SparksíOnyx of Bailey Island,CGC,CD,WC,JH,
Delta Society TherapyDog,
LRC Conformation Certificate
3 November 1997- 18 May 2010
Onyx was a mother, a grandmother, and my little black puppy girl.
I met Onyx when she was 47 days old. She was the first born in a
litter of 9 black pups. She was a beautiful black puppy, full of
fun, curious and a thinker. She crate trained and house trained
quickly. She loved to tunnel in the snow. She was strong, happy,
but always mindful of those around her.
We started obedience classes when she was 14 weeks old. We went
for years for the structured work and practice. I remember her
recall, she would take off like a jet, then try to back pedal as
she saw the wall quickly approaching. She loved to play, swim
and go for rides.
Onyx received her CGC easily. In 2002 she gained her
conformation certificate from the LRC at the national. Two of
her pups also got theirs. She was a certified Delta Society
Therapy Dog. Onyx loved to play catch. She could throw, roll and
catch a ball. She worked with this one patient that had tendon
damage in his hand and persisted until he would give in and pick
up the ball. Some days she would play with children with special
needs. She was always so gentle. She always seemed to know just
how much support each person needed. She was just as gentle with
a frail elderly person as she was with a child with special
needs. She worked so hard during these visits to harness her
boundless enthusiasm she would sleep all the way home. She was a
true gift. Onyx earned her CD in obedience while I learned that
something new occurs at every show. You just never know.
She had one litter, my good friend and mentor Jackie Dunbar
introduced me to Diane Pilbin by way of Ghoststoneís Louie
Downtown. Onyx had a fabulous litter of six pups, of course
being Onyx she had them in the camper at the race track. She did
a great job, three girls, three boys. I kept a beautiful black
girl, Bridget who now fills a very big hole in my heart.
Onyx was still very much a pup in her mind and didnít care about
teaching the pups how to play with toys, although she did teach
them the other rules. She didnít want them to have her toys. She
was a much better grandmother than mother.
She obtained her working certificate and Junior hunter in her
seventh year. In 2008 she took first in veteranís obedience at
the LRCPV where as a youngster she was disqualified for moving
during the long sit. I was very proud of her, she was wagging her
tail and looking at me just as she had learned all those years
My Onyx was always so full of energy, first to the door to go
for a ride. She loved to travel sitting in the front seat with
her elbow on the window ledge. She loved to swim and never
thought it was time to come in. She taught a long haired collie
to swim. She also encouraged all the grandpups to be good
travelers and retrievers. She would let them have toys that she
didnít with her own pups.
The fall of 2009 brought a diagnosis of laryngeal paralysis. She
did well until this April. We started her on prednisone which
helped with her breathing. Unfortunately a few weeks later she
was diagnosed with lymphoma. She was given chemo on 27 April by
IV injection. Then she began an oral chemo, prednisone routine.
At first she had a hard time, then it looked like she would
improve. I prayed we were doing the right thing for my girl. We
were told that this treatment usually improves quality of life
for 8 to 10 months. We thought it was worth a try. Only three
short weeks later my beautiful Onyx was in so much pain she was
shaking and couldnít even get up. My heart aches, I helped her
outside to do her business. My husband made her scrambled eggs
for breakfast. I sat with her, petting her and talking to her. I
am so sorry for all your pain, you never hurt anyone.
You were so loving, you taught dogs how to swim, you played ball
with people who didnít want to, and you helped children with
special needs. You taught me how to learn with a lab. You were
a friend, a companion, an obedience title holder, a junior
hunter, a mother and a grandmother. You are my best friend.
Onyx, I love you so much.
Exercise finished, be free . . .