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 like....well...like 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.