|Misky - Family companion and first rate ranch dog||Levi - Family companion to the Fischer family||Jewels - Family companion to the Jacobs family|
|Rose was my sister Marti's dog. Rose was guardian, traveling companion, baby sitter and family member for years.|
Left: Donegal Christmas Aisling - "QT"
Rignt: Donegal's Windchime - "Andy"
|Birke has passed over the rainbow bridge at 14 1/2. She was such a dear for all those years to Melanie Shepherd and many many others who loved and admired her. She is missed terribly!|
On August 31, my family lost our beloved "Zachary," Donegal's Gallant Defender, CGC, after 13 wonderful years. Zachary was a gorgeous black tri out of Alex and Grace, born on July 17, 1994 who I showed several times as a junior handler at ASC of WA shows with your help.
From the beginning, Zachary was a dream dog, perfect for a first-time dog owner. My mom and I still remember our earliest introduction to his intelligence and eagerness to please. As a puppy, Zachary once walked about when using a wee-wee pad we placed strategically in the house for him. My mom and I witnessed him picking up his "mess" in his mouth and putting each piece square on the pad. He was housebroken in no time.
Zachary loved to perform and easily learned tricks throughout his life. He could give a mean paw, a complete double-paw high five, bark and howl on command, crawl, play dead, roll, and even balance a biscuit on his nose (this trick was the hardest for him to see through to the end). He loved being the center of attention and entertained many of our friends and family with his antics. He never missed the opportunity to be silly and generate laughs. Many times, he would rummage around in his overflowing toy bin and emerge shortly thereafter with a toy in his mouth; once he had one, he'd prance around the living room table a few times. This was his way of asking to play a goofy game I called "La Cucaracha." In congo-line style, Zachary would lead the way, while I followed, hands on his back, singing "La Cucaracha." It was absolutely goofy, but Zachary loved to ham it up; he'd often change the direction at the last minute and do play growls while tossing the toy around. He was always the center of attention and knew his toys by name. He preferred the largest and loudest ones possible, especially those that grunted.
Zachary was a mellow dog who we called our "Hollywood Aussie." He definitely had work ethic, but preferred to sleep in most days. In his younger years, the couch was his favorite spot. We always joked that he was lucky we didn't try making a shepherd out of him--it'd be hard to work stock with a dog who woke up in the afternoon! Zachary did work, though. He loved agility and, in his younger years, excelled in recreational runs through our backyard course. The most-narrow tire was no problem, and the tunnel was his favorite. He couldn't resist zipping through it from time-to-time during a run even when he wasn't told. He didn't much care for the see-saw, though. One of my proudest moments with him was earning his CGC title. At home, he worked, too: he loved to fetch the mail and the remote, both pretty handy services for our family! Zachary was obedient, but, like a good working dog, he had a mind of his own. He was no robot.
We brought Zachary into our lives at a time when I needed a friend the most. My family had just moved here from Germany, I had no friends, and I was starting middle school. Training Zachary gave me something to do outside of school and his unwavering companionship was so important during my adolescence. We grew up together.
When Zachary was 4, our family brought a lab mix and, when he was 8, a Pomeranian into our home. From the beginning, Zachary was so gentle with each of them and enjoyed the new role as dog pack leader. When our lab girl was young, he would crumble his biscuits at his feet and let her have a a mouthful of his in addition to her own. Zachary took his lead dog role seriously, preferring to let the two young ones romp around while he watched proudly nearby.
I could go on and on about our Zachary and the many memories we have of him.
Zachary is buried in our yard in a corner of our garden that he loved exploring and snuffing around in the most, set off in the shadow of two large hazelnut trees. For him, this spot was the best in the yard for chasing away the squirrels that the fall harvest brings.
Zachary's loss is a tremendous one for our family and we miss him dearly. I still see and hear him in so many places; things I do remind me of him. Each day brings us a little more peace and it is slowly becoming easier to say his name without breaking down into tears.
My family and I would like to thank you for giving us such a beloved friend. We were truly blessed to share our lives with a dog as wonderful as our Zachary.
Yasmeen Sands and Family
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