NADAC Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: TheQuestKnight on September 26, 2014, 05:08:07 PM

Title: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: TheQuestKnight on September 26, 2014, 05:08:07 PM
    On Friday, September 26, 2014.................the sweetest, gentlest and kindest soul to ever grace the halls of Castle Camelot began her next journey through the cosmos..............................
 
    When Barb & I returned home, Pelli and Katie seemed "relieved" that Gael was now free of her pain.........................
 
    We had the good fortune to adopt Gael, aka Me Kali's Wee Miss Creant, in 2004........................................she was 4 years old...............................and she had been in a MINIMUM of 5 homes before she came to live with us.............................
 
    Our late Flurry told us that this young girlie was coming home with him..........................and Gael took one look at our late Dred and KNEW that she had a "lifetime job" trying to get Dred to behave with some degree of maturity and dignity!  Our late Kali LOVED having a young girl that she could teach!!!!!!!!!!!
 
    We adopted Gael from the Animal Rescue Facility in Montpelier, OH............................where Gael had been surrendered by a farmer that "gave two turkeys and a hundred bucks" for her; but "Gael wouldn't leave his sheep alone!".  Yeah..................go figure...........................a Border Collie and "woolies"!!!!!!!!!!! <LOL>
 
    Our first year or so with Gael was challenging..............................she had been in so many previous homes that she was TERRIFIED of making a mistake with us..........................for fear of losing yet another home.............................even house-breaking and learning the few house rules was stressful for her.  At the advice of a close friend in Border Collie rescue, we asked our vets about putting Gael on amitriptyline, an anti-anxiety medication................................and that proved to be the "breakthrough" that Gael needed....................she was finally able to learn new things without fear of making a mistake and losing her home "getting in the way"................
 
    All that Gael wanted was a home, food, security, love and a FRISBEE!!!!!!!!!!  Gael claimed her spot in our home under our dining room table.................................it had everything that she needed within 10 feet or so of her crate.........................................the water bowl, her food was above her on the table..........................the patio door that led to her fenced in yard was in the room................................the kitchen, where the REALLY GOOD food was made was the adjacent room...................................and she had a good view of the "traffic" in the rest of the house........................................she was content..........................
 
    For the first year or so, everywhere that we went, Gael seemed to be "checking out the crowd".......................surveying possible new owners because she still worried about losing her home.  It wasn't until Gael saw the same season of the year with us for the second time that she seemed to understand that she was really staying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
    After that first year, Gael learned to LOVE traveling...........................from Georgia to Maine to Nova Scotia, Canada and countless points in-between....................................and to bark at seals in the surf off of Cape Cod..........................and to investigate horseshoe crabs and sand crabs in Cape Cod Bay...................................because there were ALWAYS people present that she could charm into giving her attention!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
    Teaching Gael agility was another challenge................................NONE of the agility toys were as good as a FRISBEE; but she did learn tunnels over the span of a couple of years....................and also learned jumps and hoops in time; but we NEVER asked ANYTHING of Gael that she really wasn't interested in doing.....................................and she only wanted to learn a LITTLE agility so she could do a "little something" at the NADAC trials where her pack-mates also got to play.
 
    Even so, for Gael, the BEST part of any agility run was to see one of those HANDSOME, MALE NADAC judges in the ring........................................there was sure to be a course detour initiated by Gael so she could flirt with the judge "up close and personal"! <VBG>  We NEVER tried to "correct" that behavior....................................for Gael, that was the BEST part of agility!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
    The flirting really got reinforced in October of 2006 at a trial near Columbus, OH where Gael earned her TN-N.  Ron Young came by to congratulate Barb & Gael after the trial...............................and spent some time giving Gael A LOT of attention and affection.....................................something that Gael didn't forget.  Our paths didn't cross with Ron Young until NADAC Championships in 2009........................Barb was in "the chute" with Gael.............................and Gael spotted Ron on the catwalk far above the ring............................so the biggest challenge that day wasn't the course....................................for Barb, it was simply getting to Gael to acknowledge that there WAS a course to run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <LOL>
 
    Dred & Gael were the PERFECT "Odd Couple"............................Dred was impulsive, brash, bold and an extrovert in the extreme..................................and Gael was deliberate, restrained, refined, dignified and a bit of an introvert................................yet they understood each other completely.............................Gael LOVED nagging Dred....................................and Dred would have been lost without Gael telling him what to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Dred & Gael so TOTALLY understood each other that when Dred's eyesight began to fail, it was Gael that, without any "training" or "encouragement from us", became Dred's "seeing eye dog"!  As much as Gael LOVED a frisbee, Dred was fond of those flying discs, too...........................and Gael would "steer/herd" Dred toward the frisbee so Dred could find it...................................and she NEVER, EVER got in the way of Dred's enjoyment...........................and ALWAYS waited for us to call her name for her turn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
    When Dred passed away earlier this year, we were concerned about how Gael would deal with his passing.............................she handled it very well................................and Pelli did his best to keep Gael's spirits "up"........................
 
    In March, given Gael's age, we thought it was time that Pelli got "his girl" and to add a new maiden to Castle Camelot.  After several days of searching the internet, we found a possible lass in a shelter about 40 miles away.  I (Al) loaded Pelli and Gael into my vehicle and we drove to the Shelter to evaluate "Baboo", as she was known at the time.  Baboo was scared of me, Pelli & Gael; but Pelli & Gael looked at me as if to say "She's the one.........................she'll be FINE!"  We've ALWAYS trusted our pack to make the final decision when it was time to add a new knight or maiden, so Baboo, now Katie (Caitlin) came home with us.  Katie was about 5 months old....................................and was a court-ordered seizure, taken from a hoarder's trailer because of unsanitary conditions.....................................and then Katie spent 6 weeks at the shelter.  Once home, Gael & Pelli immediately began teaching their new "sister".........................Pelli became her playmate..................................and Gael became Katie's nurturer and "Grandmama"............................teaching Katie all of the "girlie" things that she needed to learn...............................not the least of which was how to charm her way out of ANYTHING!!!!  Katie is the first non-Border Collie at The Castle in many, many years.............................DNA testing revealed that she is a "blend" of long-haird Miniature Dachshund, Chow Chow, Rottweiler, Siberian Husky and German Shepherd Dog............................all stuffed into a compact, 28 pound package!  Within 48 hours, Katie was feeling "at home"..........................................and Pelli and Gael were BEAMING with pride!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
    Gael lived 2.5 years with kidney disease................................fortunately, we discovered her kidney disease early............................and with our traditional and holistic vet working in collaboration, between medications and supplements, Gael was able to stay on her regular food and keep her kidney function levels stable.  It was during a routine blood test a little over two months ago that we noticed significant spikes in Gael's liver function levels.  X-rays and an ultra-sound revealed multiple tumors in multiple internal organ systems.................................the most concerning of which was multiple tumors on Gael's spleen...................................and without a splenectomy, a major internal "bleed" from the spleen was a distinct possibility within 3 months...................................tumors in Gael's lungs, liver, a lymph node and on her pelvic bone were not any less of a concern...................................
 
    We have had several dogs experience fatal bleeds from hemangiosarcomas of the spleen and the liver.  Now that we had advanced knowledge of Gael's issues, we decided to give Gael as much FUN, QUALITY TIME that we possibly could....................................and hopefully enable her to "cross over" before suffering the pain of a major bleed..................................or any other significant pain as well........................
 
    The last two weeks were increasingly difficult for Gael.......................................and it did not appear to be from her kidney or tumor issues...............................it was from her degenerative arthritis and the cold, damp weather that had set in............................................not even Tramadol brought Gael any relief.  In all the years that Gael has lived with us, she has NEVER "yipped", "squealed" or "vocalized" from an injury or pain, so she had been in more pain that we or our vets were aware of.............................................
 
    Gael had a REALLY GOOD couple of months.........................she NEVER lost her appetite or her HUGE, BROAD GRIN..........................and we made her ALL of her favorite foods...............................and gave her all that she wanted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Gael was able to go on a couple of hikes in the local parks/woods, which she LOVED doing!
 
    Gael also had a WONDERFUL time teaching Katie and helping to raise her..................................those were perhaps some of the happiest months of Gael's life!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
    While Gael will be missed..............................and The Castle will seem to be a bit "empty"...........................The Castle............................and it's inhabitants are better and "richer" because of the time that Gael shared with all of us.............................
 
    There is a poignant theme in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.............................
 
    "Life is not linear with a beginning and an end.  Life is an endless circle where each end is also a new beginning.  All that one is, their 'katra', lives on after their physical death...........................and so it is with Gael."  Her life energy will continue to "Live long and prosper!".
 
    "Mr. Sulu............ahead, warp factor two."
 
    Castle Camelot's on-going mission.......................to explore new alternatives.......................to seek out new adventures and new knowledge..........................to boldly go where we have not gone before!
 
                                                    Al, Barb, Pelli & Katie
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on September 27, 2014, 01:23:41 AM
A wonderful celebration of Gael's life!
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: ThinkAussie on September 27, 2014, 01:59:15 AM
My condolences to Castle Camelot.  We live to love; and love to live.  You guys have done both.  RIP Gael.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Vicki Storrs on September 27, 2014, 02:15:35 AM
Barb and Al,
So very very sorry to hear of Gael's passing.  I always say that what I think is the difference when we lose a pet, as opposed to a person we love, is that there are other people who knew and loved and  shared different parts of a person's life. You can get together and share memories and funny stories and grieve together.  But the loss of a loved pet is a lonely loss for me, because no one knows them in the intimate way those of us who live with them do.  Very few people really share any part of their life, sees the silly, awesome, thoughtful, loving and yes annoying things they do on a daily basis.  It's just such an intense but solitary loss.  So thank you for doing such a lovely job of "sharing" Gael's life with us so we can, in some small way, share the pain of her loss with you.
Sending love and warm thoughts to all at Castle Camelot,
Vicki Storrs
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Sara Langston on September 27, 2014, 05:59:22 AM
What a beautiful and loving tribute!!!!  My heart aches for you and the Camelot family.  Gael was certainly a fortunate dog to have found her way into your life.  You, also, were fortunate to be able to share your life with her.  May she rest in peace.

Sara Langston
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: quamashbcs@yahoo.com on September 27, 2014, 05:03:22 PM
Sorry to hear of another Camelot dog heading off to the rainbow bridge. I am glad we got to meet you all when you ventured out East.

Dogspeed, Frances & the Crazy BCS

Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Anne Etherton on September 27, 2014, 07:39:16 PM
I am so sorry to hear of Gael's passing. This was a most moving and thoughtful tribute. It is still so hard to say good bye.
Hugs to your family.
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on September 27, 2014, 08:21:17 PM
Vicki:

A very true and profound statement.  When I lost Kaylee, I remember feeling no one neither knew her nor cared that she was gone except me.  A very lonely and isolating feeling.

Barb and Al,
So very very sorry to hear of Gael's passing.  I always say that what I think is the difference when we lose a pet, as opposed to a person we love, is that there are other people who knew and loved and  shared different parts of a person's life. You can get together and share memories and funny stories and grieve together.  But the loss of a loved pet is a lonely loss for me, because no one knows them in the intimate way those of us who live with them do.  Very few people really share any part of their life, sees the silly, awesome, thoughtful, loving and yes annoying things they do on a daily basis.  It's just such an intense but solitary loss.  So thank you for doing such a lovely job of "sharing" Gael's life with us so we can, in some small way, share the pain of her loss with you.
Sending love and warm thoughts to all at Castle Camelot,
Vicki Storrs
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Ed and Dino on September 28, 2014, 07:58:40 AM
So glad Gael had a royal life at the Castle.

My thoughts to all of you at the Castle as you continue on with your memories of Gael.
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Maureen deHaan on September 28, 2014, 08:48:15 AM
Al & Barb (and pups) - very sorry to learn of your loss- love , peace and strength be with you all...
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Lisa Schmit In The Zone Agility on September 28, 2014, 07:09:59 PM
So sorry al and barb!  Big hugs to you both !!!
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Carole & Pat Daggett on September 29, 2014, 12:23:57 PM
What a nice tribute to Gael and her role in your lives.  Our thoughts are with you.

Pat & Carole Daggett
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Heidi Konesko on September 29, 2014, 06:40:55 PM
Our sympathies for your loss.  She was a very lucky girl to have found her way to the Castle.  Sincerely,  -Heidi and pack
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Ken Perlmutter on September 30, 2014, 08:41:01 PM
I am sorry to hear Gael has passed.  My deepest sympathies.  I am glad you have so many fond memories to cherish.
Ken
Title: Re: Celebrating Gael: 8/18/2000-9/26/2014
Post by: Lin Battaglia on October 01, 2014, 06:57:41 AM
No dog could ask for a better life than with you and Barb, Al. Thanks you for giving her what she deserved. She will be missed. We never stop missing them. We have to believe we will see them again. I imagine tripping thru the gates of heaven, falling down and being punched on by my numerous dogs who are happy to see me again. 

Lin and GregB