My life continues to go along a predictable trajectory, and those closest to me, who truly love and care for me, find it as baffling as I find it painful. Together, we can only imagine what it means, or what mystery fuels it. But what do the events of anyone’s life mean? Perhaps mine have been more public and on display. I am more communicative than the average person and am more likely to join groups like clubs and churches. I have many affiliations, but none more so than with membership of dog breed clubs, since dogs, the sport of purebred dogs and dog breeding, and dog ownership, are my passions.
What has motivated me to write in my Blog tonight is the need to affirm that on this date, I am still alive and well, even though I am on the threshold of another holiday season and winter, as a solitary woman, now a rather aged one as well. Every minute, my chances of meeting a man who will love me diminishes exponentially, and the chances of meeting a man who will inflict harm and pain on me will increase. I am frozen in a zone of pain, afraid to move one way or another. But if I look for a hero, there is my Catholic faith, and after that, the love of my beloved Silken Windhound, Kensie (GCH Wind’nSatin It’s My Party) given to me by her breeder, Mary Childs. Words cannot describe her devotion to me. She is always near and is never more than a room away. She reminds me throughout the day of her devotion to me by becoming a lap dog, even though she is much too big to be one, she finds a way to figure it out, nonetheless. I feel thoroughly loved and protected by her, and I think that is saying a lot.
Somehow, we will face the holidays together. There will be little contact with family. There are few family members left and most have their own schedules to keep. I will be sure to keep Kensey on her favorite walking schedule, a dog cannot be walked enough. She is so lucky to be able to be walked in a beautiful, preserved forest park near our house, with many walking paths and hiking trails. I am afraid our hiking days are over, but we enjoy our walks along the paved paths and in the many open fields one has to walk through to get to the hiking trails. It is such a serene and beautiful place, I am so grateful for it, and for the hundreds of beautiful memories I have of being there with my husband, Bob, and our borzoi, all taken too soon, gone, leaving me alone. Everyone is gone and leaves me alone. It is a persistent pattern in my life. I am always left alone, with the exception of the dog I keep with me always, and then I realize how blessed I am to have this creature, for without expecting anything of it, it gifts me with the deepest gratitude and love, beyond anything any human in my life could provide.
I want to look back a month or two, if I may. On September 10 was the Borzoi Club of Central New Jersey’s Specialty show in North Branch Park, Bridgewater, NJ, with the Somerset Hills KC dog show. It was a splendid day for a dog show, and it had a fairly large attendance for a post COVID event. However, only twelve borzoi were entered. I always reported on the specialty shows in the past. In the beginning, in the early 2000s, I would see the top-rated borzoi in the country at the local specialty shows, shows that drew over 60 borzoi covering a five day weekend cluster of shows! Then, a few years later, I would report on seeing the get of those borzois, their offspring, in the ring, and that thrilled me so much! Included were the offspring of my own home bred borzoi that I co-bred with Karen Staudt-Cartabona, “Magnus”. She bred him before he went to Japan, and for several years, he had offspring in the ring at shows in the country, including the Borzoi National Specialty Show. By then, there were about 50 borzoi. Over time, the numbers were diminishing. Then one year, our Specialty had to be cancelled because the park where our specialty show was being held flooded. We continued to have our Specialty. In 2020, COVID caused the dog shows to be canceled for two years. This spring, the dog shows opened again, and it was very exciting. However, it was very different from the 2000-2009 shows. No longer were the offspring of the original borzoi I knew in the ring, but borzoi of completely different lineages, including borzoi from different kennels and different countries, had replaced them.
Moreover, some very important breeders had passed away, one being my mentor who had bred my beloved Opal in 2004. Death is never far, and her demise was a chilling reminder how it stalks its victims and strikes unaware. All the best treatment and medical care, and the devoted love of her daughter, could not save her. I considered her my best and closest friend in the breed, my real mentor, and I am still inconsolable.
Today, I make an effort to attend the Borzoi National Specialty show. I have attended the last two which I enjoyed immensely. Next year, it will be in Virginia Beach, VA on April 25 – 29, 2023 and I am already registered and have my airline tickets. I am looking forward with incredible enthusiasm to this event, to see the beautiful borzoi, in their various forms and styles, to talk with the breeders, and the handlers as well. I enjoy the entire event, even the receptions and banquets, even if I do not eat very much. I am veryhappy when I am there, and I am even inclined to have a better appetite and eat more normally during those conditions.