Dawn Swick

2xGV bCH Zion's Joyous Alleluia aka Allie
Sep 14, 2000 - Feb 11, 2004

Allie…the name brings smiles and joy, tears and sadness.

Allie was my girl, my bright shining star. She came into my life at the age of 15 weeks, a happy, fun, loving mischievous puppy with a spark in her eye. I was so thrilled to have entered a new part of my life, owning my first show dog. I remember the words told to me when I picked her up. “You must show this bitch. She has the potential of making GV.” What was a GV, I wondered, but I promised to try my best and do all I could to bring this puppy to her full potential.

What’s in a name? If this girl was to be so special, she had to have a special name. Of course the kennel name was to be in there, she was such a happy, joyful puppy, and it was the day after Christmas that she came to our home, hence the name, Zion’s Joyous Alleluia.

We started our training right away in both handling and obedience. Allie was such a joy to work with, as she always wanted to please and tried her best to do what was asked. She was a natural to the show ring. She just loved to gait around the ring, showing off her flying trot. However, judges were not her favorite, due to rough handling at a show. Unknown to me, she was developing a kidney infection, and the pressure from the exam just pushed her over the edge. It took us the next year to rebuild her confidence, but we never gave up. Soon, she was once again rock steady on her stand for exam.

We went to our first show in Harrisburg when Allie was 7 months old, where she took a reserve. For the next year, in Niagara Falls, Toronto, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, that was the story of our show life. Always reserve, but never winners bitch. Reminds you of the old saying, ”Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” But we never gave up. I knew I had an awesome dog. She just had to mature from a gangly puppy into a beautiful Shiloh. After seventeen shows and only one point, however, I was beginning to get a complex. Was I doing something wrong? Maybe I was just trying too hard. I finally took the attitude that if the judge didn’t like my dog, it was his loss. I had a great dog, and I didn’t care if any one agreed with me. And it was like the pressure was taken away and wow, did Allie start to win.

Suddenly, there was no beating her. Every time she went into the ring, she was being handed ribbons, rosettes, and trophies. It was just incredible to watch her float around the ring. The points added up and all of a sudden, that GV award was hers. Her breeder was right. Everyone kept congratulating me, but it wasn’t me that did this. I just held onto the leash and let her strut her stuff. It was her award, her accomplishment. I just went along for the ride. Allie reached heights that I never thought was possible.

Now it was time to think about her future. We wanted to carry on these fabulous genes that she carried. So it was puppy time, and on Sept 24, 2003 she blessed us with six beautiful angels. The puppies were healthy and happy, and Allie was a super mom. But when the pups were only four weeks old, Allie bloated and had to be rushed into surgery. After three days of touch and go, she pulled through.

She came home a worried mom, wondering about her pups. I promised her that I had taken good care of her babies, but she had to check them out for herself. Sure enough I passed her test. She came to me wagging her tail, telling me everyone was fine. The puppies quickly grew and were placed into new homes. Two stayed with us, and Allie was still such a great mom, always cleaning them when they came in from outside, playing so gentle and just being a mom.

But due to the bloat issue, it was decided it was in her best interest that she was to be spayed. Unfortunately, the surgery didn’t go as it should, the vet and his staff made several mistakes, and Allie bled to death a few hours after surgery. We tried to save her at the emergency clinic, but she was too weak and severe shock had set in. She went into cardiac arrest on the operating table. My bright shining star, my one in a million was gone forever.

Allie will always be my special girl. She was that dog that only comes along once in a lifetime. She was my doggy soul mate, and there will never be another. We had the ability to communicate with only a look, never needing to speak. It may sound weird, but Allie and I could hear what each other were thinking. We had mutual respect and complete trust in one another.

Once again, I promised her I would take care of and love her puppies, Sera and Missy. They are her legacy, all I have left of Allie except for our wonderful memories we made together.

Thank you Allie, for allowing me to share your life. It was truly an honor.

Murrysville PA

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