Category Archives: Joy

From Facebook, “Because of Love, and It’s true! The Old Ones

I read this on Facebook a long time ago, and recently a Facebook Friend reposted it.  It touched me as much now as it did when I first read it.  I am sharing it on Blyss Blog Encore with my readers who will probably enjoy this as much as I do and be glad I came upon it again.

Because of Love!! “This is a true story”!

A brother and sister had made their usual hurried, obligatory pre- Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of horses. The farm was where they had grown up and it had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine, which topped the hill behind the farmhouse. Through the years the tree had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside. The young siblings had fond memories of their childhood here, but the city hustle and bustle added more excitement to their lives, and called them away to a different life.

The old folks no longer showed the horses, for the years had taken their toll, and getting out to the barn on those frosty mornings was getting harder, but it gave them a reason to get up in the mornings and a reason to live. They sold a few foals each year, and the horses were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day’s end.

Angry, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old folks “Why do you not at least dispose of The Old One.” She is no longer of use to you. It’s been years since you’ve had foals from her. You should cut corners and save so you can have more for yourselves. How can this old worn out horse bring you anything but expense and work? Why do you keep her anyway?”

The old man looked down at his worn boots, holes in the toes, scuffed at the barn floor and replied, ” Yes, I could use a pair of new boots.”

His arm slid defensively about the Old One’s neck as he drew her near. With gentle caressing he rubbed her softly behind her ears. He replied quietly, “We keep her because of love. Nothing else, just love.”

Baffled and impatient, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley.

The old couple shook their heads in sorrow that it had not been a happy visit. A tear fell upon their cheeks. How is it that these young folks do not understand the peace of the love that filled their hearts?

So it was, that because of the unhappy leave-taking, no one noticed the smell of the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but the “Old One”.

In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire’s fury. His wife back from calling for help cradled him in her arms, clinging to each other, they wept at their loss.

By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife, exhausted from their grief, huddled together in front of the barn. They were speechless and stunned as they rose from the cold snow covered ground. They nodded thanks to the firemen as there was nothing anyone could do now. The old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulder as his shaking old hands clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, “We have lost much, but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas. Let us gather strength and climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared and pray for our beloved most precious gifts that have been taken from us.

And so, he took her by the hand and slowly helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his old, withered hand.

The journey up the hill was hard for their old bodies in the steep snow. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they paused to rest, looking up to the top of the hill, the old couple gasped and fell to their knees in amazement at the incredible beauty before them.

Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top- most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. They were breathless as the old man held his wife tighter in his arms.

Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy. Amazed and mystified, he took his wife by the hand and pulled her forward. There, beneath the tree, in resplendent glory, a mist hovering over and glowing in the darkness was their Christmas gift. Shadows glistening in the night light.

Bedded down around the “Old One” close to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd, safe.

At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping cautiously through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The mares that were in foal with a new years crop of babies, pressed uneasily against the “Old One” as she moved calmly up the hill to safety beneath the pine. And now she lay among them and gazed at the faces of the old man and his wife.

Those she loved she had not disappointed. Her body was brittle with years, tired from the climb, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her gift —LOVE. Because of love. Only Because of love.

Tears flowed as the old couple shouted their praise and joy… And again the peace of love filled their hearts.

This is a true story.

Willy Eagle.

This is an Inspirational message sent to a small group of people on Facebook. My hope is that it will make your day just a little bit better.

Judy Gaik

October 24, 2018

 

Blyss Kennels on the phone and on Zoom

It is the first Sunday in 2021 and here I sit  home alone.  I am alone because my boyfriend has left early to go home to visit his son and grandchildren whom he did not see over Christmas.   However, I had something nice to look forward to, a Zoom meeting of the Borzoi Club of Greater New York.  It was lead by the President  Elisabeth Szymanski, who did a superb job.  The Club plans to hold Specialty shows in May and September.  Coming up soon is another Zoom meeting of the Central NJ Hound Club Association, also planning upcoming shows.  And what about the Borzoi Club of America’s National Specialty Show in May, 2021, in Wilmington, OH?  But will they happen, I ask?  Will we all get our vaccines to adequately create herd immunity and make it safe to mingle in public places?  So many questions.  So few answers.

But here in the United States there are fabulously wealthy, very successful people and their wives who have been interviewed on television who believe our vaccine should be given to people who live in other places first, meaning, on other continents.  They have no sympathy for what happens to those of us living in the United States.  These are individuals who were able to amass great fortunes here, in a country with their talents in the fields of technology and computer science were valued, and were able to market their products  around the world.  Yet, they have no concern or appreciation for the country who made their educational or professional opportunities available for them to garner their success.  It was not a coincidence their spectacular success occurred here where it did.  Yet, they feel no need to appreciate or give credit to their own country for their success in any way, and they look down upon it and its ordinary citizens with a repulsed disdain.  They lost my respect and admiration long ago.    I regard those kind of opinions that are hurtful to Americans to be traitorous.

Other thoughts that have entered my realm of consciousness concern the ongoing saga of my health, the various parts of my body that do not work properly, causing me discomfort and concern.  There are two big doctor appointments with specialists on my calendar already for January 2021.  This, added to the travails of the world, can truly break me down into despair.  Somehow, I am eating better and gaining needed weight.  I am reaching out more to friends by writing, emailing or calling.  Let my messages be what they are, welcome news or poor intrusions, so be it, whatever.  At least I care enough to reach out and perhaps touch the tip of another’s finger with that of my own to let some soul know they are not alone.  We have viruses and neoplasms floating around us and in us but we must live on regardless of the horrors we are asked to endure.  I have seen death, and watched people die sitting at their bedside.  It is not pretty.  Medicine as a profession is still helpless  many a time when you might expect it to succeed.  Give me strength the next time I must encounter it, even if it is that of someone I love, one of my dogs, or for myself.

For the New Year, may I be blessed with tranquility and the comfort of silence and peace.  May my thoughts be serene and my love rewarded in kind.  I love my Silken Windhound, Kensey, and my boyfriend of ten months, with whom I am still happy.   Life has a way of going on from unhappiness and trauma, and I am in some place away from all of that now.  I wish the same for all who take the time to stop and read this Blog.

Home with Tresor & Jelly
Mikhailya with me at Delalware Bay

A voice in cyberspace resonates at Blyss

Once again in a most unexpected way it is  words from a stranger on Facebook that someone shared to my feed that has caused me to take pause and reevaluate my psychological  outlook and my interpretation of the most painful events of my life that have transpired starting in childhood, culminating with the death of my last borzoi in 2019.  It was a long run on tragedies and I have been beaten down by them, almost to nothing yet am very physically strong and resilient  beyond anything one should expect to be able to do.   Yet here I am still standing if not shattered and shaken to my core.   How sad it is to have had to live through these tribulations, most of which were unnecessary.  I was not alone in my misery, it was due to profound parental dysfunctionality resulting in our suffocation, and all of my siblings endured the pain with me, none coming out any better for the experience.  It threw us into odd directions as adults, along tangents that  could never intersect, leaving us lonely and alone forever.  My joy was my borzoi, given to  me by my husband, Bob in 2002, and the jewel of the kennel was my beloved Opal (Raybo Opalesque of Byss) in January 2005.  I never saw, nor have ever seen, such an exquisite creature, nor loved anything more than I did her, canine or human.   She was the daughter I never had.  My great love was reciprocated in kind and then some.  But perfect bliss was not to be for I am me, and by 19 months she had passed away from a congenital kidney disease and her littermates followed shortly after.  Breeding is not a straight line.  The event took place fourteen and a half years ago but it is like fourteen minutes.  I ruminate, I cry, I grieve, I write, I speak of her and my never failing love and the loss I suffered.  I know it is wrong but I could not help how I felt.  Fourteen  years of grief wrestled me down and I am drowning.  I have almost died of grief related issues by becoming anorexic and having cancer twice in seven years.  Opal wasted and so have I.  I have longed to be where she is.  Life is not livable for me without her.  I needed her spirit to keep me going but it is gone, and has been gone a long time now.  However, I  today I knew I was wrong.  Opal is the best thing I ever had, and the best thing that ever happened to me, according to Elizabeth Ammons, from Lessonslearnedinlife.com.    She writes as follows:

Found in my Facebook feed, December 2, 2020. L.C.

You can shed tears because they are gone, or you can smile because they lived.

You can close your eyes and pray they will come back, or you can open your eyes and see all that they left for you.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see them, or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember only that they are gone, or you can cherish their memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind and feel empty, or you can do what they would want.

Smile…. Open your heart…. Love…. And go on.

These are words I need to read, study and hear.  My grief of 14 years diminishes Opal.  I should celebrate her.  Her memoir,  and that of all my borzoi, should bring me joy, not make me wish for my death.  Yes, she is gone, as are they, but in time we will be together again as if no time had separated us.  I must have more faith in destiny.  My ugly childhood is over.  My borzoi loved me unconditionally and gave me back my happiness, or perhaps gave me a measure of happiness I never had.

 

 

A romantic update at Blyss

As I moved along last month, in spite of my desire not to, in order to put myself out of my predictable, future misery, I perceived in the far distance a white flag of peace.  It could almost have been missed it was so remote and brief.  Could it be I see the words in a text message after a month of deafening silence, apologizing and wishing to return to my love?  Yes, the very same lover who melted down and disappeared when  I needed him and his love and strength the most…..   But that was then and this is now…..  Could I forgive him, he asked…..  I replied there was nothing to forgive, please come back.

It would not be what many would have done, but I cannot be lead around like a cow in a herd.  I take the risks, the unwise endeavors, the degrading gestures, show my tears, bear my breasts.  It does not matter if it is a borzoi or a lover.  Love is love for me.  Once I love, it will not end pretty.  Love charges me a huge fee but in spite of being willing to pay the price I often lose my investment.

But today, he has returned, transformed as if by magic, to the lover he was before he was seized by his own rage and exited the scene, not even knowing why or where he was going.   His journey took him back to me.  I love him unconditionally, like my borzoi, and took him back.  He is my Adorable One, my Little Rock Star, since we spend so much time watching YouTube videos and he knows so much about 1960s British invasion rock music and the derivative bands it spawned, not to mention his guitar collection.  I admit I have an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject myself, although my knowledge of classical music and opera equals it.   We focus on our love and watch the music videos and rock documentaries of the musicians, amazing how  many there are, and just escape our pain for the laughter hat comes from silly things.   Someday, one of us will die first, and will leave the other shattered and heartbroken.  Until then, we are blissfully in love.  We are happy to share our joy with Kensie, although I know how much we are missing by not having a pair of borzoi to watch over things here.  He does not get it though, and I  believe it would be, how shall I say, “Too, too much…..”.  Fortunately, Kensie does a wonderful job behaving just like a borzoi, and that is a very nice, endearing quality of hers.

For a year that commenced in a very bad way, a year that saw COVID-10 descend upon the Human Race and kill hundreds of thousands of people, well over 220,000 Americans, I can look back on it and see stars against the black background.

The Blyss Dream that many will not understand.

Found this on Facebook Sunday, May 31, 2020. I did not create this poetic essay, but I modified it to make it more suited to myself. I found it so appropriate to me. It rang true. I shared it with my Facebook friends and thought I would place my edited version here.
I edited it to more accurately described my unique experience with my own dogs.

THE DREAM THAT MANY WILL NOT UNDERSTAND:

 My Dogs are my personal dream.

 One day when I am very old and when I can not walk anymore, it will be in my heart as a trophy of my memories.

 I met people who taught me something and have the same spirit as I, and I met others that I’m glad I forgot.

 I got wet,

 I felt cold,

I felt warm,

 I was afraid,

 I fell,

 And I stood up,

 I even hurt myself, I have been broken,

 But also, I laughed out loud inside .

 I spoke a thousand times with myself.

 I sang and shouted with joy like a madman,

 And yes … sometimes I cried.

 I have seen wonderful places and lived unforgettable experiences.

 I stopped a thousand times to see a landscape.

 I spoke with perfect strangers, and I forgot people I see every day.

 I went out with my demons inside and returned home with a feeling of absolute peace in my heart.

 I always thought how dangerous it is, knowing that the meaning of courage is to advance even when feeling fear.

 Every time I go out with my dogs, I think about how wonderful they are.

 I stopped talking about it to those who do not understand, and I learned to communicate with others who feel the same as I.

 I have met some amazing people I now call friends from all over this big world because of my dogs.

 I spent money that I did not have, giving up many things I wanted or needed, but all these things are not worth even one special moment with my dogs.

 They are not just a pet or a thing that I own, they are the lost part of my soul and my spirit.

 And when someone says to me: “It’s just a dog”,… I do not answer. I just walk away and smile,

 A dog….. only the person who loves them understands it.

 May God bless my friends and all their dogs….

 And the adventure continues. .

 FEEL FREE TO COPY AND STICK THE TEXT WITH A PHOTO, ON YOUR WALL …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Long Hiatus….. Sad News….. Jelly…. Magnus….Mikhailya…..

Jelly portrait by Maxine Bochnia

Lorene, Karen Ackerman, and Mikhailya’s grand-daughter, Hawk Eye

Mikhahilya with her pups!

Specialty Sweeps, Sept. 2009.Karen Staudt-Cartabona & Lorene Connolly
Magnus shown with Karen Staudt-Cartabona and Lorene Connolly

 

There are no words to describe the loss and grief I feel knowing all of the Blyss borzoi are gone.  And even Jelly, so wisely chosen from Bibikov Kennels in Cross River, NY, and destined by Frances Wright to come to Blyss ever since she was born, has joined them in farewell.  I wander around  as if I  were a blind person, bumping into life’s obstacles, not knowing how to get out of the way of pain.  And at the end of the day, every day, I ask myself, “Why am I  here?”  And I have no answer.

I can only contemplate that as alone as I am in my humanity, even a higher being does not want me.

I had the joy in May of attending the Spring borzoi specialty shows in NJ and PA, and was honored to have Wendy Finlayson of Mayvale Borzoi, in New Zealand, be my houseguest for one week.  After the shows, we were invited for a day to Majenkir, a true high point.  The last time I was there, it was all of nine years ago, to deliver the puppies of the one Blyss Kennels litter to Majenkir, the inimical “Magnus”, and his littermate who was lost, “Zephyrus”.  I say “Zyphyrus” was lost because he was sold to a family on the west coast and was not heard from again after the male owner of the couple died suddenly and he and the wife went to live with one of the adult children.  Not long after, “Magnus” was sold to Belisarius Borzoi, in Japan, to the Ozekis.  Therefore, after nine years, I had the joy of being invited back with Wendy and other guests, Frances Wright of Bibikov, Don Foran from the UK, Karen & Howard Spey of Bookstor, and a few other guests.  It was a lovely May day, and many wonderful photos were taken.  We were then treated to a wonderful dinner at a nearby restaurant, The Lake Edge, on the shore of Swartswood Lake,  that had the misfortune of burning down a few months later.  Karen had many new young dogs to show us that day.  The place looked as lush and gorgeous as ever, as if with the passage of time, it only got better.  The borzoi never looked lovlier, as if she had honed her craft to such a degree that she no longer bred mere mortal canines, but canine deities.  More would be seen of them at the fall specialties four months later.  I cannot hold back the piece of intelligence that those particular specimens, a sire and his daughter, are direct descendants of my Magnus, the very borzoi pup I delivered to her on that day in March 2009, a grandson named “Vigow”, and a grand-daughter named “Symbolic”.  At the Borzoi Club of Central NJ Specialty Show on September 7, 2019, “Vigow” won Best of Breed, and his daughter, the puppy-bitch shy of 18 months, “Sympolic”, won Best Opposite Sex.  I was so totally over the moon happy!

While I was at the Borzoi Club of America Specialty Show in May, in Gettysburg, PA, from May 11 – 18, I renewed my acquaintance with the regional governor in the west, Karen Ackerman, who happens to own a Mikhailya grand-daughter, and a Magnus daughter, “Hawk-Eye”, who courses and does Open Field Coursing.  I met her with her husband and Hawk Eye several years ago at the National in Huron, Ohio so I was thrilled to see her again in Bethlehem, PA.  I just learned that she has a littermate of Symbolic, Lyra, who courses with Hawk Eye, and I was absolutely thrilled to learn of that, because I know that she has a second progeny of Mikhailya and Magnus, and that puppy bitch, too, has a great life.

I know that Magnus, and therefore my Mikhailya, have progeny all over the world.  This  makes me so proud, but I wanted to know who they were, how many there were, and where they lived.  In order to obtain this data, I needed a report known as a “reverse pedigree”.  Therefore, I requested one from an organization that compiles this information,  Borzoi Breed Archive, in Vienna,  AU.  At first they said they did not have this capability and therefore could not provide it to me.  Then, I received traumatic, tragic news about Magnus from a most unlikely source.

One day in June, I received a letter from Keizo Kaida, the former employee of Belisarius Kennels and handler of Magnus in Japan.  He shared some very unhappy news regarding Magnus, and included photographs.  Interestingly, Wendy Finlayson was in all of the photographs.  He maintained that in August 2017, Magnus died suddenly, a day after Wendy left Belisarius Kennels after a visit of several days.  That I had known, and always thought was “strange”, like, why did my borzoi die because Wendy left?  But, Kaiza maintained that Magnus was not well kept in his retirement, he was kept in a kennel that was too hot and damp for him, and he suffered for it.  My feelings regarding his death in connection to Wendy is that he heard English spoken.  She doted on him, and showered him with attention and affection.  She gave him a bath and blow dried him.  This was shown in many photos I saw.  Surely he looked happy.  Then, she left, leaving him behind. My beloved Magnus believed he was going home, and when he realized he was left behind, he died the very next day.  Wendy did take two of her own dogs out of the kennel that day when she left, but she left Magnus behind.  If only she had taken my Magnus, too.

I had been told when he died that he was a house dog since his retirement, an unfortunate mistruth.  How sad…..   How sad he was not sent home when Belisarius was finished with him so he could die in New Jersey, where he would be loved.  He deserved to be sent home.  He made great amounts of money for both Majenkir and Belisarius kennels, and earned them a great many titles.

When I learned about this, I contacted the Manager of Borzoi Breed Archives, Karin Schellner, and told her about the Magnus’s story.  I told her how much it would mean to me to get his reverse pedigree.  I told her about how he died a slow, sad death, alone,  unwell, and in exile in Japan.   Karin ran the report for me, with the data she had at the time, going out four generations, all the data she had at that time, gratis.    I was overjoyed to receive it, and sent her organization a donation of $100.00.  She said the Borzoi Breed Archive was going to make this report available to everyone very soon.  The report showed Magnus had 123 progeny all over the world, going out four generations.

 

I am so proud of this great borzoi whom I call “Magnus” instead of “Max”, his undignified Japanese call name.  Such a bitter loss as this can never be measured for the depth and breadth of the pain of it.  Let it be a cautionary tale.  Guard them well.  They give us so much when they trot around the ring and look so pretty doing it.  It is not what they would ever do naturally.  They do it for us, because we ask it of them, and because they love us.  We owe them at the very least the very best of our care when we are through with them.

If anyone wants a copy of Magnus’s Reverse Pedigree, please contact me, Lorene Connolly, at Lorenecon@gmail.com, and I will be happy to share it with you, along with some of his beautiful photographs.  He was one of the most handsome borzoi ever to be bred.   But his dam was one of the most beautiful borzoi that ever lived…

See: Blysskennels.us

for photos and information about CH Majenkir My Ksar Mikhailovna “Mikhailya”, the dam of “Magnus”.  When My husband, whom she adored, was taken suddenly from us, Mikhailya was inconsolable.  I tried to make a good life for her, but in my heart, although I did my best, I know I failed her.  I have to live with that knowledge every day.  It is one of the biggest regrets of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spring Specialty Shows; Updates with the Breeders & the BCOA Specialty Show

I am very excited about leaving for the Borzoi National Specilty Show tomorrow. However the preceding two weeks have been truly special, as well. On May 2nd., Wendy Finlayson, of Mayvale Borzoi, New Zealand, was looking for a host home near the East Coast Spring Borzoi Specialty Weekend in early May, and I was recommended to her by Joy Windle. I graciously accepted the opportunity to host her. Therefore, on Thursday, May 2nd I picked her up at Newark Airport and we were on our way. On Friday, May 3rd, there were back-to-back specialties with the Borzoi Club of Greater NY and the Borzoi Club of Delaware Valley. Daniel Foran, who was being hosted by Frances Wright, was judging the Borzoi Club of Greater NY, and it was very exciting to watch his class.

On Wednesday, we were invited to the home and kennel of Karen Staudt-Cartabona.  Fran along with Daniel were there, too, along with Karen and Howard Spey. It could not have been a lovelier day. There we saw many puppies and adult borzoi of various ages. Among them was a bitch named “Mericlone. This is a “Mikhailya” Grand-Daughter and a “Magnus”/”Max” daughter, making her a half-sister of Belisarius “Lucy”. As I stood besides her, caressing her, she stood quietly besides me. As shd did, she tapped me several times with her paw, as if she understood my significance to her life, and was trying to tell me something. She was exquisite. Later, we got to see more puppies and dogs, and it was a wonderful day. Wendy critiqued Mericlone’s litters; Mericlone recently had three, along with some of the other dogs. Wendy was very impressed with the high quality of the dogs Karen had at this time.

The last time I had been to Karen’s home was when I gave Karen the puppies that were hers from the Blyss litter, “Magnus” and a third pup, 9 years ago.   It was a bright, sunny day in March, 2009.  It was hard for me to give up my puppies. I knew it would be my only one, and I would have given the world to keep them, but this would not be possible.   I knew “Magnus” would go on to greatness with Karen. Regarding the third puppy, his owner sadly died shortly after getting him and it was hoped that one of his adult children would take him in. Therefore, I lost touch with him. I hope and pray that he did well, too. It’s funny how life is. Three men associated with this litter died at that time the litter was born. Mr. Ozeki, the father  of Mai Ozeki Hirai, the owner of the third puppy, and my husband. But today, it feels like a lifetime ago. I had to sell our beautiful, spacious home and kennels at the top of the first ridge of the Watchung Mountain range in Mountainside, NJ, and downsize considerably on a small property at its base. Life is difficult, unpredictable and capricious. One must always be ready for what lies ahead, for the most unexpected.  At least I was able to keep all my borzoi, then when they died, I was able to get Jelly from Fran, who wanted me to have her in 2010 when she was a puppy, shortly before my husband became ill.

 

Passing Days at Blyss without Jelly

I will say life is unbearable here without Jelly.  I am acutely aware that this is all so deja vue.  I am taken back almost thirteen years to the death of Opal.  This is definitely familiar territory, and not terrain one would want to visit again any time soon.

But if I am devastated, Jelly’s darling dog walker is destroyed.  She stopped by today weeping, asking why I put her down when I did, and why I did not wait, saying she would have taken over the payment of the continued veterinary bills.  This would not have been feasible, given this woman’s financial situation.  Still, I know she would have done it……  there is no limit to the kindness of some people, and she is that kind of person.  And Jelly was the kind of dog that would bring it out in someone.  A man who accompanied her on her walks with Jelly with his dog was equally devastated and burst into uncontrollable sobs when he heard the news.  I decided to go to The Scouting Field in the Watchung Reservations to be with them today, and joined them on a hike to the Deserted Village.  I had not done this in several years, probably not since I broke my shoulder walking Tresor three years ago.   Jelly loved this daily outing with them, and they told me of her many exploits out on the trail and all the fun she had.  I felt she was there with us, and not only Jelly but all the Blyss borzoi, especially Opal, whose image kept flashing before my eyes during this long and rather arduous venture for me.  For the longer I had Jelly, the more she melded into  Opal, and the more I felt that Opal  had returned, and that she had never left me.   I had had her with me all these years.  Recently, with this new found knowledge,  I  felt blissfully happy, happier than I had been in years.  Then, she was gone.  So now, I am grieving again for Opal, too.  I feel that every time I reached out and touched Jelly, I was touching something God-like, something beyond reality, and it transformed me into something beyond what I was, something greater, better, beyond anything I could ever be myself.  Because of them, Jelly and Opal, especially, but all the Blyss borzoi, I was a better person.  Their innate goodness made me good.  I bought this beautiful cottage eight years ago for my four borzoi.  Now they are all gone.   Now, I  am alone, and I will be alone forever.  It is as if they died, and I died with them.  My beautiful house has become a hollow tomb.  And I am still here I it, and I don’t know why.

 

“I will buy you a new life.” Everclear. True in rock song lyrics, not at Blyss.

I returned to the workplace full time on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, after working part time for one year, moving to a different retail store.   I was surprised to  have the position offered to me.  Sadly, I needed the money as well as more things to fill my time.   I was tired of having open ended unstructured days trying to navigate life as a widow very much held down by the responsibilities of keeping borzois and the upkeep of a home in an area of the country with a high cost of living.

For good news, it appears Jelly’s condition of chylothorax has disappeared.  I thought  it was always fatal.  There was no mistake in the diagnosis.  Her chest was tapped twice, with a considerable amount of fluid extracted.  Although it is perplexing , it is joyful to know she is well.

I have to stay focused on the blessings life has tossed my way, the ability to pay my bills, and the health of Jelly.  Her breeder and I are even discussing the possibility of showing her as a Veteran at the upcoming Borzoi Club of America National Specialty Show in May.  She finished her championship as a puppy, and this would crown her life.

Life goes along in these twisted, bizarre ways.  The return of Jelly’s health may portend to return her to the show ring where she began.  This would be her personal victory over death.  Many people would be happy for her, and I think for her breeder and me, too.  It would be a very happy ending to the story of Blyss Kennels, a story that began with the dramatic death of a precious puppy bitch, followed by that of my husband, leaving me alone and confused not knowing where to turn.  I would hope I brought it to the right place; a place with happy beautiful dogs and my life where it belongs.