July 27th, 1999 - June 26th, 2006
On Sunday, June 25th, Amber, Louise and I traveled to the Evangeline dog show together in Amber’s car. When we returned to Amber’s we were all very happy that another of Freya’s kids, Chimini’s Shall We Dance, “Jive”, had completed her Canadian Championship with back to back Best of Breed wins. We let all the dogs out into Amber’s yard for a run and we stood for a few minutes watching Freya, Levi and their kids run around playing in the yard. We talked about what an exciting team we were going to have this upcoming year and how proud Free and Levi should be of their kids. I went into Amber’s house and posted the results from the show to Showsibe from Amber’s computer as I was going up to my mom’s cottage for a few days of R&R with the dogs and then heading off to New Hampshire for the long weekend.
Amber then helped me take my three dogs down to my van. Amber had Levi and Free and I had Jive who still just had a show lead on. As I walked toward my van I saw that Amber had Levi already in the van. Amber said “Free will not jump into the crate”. As she was saying this, Freya collapsed. We immediately knew she was in serious trouble. Amber yelled for Jeff and I know they broke all speed records getting her to the Emergency Clinic. Three vets at the clinic worked on Freya for over 4 hours but blood work, x-rays and even surgery gave them no significant findings on diagnostics. They were left baffled and helpless as to how to save Free. Freya died during the surgery sometime after midnight on June 26th.
I’ve had the proud pleasure of owning Free since Nov. 2003. She came directly off Karen Ramstead’s Iditarod team. During the time I’ve had Free she has never been sick, nothing, so her sudden death is a total shock that is extremely difficult to deal with, especially coming so soon after loosing my beloved Siri on May 12th at 13 years of age from cancer. The fact that so far there are no answers as to what happen to Free makes her loss all the more devastating. Like Karen, I thought my little Norse Goddess was immortal.
Freya from the beginning was my constant companion. She was never more than a few feet from my side, always waiting for a pet and giving a wag in response. At night she hit my bed and never moved from it until I convinced her in the morning that it was time to get up. I joked with her that I had turned Karen’s great Iditarod sleddog into a great “Fee Fee” bed dog. Freya wanted nothing more than to please me. She was an extremely significant part of my team that completed their Working Dog certificates during the winter of 2003/2004 and then she gave me some wonderful kids, three of which are now Canadian Champions. Freya also obtained her Canine Good Neighbour title and was a registered St. John’s Ambulance Therapy Dog. It was in this role that I was maybe the most proud of Freya. She brought SO much joy to the seniors at the home she visited.
Freya, Levi & Siri
Freya and I had so much more to share and accomplish together. With Siri gone, Freya was now the queen of the house and enjoying every minute of it. I had been training her in obedience and had hoped to surprise Karen when we entered that ring together. Off course it would have been extremely difficult to top her brother Hugi’s accomplishments, but we were going to give it our best shot. Freya was doing wonderful with her training and had just learned the coolest flip finish.
I do feel blessed and so very thankful to Karen for allowing me to have Freya. I also feel blessed to be left with her incredible offspring, Weaver, Disco, and Ceilidh who are co-owned, and Jive who lives with me. It will now fall to Jive to try to follow in her mother’s shoes, not just on the trail but also in the obedience ring and as a therapy dog. She has huge shoes to try to fill. After loosing Siri just a month ago I couldn’t imagine the house ever feeling emptier … it does now. In just over a month I’ve gone from 4 dogs to just 2. I use to tell people that I had Granny Bear, Papa Bear, Momma Bear and Baby Bear when I took the whole family out anywhere, now I just have Papa and Baby Bear. Levi has loss his mom and his “wife” and little Jivie has loss her Grandmother and her mother. I have loss not just two great dogs, but two incredible friends.
I am devastated and still in total shock and disbelieve over Free’s sudden death and will be for a long time. My vet now has Freya’s body and is sending tissue samples off to the lab. Hopefully we will find some answers as to what happen to Free Free. Freya will be cremated and her ashes will be placed in a red urn as befitting her status as one of Karen Ramstead’s Iditarod dogs.
Farewell sweet Free Free, we love you.
Brenda, Levi and Jive
Halifax, NS, Canada