Val came over to England for a holiday in February 1988. Her husband Ray had to stay at home because they had two German Shepherds and, like us, they would not leave them with anyone else. She had not seen a White German Shepherd previous to this and, guess what? yes, - she fell head over heels in love with them.
It was a cold February morning in 1991 that we set off to Heathrow airport to send one of our 'babies' on the journey of her life.
Her name was Emma and she was off to spend her life in the tropical sunshine of Far North Queensland, Australia, but, of course, we could not tell her that.
It was amongst the most difficult things we have had to do in our lives with our dogs. To put her into a cage in a strange environment & turn around and walk away. She was to endure a 27 hour flight with no food (for safety reasons) & no human contact apart from when her water was refilled during the stopover in Singapore. She would then have to spend 60 days in quarantine in Sydney & then take another flight up to Cairns. We had, of course, grown very attached to her, she was 16 weeks old when she left us - youngest she could have made the trip, due to inoculation regulations - but we knew that it would all be worthwhile considering the wonderful life she would have 'downunder'.
Take a look at the pictures and see what you think
She was to share her life with Ray & Val - Delia's brother & sister-in-law - and their two German Shepherds - Sheba and Rick in Tully, which is not very far from the Great Barrier Reef.
Time passed by & when Ray & Val decided they wanted another GSD they thought in exactly the same way as many of us have---our dog is so wonderful wouldn't it be nice to have a puppy from her!
We all know this is not necessarily as easy as it sounds--find the right partner, pick the right dates, and so on--but this wasn't the half of it, Auss is a mighty big place and White GSD's are very thin on the ground!
They even tried artificial insemination at considerable expense, but sadly that didn't work. Eventually they did locate a suitable suitor, and even he was a not insignificant PLANE journey away!!
Thankfully it 'worked' and in the fullness of time along came STELLA.
As the years passed so, sadly, Sheba & Rick have gone to the great kennel in the sky, but Bo, a rescued black & tan GSD, has joined the happy family.
Sadly on 12th December, 2005 Emma passed away and just eleven months later on 22nd November, 2006 she was followed by Stella. Poor Stella never got over losing her Mom.
Emma was 15 years 2 months old when she died - a life in the sun certainly suited her. Her lovely daughter Stella was 11 years 6 months old.
From the bottom of our hearts, "Thank You" Ray and Val for giving them such wonderful lives. - no-one could have loved and cared more.
I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
“It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore,
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today, you tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you, that I’m not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key,
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said “It’s me.”
You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It’s possible for me to be so near you every day
To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew …
In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
Now the day is over … I smile and watch you yawning
And say “Goodnight, God Bless, I’ll see you in the morning”
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see,
Be patient, live your journey out … then come home to be with me.