Aug 10

Musings on a Redhead

When she was one minute old, I knew she was exactly what I had done the breeding for. In a very nice litter, she was the star. Before her eyes were open, I knew she would stay. She was Bonnie.

Named for Bonnie Raitt's song "Shadow of Doubt," she upheld her end of that bargain, being the Siberian equivalent of a blues singer. Bonnie not getting her way? Bonnie sings the blues - loudly, and to anyone who would listen. Her voice was the only thing I didn't love about her.

Bonnie, like the rest of our dogs, lived in the house and shared our lives fully. Whether in a tight "Siberian swirl" on the couch, sitting just outside the kitchen, politely waiting to be served a meal, or careening off the baseboard in the race to be the first dog out the back door, Bonnie's presence was always very apparent. She was the kind of dog that, even when she was asleep, you knew she was around and that some sort of mischief could occur at any moment. She liked ball-shaped toys and had a few stuffed ones. Occasionally, she'd decide to throw them so she could chase them. I'll never forget the night we were eating dinner at the table and one came sailing across our plates. Subtle hint to hurry up? Or maybe, knowing Bonnie, not so subtle.

She earned her Championship in spite of me. I was bound and determined to get the AKC Bred-By medallion with her, so spent way more time and way more money than was necessary on that title. With perfect hindsight, I should have let Chuck Charlton show her, as he wanted to do, because the two of them were poetry in motion as a team.

She loved agility. She LOVED agility! She loved training at her Auntie Glo's, she loved running courses with me, and one time, she loved landing in Anne Jones' lap because she thought that Anne needed a visit more than I needed an agility partner. She did go on and finish that course, and the look on Anne's face was worth the blown run.

She loved hiking. She didn't even notice the weight of the pack on her back, she was so excited to go. She was affectionately known as the "bear-scarer" because for the first mile of any hike, her mouth was usually going at full volume. Did I mention that her voice was the only thing I didn't love about her? I shudder to think how many campers we disturbed on our hikes.

She loved dancing. Canine musical freestyle uses a dog's athleticism in a fun way, and Bonnie thought dancing was fun. Of course, she thought almost everything she did was fun, including digging huge dens under the deck, but she was good at dancing. Once we finished her CD, which was my goal for this fall, we were going back to dancing, to finish a couple of titles we had started.

She loved obedience. She was the obedience star in all of the exercises, being almost totally ready to compete long before our other three. The other three have CDs now, and Bonnie never will. She was almost totally ready to compete - except she thought that "stay" was an optional command. Sometimes she did, sometimes she didn't, and often when she did, she sang the blues. There goes that mouth again...wish I could hear it now.

The last thing I said to her before she left us was that she was right all along - for her, "stay" was optional. Patty, bet you didn't know just how perfect your sweet card was for us. Thank you.

Bonnie's time with us lasted ten and a half years. Up until the last two days of it, she was happy, healthy and wild. She had one slow day, then the next was quite depressed and then the next day, she was gone. Lymphoma had quietly done too much to her for there to be anything the doctors could do for her.

Enjoy whatever is after this experience, Bonnie. You knew how to make your own fun and live to the fullest in this life, so I'm sure you're having a blast now, too. Hope the universe understands that your exuberance has to come out of your mouth, too.
We miss you, smart, beautiful girlie.
Bonnie was owned and loved by the author of this article, Sandy Weaver Carman. Sandy would like to thank photographer Tien Tran for the agility photo used above.
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Comments (5)
  • Joni  - Bonnie

    What a very special dog and a lovely tribute. I know you will miss her so much, Sandy. How wonderful that you were able know and love her for her entire life. And what a wonderful life you gave her!

  • Melanie S  - Bonnie

    Sandy, my heart goes out to you, losing such a special girl. Thank you so much for sharing her with us.

  • Margot Treybig  - Mrs

    Having been a breeder too I know the pain of loosing one of you own. The ones that you have helped to bring into the world. Bonnie is, more than likely, romping with my Irish Setters and Malamutes now.

  • Patty Powell  - Bonnie

    Thanks for sharing Bonnie's adventures. What a lucky Siberian husky to have been bred/owned/loved and handled by YOU. I remember watching you both in the ring and commenting on what a great team you were! Godspeed Bonnie.

  • Jo Ann Smith

    Sandy, you knew how to keep a redhead happy. I too have a redhead who is very vocal and announces herself wherever she goes. She no longer does agility because she had a spontaneous pneumothorax. I still do rally and obedience with her. I am praying that God gives you the strength to get through this very difficult time. You are in our hearts and prayers. Jo Ann, Talley and Koal

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