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In Loving Memory of


Baker's Secret Blend of Troy

October 26th 2002 to October 11th 2008

Loved and remembered by Nancy Smalley


Here's my favorite puppy picture:

(such an angel, before she could reach counter high)


This was from a snowstorm on Valentine's Day 2007.

This is a zoom-in of a larger scene but I loved how it made her look - well, possessed!! It was an action shot.

After a nonspecific (histiocytic of some sort) diagnosis from needle biopsy Oct 2, I watched as Seeker still refused all her favorite foods plus people-things she normally would have loved to try. Despite strong suggestion that surgical biopsy or chemo might help, I watched the dog I've loved for almost 6 years and knew she was not going to make it through another procedure. I was there when she was born and formed a connection that Chris Baker recognised and very shortly asked if I would like her. YES!! She is the grandpup of my Cassie and although I wasn't in the market for another dog at that time, well, you know how that plays out. Thanks to Chris for the gift of knowing Seeker.

I couldn't let her go as soon as she was probably ready to leave so I decided to try the steroid route to be sure that couldn't give her more good time. After 2 days, she was not improving, but my vet tech said maybe try the weekend. A few minutes later I found she was turning yellow. No time left to think . I let Cassie say goodbye and I'd like to think she really knew what was happening. I'm so glad I'd been able to get cheek swabs to the MSU DNA repository earlier this week. Kristi, the tech, did a blood draw for them and gave me all the shipping materials before she euthanized her and we both cried.

Pat Long was wonderful in getting us connected to Berner Garde and MSU more quickly than I could have imagined. Sharon Laird at MSU was fantastic in helping me through the steps and getting me kits so I can get Cassie's data done too. Sharon's gentle compassion and deep interest calmed me so much. Don't wait until there is so much else going on. Get that DNA info to MSU so they can help future generations of Berners.

The link is off the Berner Garde site -

or directly

Thank you to all for your support - especially Sue Pierro for 2 trips to Albany for specialist testing and lots of talking. Also to trainer Theresa Powers, friends and relatives who know these four footed furry creatures ARE my children. It will be tough for awhile and I'm going to try to stand by my pledge to not get another until I retire. Cass is over 9 and a half now so I will enjoy each day with her and Reba (our oddball SPCA white shepard who has been with the 2 Berners so long I think she wonders why she's all white.)

Somewhere tonight, there is a counter being surfed by a newly refreshed Seeker. She was the champ and taught me to keep things off the counter. She always lived up to her name and nosed into places I didn't even know were places. She was the first dog I ever noticed watching airplanes. How she spotted them I never knew. I'd see her looking up and sure enough there'd be a plane or trail of one. I learned a lot from her and thanked her this morning on behalf of puppies of my future who will benefit from her teachings.

Happy Memories

Here's our family when Seeker came home

My old setter mix Cinnamon was on her last legs and not happy to be raising her third puppy in our 13 years together.
Seeker would invariably end up right by her.

In the background is Velcro (left) from Adele Miller's "v" litter. She lived to be 11.

Background right is Grandma Cassie, at a spritely 3 yrs old now aged 9+ yrs

And another from the same snowy day as the first pic 2007, with adopted sister, Reba.

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