Yesterday when I blogged about missing some friends and missing people I used to do agility and dog training with one of them was a friend named Carol. For some reason I was thinking about Carol a lot during the fun match-I knew she did not have a long time left but I had no idea the end of her life was so close. After I posted on my blog yesterday about missing friends...I found out Carol had died. Carol used to be one of my training buddies that was a really fun person to go to a lot of events with, I helped out with her classes and arranging events, we had a lot of good times.
Carol and I went to her last trial, I knew she would not be running much longer but I had no idea that would be her last trial. She had begged me to run her dog for her but I had encouraged her to run her dog herself even if she did not Q-I was dying to run her dog because she is a cool dog, but I am so glad in hind sight that I did not, because it turned out to be their last run together. Carol has been sick the last year and a half and I knew her time left was going to be short and I was really missing/thinking of her yesterday at our fun match.
Carol was a HUGE character, one of those people everyone notices. I met Carol when she worked for Petsmart as a trainer...but then became friends with her when she and I both took classes at PawPrints dog club here in town. Carol had a dog that was AMAZING-a cattledog named JC. There was such a bond between Carol and JC. JC was fantastic and Carol had her trained so well that when Carol became sick JC already was trained as a service dog-she would fetch the phone if Carol fell, pick up things off the floor, open/close doors, and fetch anything Carol might need, but most of all JC never moved from her side. The bond between those two was amazing, one of those once in a lifetime things, I swear they read each others minds.
Carol was not always easy to get along with she had very strong opinions, she was not afraid to share her opinions but she had a heart of gold-I remember when she had agility classes at her house, she fed Alicia the instructor and me almost every week after classes, at trials she always brought everyone a fancy lunch, she was always up for an afternoon of sitting and just talking about dog training-not a lot of people in this world that want to talk about training for hours, LOL.
Carol's dream was always to own a boarding kennel, training facility and she had started the boarding kennel with a beautiful play yard and had just finished building this fantastic building that she was going to use for training and had outfitted with everything needed for a groomer to be there, or for classes inside an air conditioned building she set up an agility yard with great lighting so she could do classes, and she had got her APDT certification when she was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Why does it always seem that when people finally get everything they have dreamed of something happens? It seems so unfair at times. The diagnosis was about a year and a half ago. ALS is a progressive disease that is fatal and affects the neurons that control muscle movement and so the person loses more and more muscle function. Carol was a very proud person and I could never imagine how she handled having to have others take care of her, she HATED having to ever accept help, this had to be a particularly hard disease for a person like her.
I wish I had been a better Friend the last few months, I only saw her a few times the last few months, but it was really rough because she could not communicate and would get really frustrated and upset trying to communicate. One of the first things she lost to the disease was her ability to talk and by the time she died she could barely move her hands. Life gets busy and time slips by, so I wish I had made the time to see her more the last couple of months.
I hope today that Carol is at peace and I hope she knows how much I did care. I hope her little doggie is well cared for, I can not imagine how much JC is going to miss her person. I have missed having Carol around a lot in the last year and I am going to really miss her. When ever something like this happens it sure makes me think of how precious our health is and how fragile life is and how quickly things can change, sure puts a reality check on the small frustrations in life. Take care Carol and know you touched my life and many others....