Monday, 21 November 2011

Chuchinka's San Antonio Rose - Kaylinn

Chuchinka's San Antonio Rose - Kaylinn
May 27, 1996 - November 21, 2011

I've told this story many, many times over the years, but this morning it really needs to be shared again.

In the summer of 2000 we acquired a nice 4 year old dog from our friends and mentors, Bob and Loreen Bridges of Chuchinka Kennels. "If she works out, she's yours....if not send her back". She worked out.

Although she hadn't even been harness broke when she came to live with us, she took to it she was bred for it - which of course she was.
I was thrilled, but didn't expect her to make the main string that first winter. She exceeded my expectations and did. But I didn't expect her to race with us in Alaska. Again, she exceeded by expectations. But I never expected she would make the Iditarod team. Guess what??? She did.
Not only did she make it, she finished - even leading for 2 legs of the race, although I had not spent any time training her as a leader.

Like yesterday I remember being camped in Eagle Island with my '01 team. Fourteen dogs were curled up in balls sleeping - one was standing up barking. That was Kaylinn. That was the day she became a lead dog.

Sadly, it wasn't  just yesterday, it was over 10 years ago. Where does time go??

This morning with the backdrop of a beautiful sunrise Kaylinn and I hit the 'trail' together for the last time as I loaded her in the van and headed to the vet.

For the last few years she hasn't been fond of being touched and we've been fairly respectful of that. This morning she leaned her forehead against mine as the vet fixed her catheter and I got to share one last special moment with a dear friend.



granimar said...

Oh Kaylin, what a wonderful girl you were. I know you and Karen agreed it was time to go, but my tears say what an empty space you leave behind in our hearts. All of the North Wapti extended family will miss you, what a sweetheart.

Kathryn said...

Kaylin was a great dog. On my first ever sledding outing, she was one of the 4 from geriatric park that I had. She was always enthusiastic when you visited her. Sorry to hear of her passing, but she had a great, fun-filled life.

Caron said...

Hi NW Family

Sorry to hear of her passing but may she running free under the Northern Lights.

All our Love Team Cademe (Caron,Demon,Memphis,Levi and Hachiko)

Chris said...

I'm sorry to hear the sad news of Kaylinn.
My thoughts are with all of NW at this sad time.
She was loved and will always be loved and missed by all that knew her.

Louise Midkiff said...

Yes, Karen. You've been through a few more of these than I have, but I remember when Tuchuk's Targo of Anadyr appologized to me for being sick. He turned out to have liver cancer. He had lead dog in him all the way back through his blood line and down through his future generations to the dog Ramey is running in lead to this day. So you see I can cry with you, too.

Anonymous said...

It always brings me to tears when one of your "babies" passes on to that wonderful trail in the heavens. I am sad for your loss, for everyone @ NW. You have such an elegant way with your final tributes that my heart always aches for you. Kaylin, as are all your dogs, was a world class athlete & lived a wonderful life.
My deepest sympathies, Sitka's Mom Lisa