Select Page

Holly’s AKC name is Holly Darlene of Kimberly Way, after my sister Darlene, who passed away 3 years ago today.  

Dar was also a dog person.  She had a special bond with my prior golden, Boden, and all of her passwords included her dog’s name ‘taco’.   We had plenty of conversations about our dogs and other people’s dogs.  Many of her Get Well cards had puppies on them.  And a photo quilt filled with pictures of Kooper Dash hung in her room front and center directly in her line of vision, a conversation piece when conversation was sometimes tough.  

I told Dar my plans of getting another golden retriever, a puppy, and asked her to name it.  Whenever I’d swing back to it she would say, “I’m working on it.”  I knew it was a long shot – Dar was not a quick decision maker.  She had her beta fish nearly a month before she finally named it – BlueEyes – and that was due to Adam’s persistence and patience.   Dar never did give me a puppy name, not even a clue on what it might be named after.  That left me with naming the new little girl after Dar, thus Holly Dolly!  Dolly was Dar’s nickname as a toddler.   Therefore, on the AKC registration, necessary for her to get her Canine Good Citizenship certificate, her full name is listed as Holly Darlene of Kimberly Way.  Kimberly Way is the street where Dar’s home rested and where Dar chose to rest her soul after a year long battle with cancer. 

This evening, DeeAnn & I went for supper to one of Dar’s favorite restaurants in Duluth – The Other Place.  Meatloaf is no longer on the menu, she would be disappointed!  But taco salads are still served.  And dark beer.  Both were enjoyed.  Pull tabs are still sold but apparently Dar is keeping that fun to herself – we won $0, Dar won $500! 

In spirit of Dar tonight, Holly Darlene of Kimberly Way, was treated with a generous amount of peanut butter on her treatboard.  She and Dar share a name and a fondness for peanut butter!

Helen, Holly & I walked the cemetery today and were escorted through one stretch by four deer.  They were feeding in a grassy patch and did not want to leave, but didn’t want to take their eyes away from us either.  So they grazed and wandered parallel with us as we walked, at a safe distance.  Holly & Helen were fully aware they were there but kept their wits and only watched.  Neither party through any warnings or showed any quick movements, all of us just co-existed and enjoyed the beautiful 52 degree day in February.  

Holly had Rally Class today.  The bench that was broken from Holly dragging it to the ground was fully fixed and a sturdy, reliable bench once again.  I was guided to a steel support beam angling from the ceiling to the wall, and was instructed to tie Holly there in the future.  I am very happy to do so!   Today’s course was a quick run and had what seemed all components that both Holly & I could handle.  Instead of an upright bar jump, boards were laid out on the floor for a long jump.  We agreed to start Holly out with two boards, about a 14 inch spread.  I remember being at the beach once and measuring my stride with one of Holly’s running strides.  I could barely stretch far enough to place my feet on top of her pawprints, a span over 4 feet.  I wasn’t too concerned about her jumping over 14 inches.   Silly me.  As we approached the boards, I could feel her tentativeness and a quick skip to the side, scooting around the boards.  We returned for a do-over.  I hung closer to the edges, blocking her from the side stepping trick.  This time she did a firm front paw plant into the floor with a backward head thrust ending with her back end plunking down with no intentions of getting up again.  I have never seen Holly say ‘No’ with such conviction and insistence.  We threw a treat over the board,  then a ball – no dice.   Finally the instructor said we could get a pass on the jump.  As soon as I walked away from the jump, Holly joined me and we proceeded to finish the course with no issues.   We had two more course run-throughs.  We skipped the jumps on both.  The instructor observed that as we approached the jump, Holly was tense and worried.  As soon as we passed it, Holly was suddenly relaxed and her happy, giddy self.  We all have our fears, some more worthy to address than others.  With all of Holly’s life-is-a-lark playfulness,  jumping over a board on the floor at dog school is not on the list.  I can live with that.