Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Ch. NorthWapiti's Guy Smiley

Ch. NorthWapiti's Guy Smiley
July 13, 1996 - November 15, 2010

I received a phone call early this morning from my dear friend, Colleen. For the last 5 years or so, Smiley has lived in Saskatchewan with Colleen. 
Through tears she told me she was waiting for her vet to come to the house. It seems that Smiley's amazing heart, which drove him over countless miles in harness and twice down the Iditarod trail had had enough. 

I'm alittle lost over what memories of Smiley to share today. There are so many with him. He was our first homebred Champion Iditarod finisher. He loved the show ring, he loved working in harness - heck, he loved every bit of his life. 
He was a fun loving prankster.  How will I ever forget the Ceremonial start of the 2003 Iditarod, when the starter said "3...2...1...GO" and Smiley, in lead, did just that - veering for the snowbank and lifting his leg.
Seconds later he bolted down 4th Ave with his trademark 'Smiley grin' on his face - a moment caught and immortalized by an AP wire photographer.


Or his patented two footed digging technique that forever changed the landscape of so much of our dog yard.

He is a dog that will long live on in the memories and hearts of many, but most specifically Mark, myself, Colleen and Marty. 

We will never forget you Smiles!!



20 comments:

Marilyn said...

Bless his sweet heart, I remember him well. My condolences on your loss.

Emma said...

I remember my first interest in North Wapiti kennels doings began when I saw a picture of a irresistably nice looking dog- North Wapiti´s Guy Smiley- I was really amazed of his appearence...and I still am. Rest In peace, Smiley!

Anne said...

LOVED Smiley. He was the only NW dog I ever met (at Kemptville, ON) but long before that his smile had captivated my heart.

My condolences, Karen & Mark, Colleen & Marty.

Run FREE Smiley and help the others lead Karen on whatever trail she is on, wearing that Silver Harness with pride.

Bakavi said...

OH my! so very sorry. I too rember the 1st time I saw him but not in person only a lovely photgraph of a gorgeous smiley dog. Well named and he lived up to it all the way.
He will still be smiling as he runs his races up there.
love and hugs,
Diana

granimar said...

Oh Smiley, you were so treasured and loved and you will be greatly missed. Light up the stars with your smile as you look down on NW. I shared one of my favorite pictures of Smiley with Colleen. Remember the deal you made with him, Karen? If he would just get everyone one up the Huckleberry Pass in the Race to the Sky in a snowstorm, he could ride in the basket. He did and my photo of him was contentedly riding in the basket as you came across the Finish Line. I'll never forget that boy either, he's filed amongst the other NW heart memories.
Colleen, Marty, Karen and Mark, I'm so sorry he's gone.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, my heart is breaking for you all. He touched so many lives including those that only knew him from pictures and stories. He will be greatly missed.

Joanne and Amanda Lee
and
NorthWapiti's Flash Gordon

Anonymous said...

And what a great bunch of littermates he had, including Grover, Gus, and Camilla. And what a bunch of litters he sired! A pretty good long life - but never long enough. Our sympathies.
Mark and Pat
Spider, Batdog and Junior (Smiley's nephew)

JARAWSiberians said...

OMG! I just had a sinking feeling when I saw the title for this blog... I see so much of Smiley in my sweet Aladar... I never got a chance to meet Smiley in person but in away I guess I have him here in my kennel from what people have told me who have met both Smiley and Aladar. Including you Karen. I am so sorry he is gone now but as you said he lived a full and long life. And Aladar is exactly the same in loving to do everything we ask him to. My heart goes out to Colleen's family as well.

Maureen said...

His smiling face in pictures gave pure joy to the onlookers. Dogs are amazing creatures, capable of so much, so they leave a big hole in our hearts. When we have many our hearts are broken over and over. There are always those ones who stand out and are super special to us. It's hard to endure a loss, but they stay with us in memory forever. Never forgotten.

Corgi-Mom said...

Karen, so sorry for the NorthWapiti family's loss. He seemed to exude all the wonderful qualities of his breed while adding his own wonderful unique personality. Thanks again for sharing so much of you and your dogs with all of your fans.

The Thundering Herd said...

That photograph at the starting line has always been a favorite. We are so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

He was an exceptionally beautiful dog as well as living up to his name! I have one of the posterized prints of that famous Anchorage shot-I see Smiley every day in my living room!

Melanie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Karen. He was such a gorgeous dog, I always admired his photos so much and loved to hear about him.

Barbara said...

I am SO sorry, Karen, Mark, Colleen. I had the privilege of meeting gorgeous Smiley way back at Grand Portage 2001. Smiley, I know you wear your silver harness proudly - you certainly deserve to! Godspeed, Smiley.

Huskymom said...

Will always remember Smiley's face from when I first "discovered" NorthWapiti and read about the incredible Muppet litter. Godspeed Mr. Smiles. My condolences to your human families.

Miss W said...

So sorry to hear of the loss. I never got to know him other than his visit with the berg twins and when he sired a litter with Blackwater's Snow. I have his daughter Tula, from that breeding, and she is a lovely, strong, smart girl. She just earned her Rally Novice title this summer and is back in lead again this fall.

ElizabethMC said...

Such a heart touching and funny Iditarod story. I am so sorry for your loss Karen and Colleen. Hugs and prayers coming your way.

Rob Fradette said...

So sad.

That picture of him digging looks so much like Spot in our sand box.

Barbara "Dog Drop" Schaefer said...

Karen & Coleen, I was so sorry to hear of your loss. I was very fortunate to be able to meet him in person when up at the Iditarod (I've forgotten what year).

Be the Lead Dog

TerryLynnJohnson said...

beautiful. Hope you are hanging in there.