June 13, 2002 - June 18, 2014
Like yesterday I remember leaving Rainy Pass in the wee hours of the morning in the 2008 Iditarod. It was storming hard and I soon ran into the team of another musher all but stalled in the storm. We took over the leading duties with my little grey/white leader virtually STORMING her way through the snow and wind.
The next day in the calm of a checkpoint the musher we had taken over the lead for came over and asked me what it took to train a leader 'like that'.
I smiled and said I hadn't trained her at all .... she just came that way.
Many a musher owes that grey and white girl for getting them through storms when their leaders stalled. She NEVER failed me.
She was the BEST storm leader I've ever known - and a darn fine leader the rest of the time.
She was never an 'easy' dog. She was affectionate, but not snuggly. She challenged and questioned me a lot. Sometimes deserved, sometimes just 'cause she could. She was a lot like me. I know I said her name in 'not nice' sentences many times - I'm sure she did the same with mine.
I will say that never a moment went by that I didn't love and respect her though.
She had the softest fur of anyone of my dogs - and the most annoying whine - which she knew how to use to get her way.
I stood outside an ice cream shop in Hawi, Hawaii a few days ago crying buckets of tears as my wonderful vet, Dr. Tannis Jackson, walked me through what was going on with my girl and helped me get to the hard, but necessary decision.
It hurt to not be there for her final moments, but I held her with all my heart in her last minutes.
Huge thanks to Tannis and Colleen for making sure Jinx was done right
by. I am blessed to have folks like that in my life that honour my
relationship with my dogs and can be trusted to make decisions in my
It still seems unreal she is gone. I'm sure it will hit again when I'm back at home tomorrow and that annoying whine is missing.
One of the cool things about Jinxie was that she was a competitive dog - and the dog she had the most heated competition with was Snickers. Leading separate teams when Mark and I were training together if they saw the other coming up behind, they would just pick it up and boogie to stay in front. They pushed each other to give their all and were a dynamic pair. I smile to think they might be together again.