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2002 Quilt Project Tributes

LABMED Salutes Our Labrador Heroes

Tribute stories submitted by our supporters to honor the special Labs in their lives.

A Tribute to Brook

Brook was a beautiful Black Lab. She was my only companion and loved to go hiking with me. As we were climbing some offbeat trails at the State Park, I slipped and fell 30 feet to the cliff bottom. I sustained a concussion and severe face lacerations. Brook knew to get help. She walked, not to my car, but to the busy highway and paced among traffic to gain attention. She saved my life.

Roxanne Johnson
(submitted by Bonnie Bates)

A Tribute to Lucy

Our wonderful Lab/Rottie mix, Lucy, had to be put to sleep on April 20th of this year. We had adopted her, a stray adult on December 27th, 1997. She was beautiful, strong, smart, sweet, and ornery - fit in with our family perfectly. I took her through several obedience classes; she eventually earned her CGC.

Lucy was nervous when our first daughter arrived in 1999, but adjusted and accepted her quickly. Miranda should remember her somewhat as she grows up, as she turned three this March. Our second daughter was born this February, and Lucy took to her (and vice-versa) immediately. After Lucy died, Charlotte looked around for her for a number of days. Unfortunately, she won't remember more than Lucy's photos and a love of dogs as she grows.

Though we all loved her, Lucy was really my dog. I miss her horribly. She was a good companion.

submitted by Arielle K. Masters

Olivia's Star

As I read through the success stories of the LABMED girls and boys there are certain stories that immediately bring a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes - Olivia's story (March 2002) was one of those. This star is dedicated to Olivia, her pups and her rescuer(s). 12 stars surround her name - 11 representing the 11 pups she herself rescued and the twelfth star for the rescuer(s) that saved Olivia and the pups. May she have found her forever home with a comfortable bed, lots of biscuits and lots of love!

submitted by Gretchen L. Pinkel

A Tribute to "The Girls"

Maggie, Morgan and Alice are "the girls" of our house! Although they are not known for any heroics or on a list of any top honors they are known to us in other "honor dog" ways - who can romp into the garden first, or who can find something in a trash can worth chewing up (or at least carrying around to make completely soggy), or as a helper in the kitchen for any possible "drops" that may occur while cooking is going on! These are the things that make them Labradors - and we love them all!

submitted by Gretchen L. Pinkel

A Tribute to Those "Over the Rainbow"

Sparkles and Brandy have each crossed over the rainbow bridge. They taught us about Labradors - from butt tuck runs, to power noses under the arm! They also taught us never to leave a dish towel hanging from the refrigerator door handle - especially just after grocery shopping! Labs DO know how to open refrigerators! I remember the days when you entered our lives . . . and I remember the days you left us. You are missed!

submitted by Gretchen L. Pinkel

A Tribute to Shelby

Shelby is probably really just your average 5 year old Lab. She hasn't won any prizes or ribbons, but if you know Labs, you'll know how I feel about her. She is a gentle, wacky soul and has brought me joy, laughter and perspective through some very difficult years. I just couldn't be sad for too long with Shelby's antics to keep my spirits up. Shelby is still my companion in some of the most joyful years of my life, and her crazy stunts add to the laughter in our home.

submitted by Joanna Norman

A Tribute to CH Clemmsen of Killingworth

CH Clemmsen of Killingworth (Eng/Am CH Lawnwood Hot Chocolate ex Stonewood Killingworth Katie) is the only chocolate ever to win the Breed at Westminister. Conceived behind a hanger at the Oxford, CT airport (Jan Churchill had flown in with Eng/Am CH Lanwood Hot Chocolate), he was whelped on Lorraines's birthday, September 7, 1979 during a hurricane. (No power for 3 days, pups whelped in front of a huge fire in the fireplace for heat)

Despite his dramatic and somewhat inauspicious beginnings, Clem proved to be a real winner for Lorraine. A devoted companion and fishing partner, he is behind all Lorraine's chocolates and some of her blacks, and produced several foundation bitches for others, including the outstanding CH K Clementine (Sue Ostermuller). Lorraine writes, "Clem was a wonderful companion dog - very pleasant and tractable. He was a great fishing partner - never jumped around in the boat!"

submitted by Chaplain Vikki O'Hara, M. Div

A Tribute to Killingworth's Tristan

Killingworth's Tristan (Hennings Mills Brown King ex Bounty Brant's Riverroad Chic). At the age of 8 months, Lorraine donated Tristan to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection with the understanding that she would keep the registration and possibly use him at stud. A superb tracking dog trained in evidence recovery, venison detection, and tracking persons, he replaced an unreliable GSD dog as partner for CT Conservation Enforcement Officer Peter Begley. "Tres" and Officer Begley were constant companions, at home and at work, throughout their career together, during which the team was often recognized for their outstanding work in tracking and apprehending poachers and "deer-jackers." (Deer-jacking involves the illegal hunting of deer at night by blinding them with lights.)

In 1995 Officer Begley and "Tres" were also awarded the "Medal for Meritorious Service" for ". . . rendering service beyond the ordinary course of duty with perseverance and timely judgment." On October 23, 1994, the Granby Police Department re-question the assistance of Officer Begley and Tristan in investigating a series of crimes which had recently taken place in which property was stolen during break-ins of several vehicles. With heavy rain making the investigation and search a difficult task, the team was able to recover the majority of stolen property and solve a major crime, and were also instrumental in the apprehension of one of the suspects who had fled on foot and was believed to be armed and dangerous."

After donating Tristan, Lorraine did not see him for about a year. When she did see him she said, "I just about collapsed. He was absolutely gorgeous. He has a beautiful head, a beautiful dark eye, and a gorgeous top-line. He has a found front and his hips and eyes are clear. He has all the qualities of a top-notch champion Labrador Retriever". In addition to his career as a canine detective, Tristan became one of Lorraine's outstanding stud dogs, producing, among many others, her current outstanding chocolate stud dog, Killingworth's Rufus, JH, WC."

submitted by Chaplain Vikki O'Hara, M. Div

A Tribute to Killingworth's Aelred

Sired by Killingworth's Rufus, JH, WC, Killingworth's Aelred was selected by Lorraine to work as a therapy dog and was sold to Chaplain Vikki O'Hara, Director of the Angel Dogs Animal Assisted Therapy Dog Program at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska. (The 7th largest rehabilitation hospital in the nation.)

From the age of 9 weeks Aelred has grown up in my office and has been socialized extensively in the hospital setting. When he's not working he is asleep under my desk. Aelred is the most extraordinary Labrador I have ever known. Lorraine and I have joked that he was mature from the time he was born, but it's true! He's just 2 years old now, but since he was less than 6 months old has had full run of the house when I'm not home and has never gotten into trouble. He adores people, "lives" to come to the hospital, and instinctively knows how to work with our therapists to help patients achieve their rehabilitations goals. When he was 8 months old a therapist asked me to have him lie down on the floor where she was working with an 18 month-old child who had experienced a stroke as a result of shaken-baby syndrome. The child was completely withdrawn, had come to us on a ventilator to breathe, and wouldn't initiate any movement on her own. Although Aelred was not old enough to be certified at that time the therapist saw a first spark of interest in the child when Aelred walked by. Aelred laid down on a mat and, unbelievably, the child began to reach for the dog. Before long she had her fist in his month and was tugging (hard!) on his ears. The whole time he was completely still, except for his tail wagging with delight! Aelred precipitated a breakthrough in this little girl's treatment, and after this session her recovery accelerated beyond what we had imagined possible. He continues to work his miracles every day!

submitted by Chaplain Vikki O'Hara, M. Div

A Tribute to Tess

Tess is a young dog with energy and enthusiasm. Her joy in life makes our spirits soar.

submitted by Jean Whitney

A Tribute to Molly

Molly is a gentle, quiet dog who brings joy to all she meets. Her visits to those who are no longer able to get out make her a very special Lab.

submitted by Jean Whitney


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