings in all 3 phases (not all at the same time).  He also had a German Sieger show title although with his big head and bones he was definitely not a show dog.

Killian retired from Schutzhund in 2004 but being from working lines, he had to do something.  So we entered Rally trials which he loved, quickly earning his Advanced title.   But that wasn’t enough for him so I signed up for an agility class.  From day one he loved agility – his eyes would shine, his tail would wag and he had this big grin on his face.

Killian was 6 then and entered his first trial in April 2005 one month before his 7th birthday.  He earned his first titles that spring in AAC although we also were doing CPE and AKC trials.  The next 3 years were the best times we had together.  I spent many weekends at trials with my boy and I learned so much from him.  Our bond grew and we became a real team.  We had the chance to compete in 2 German Shepherd Nationals, 2 CPE Nationals and 2 AAC Nationals.  I am extremely proud of how well he did in them all. 

Over those 3 years Killian earned numerous agility titles including 5 C-ATCH titles in CPE agility as well as many NADAC, AKC and AAC titles.  He became famous for talking at me on the start line and telling me off when I was not fast or clear enough with a command.  Our Gambler runs were usually entertaining with me waving my arms and yelling from the line while Killian stood barking at me to be clear on what I wanted him to do.  The nicest compliment I ever had from a judge was that Killian ran agility with a huge grin on his face – what more could I ask for?

Our greatest agility moment was also Killian’s last run, although I was not to know that at the time.  On October 4 of this year, Killian got his 100th Master Standard Q and became the first German Shepherd to earn the AAC Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence, just 3 years and 5 months since his first trial.  Killian was 10 ˝ and this was never a goal that I had imagined when we started this journey together.  Killian finished his agility career that weekend as he ruptured his cruciate and had TPLO surgery at the end of October.  He finished on a high note as those runs were also his 301st ever and his 101st for 2008.   Killian made it through surgery but 2 weeks post op became very ill and went downhill in the coming week.  A biopsy showed he had massive cancer in his liver that had metastasized from his bile duct.   This was a shock as his check up in late September showed he was in perfect health.  Killian went to sleep for the last time peacefully in my arms on Nov. 14.

I have lost my best friend and my soul mate with his passing.  I had looked forward to spending his retirement years together doing whatever he wanted to do.  We were cheated of that time but I have no regrets when I look back at the 10 years we had together.  He gave me unconditional love and always did whatever I asked of him.  I cherished every second we spent together and I know he knew how much I loved him.  I never knew how many lives Killian had touched until I got hundreds of emails from people in the agility and dog world.  One friend said that she never thought of “Pat” without adding “Killian” – that is the best tribute I could have ever wanted.

So rest in peace my dear boy and know you were loved and will always be missed.  You will stay in my heart forever.  We had quite a dance together – I would not have missed it for all the world.  Keep dancing at the bridge dear Killian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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