I woke up today to find Dazzle had passed away in her sleep. She was a good dog from start to finish. At the end, she spared me the slow deterioration that many pet owners have to bear, only to have to make the decision to euthanize in order to spare their pet’s suffering. At the beginning, she was an easy puppy, easy to house train, a joy to socialize and quick to learn new skills. I couldn’t have asked for a better dog.  Indeed, Champion Hemlock’s Diamond Dazzler CDX RN WC was simply the best anyone could ask for.

I picked Dazzle out of a litter with five yellow girls. She was the granddaughter of my first show dog, Ruby. A darling puppy, she was always happy as well as mellow. She possessed a trait that is very difficult to come by in a competition dog. She was laid back and easy to live with, loved a good belly rub, but ask her to work and a switch turned on and she was ready to go in obedience or the field. She was an extraordinary jumper and loved it, doing multiple hurdles with ease. She loved to train.

Dazzle was known to all as the dog with the tremendous appetite. No food was safe around her. While staying at a friend’s house one time, she broke in to the pantry and ate a bag of Splenda. Another time she stole a can of tomatoes packed with hot chilies and sucked it dry. The most memorable event was when she stole the birthday cake a friend had given me, chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. She had a show one day, won the points toward her championship , came home and stole the cake overnight ( whole thing) and greeted me in the am with a belly like a barrel, asking for breakfast. I took her to a show that day, huge belly and all. The judge congratulated me on the upcoming litter. Of course, I didn’t tell him the truth. A friend outside the ring commented it was a litter of cupcakes! The amazing thing about Dazzle’s culinary escapades was that she NEVER got sick!

Dazzle was a healthy dog her entire life. My dogs generally are. I tend to take it for granted. She whelped three litters with no problem  after she completed her championship at the age of five. The first litter consisted of one stillborn puppy. Her hormones were raging and since she had no live puppies to take care of, she chose a small latex pink pig to mother, carrying it with her and caring for it for ten days. When she did have a litter of healthy puppies, she was a wonderful mother. I always thought she loved the process as she could eat so much more as a mom!

After Dazzle retired from the show ring and motherhood, she starred in a commercial. At 11 years old, she was a trooper, being filmed walking up a hill for what seemed like 500 times on

a scorching hot day. She liked the lunch break, when the crew and actors got their catered lunches and would rest them on the ground while gabbing. One of the two things Dazzle always wanted in life was to be really fat. She never was allowed that luxury.

The other thing Dazzle never got in life that she wanted  was to be an only dog. Dazzle got along well with all dogs, but never seemed to be devoted to her house buddies. Her favorite dog game was chase, as she was a fast dog, but she never liked the wrestle games. She was a great friend to the cats, who cuddled with her and used her as a kneading pillow. A gentle dog, a sweet dog , a good dog. Thank you, Dazzle.