|GCHP Diablo's Back Alley Brawler
|May 26, 2017
|Theresa Bowermaster and Clayton Heathcock
|Clayton Heathcock and Louise Vangsgaard
|Clear by parentage
|Clear by parentage
|Holter negative (5 and 9 mos)
She arrived at Camelot in 2017 as a beautiful blonde puppy. I named her Khaleesi because I was captivated by the character of that name in the popular TV show Game of Thrones. She became an important part of my pack and promising young show dog, as shown by the above photos.
But at the age of 3 it became necessary that I find her anoher home. I was lucky to have a good friend, Barbara Bridwell, who volunteered to give her a home and when she had to leave the area, I was lucky to find another great family, Dr. Natasha Fallahi and her husband Titus Chiu.
Suddenly and quite unexpectedly, Khaleesi became very ill in mid-2021. In spite of heroic efforts by Natashi and Titus, Khaleesi did not survive her illness and she departed in early September, 2021.
The following memorials were written by Barbara and Natasha.
Furloughed because of COVID in April 2020, I realized I needed a Rhodesian Ridgeback in my life again. I asked Clayton if he had one I could borrow for the Shelter-at-Home time. He sent Khaleesi to keep me company.
Khaleesi and I had a grand time from the beginning! We went hiking at Briones every day. Then we started to hike Shell Ridge with my friend Mindy. Khaleesi loved to hike and run in the open areas. One time she did not realize that the land dropped while she was running and she soared through the air to land on her feet and kept running. You could see how happy she was! She was friendly with every dog we met and did not bother the people on the trails. She was such a joy to be around. We explored new trails all around the North Bay.
As with most Ridgebacks, she enjoyed sunbathing in the morning sun. She was always with me and content to lay on the couch while I read or watched TV. She was absolutely beautiful and very sweet. Amazingly, she would come every time I called her and this included off leash while hiking! Then, it was time for me to go back to work. The job was in Bakersfield where I would work long hours on a renewable fuels plant construction and start-up. I looked for a place to rent where Khaleesi could stay with me. I found a place with two other dogs, but decided Khaleesi would be the college co-ed and the two male dogs would be like sophomore jocks. It just wasn't a good match, and I would be spending hours away at work. I told Clayton I had to give her back. I was extremely sad. But Clayton found a wonderful new family for Khaleesi. And that is the next part of the story.
I wished upon a star. And then, 6 months later, suddenly and out of the blue, I received a text message -- which lead to a phone call -- that turned into an email -- that lead to a meeting -- that in effect, made my wish come true.
Her name was Khaleesi. A stellar dog that lit up our lives and warmed the hearts of everyone she met. Just shy of 4 years old, she came into our world like a shooting star -- suddenly and out of the blue. And with her, she brought a trail of awards and experiences and admirers and friends. She was as unique and memorable as her name and her flaxen hair. And we knew the universe had blessed us.
It's a fascinating experience to become the guardian of such a popular pup. From day one, we were connected to a network of people who cared for her as much as we did and checked in on her regularly. A steady flurry of messages, congratulations, ideas about her favorite foods, reminders of her quirky habits, celebrations of her adventure. We sent group pictures and videos of her flying through vineyards, exploring riverbanks, hiking mountains, and lounging in soft beds drenched in sunshine, She was universally loved --I think because she embodied universal love.
I called her my Heart Dog - a steady beat of joy that kept me going every day. Fierce and deeply affectionate - Khaleesi was true to her ridgeback legacy. She was all at once regal and silly. Proud and yielding. Spirited and remarkably patient. She truly was a firecracker - incredibly athletic and enthusiastic - her joie de vivre was papable. The whisper of a walk, the suggestion of car keys, a hand reaching for her leash, a tiny flinch of a squirrel --whatever the activity, she was ready to burst forth and live life full out. Even on difficult days or when she must have been feeling pain, there was always a light in her eye, a smile on her face, and a wag in her tail.
Khaleesi came in -- and out --of our world just like a shooting star --suddenly and out of the blue.
"The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long." -- Lao Tzu, Te Tao Ching
In the wake of her brief and brilliant life, the afterglow continues to guide me through the darkness - reminding me to shine bright and love with my whole being. Khaleesi, we love you my dear and will always hold you in our hearts. As promised, we will forever be your place to call home.
Natasha, Titus and Koba
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