Sunday, September 23, 2012


Gem - 2/21/95 - 9/22/12

Gem was our foundation bitch and our introduction to the breed. Under Evelyn Williams' mentoring, Gem was the impetus that brought us into the world of Tollers and caused us to become active members of the US Toller club. With her passing so fresh in my mind I'm finding it difficult to write about her, but a few years ago I put down some thoughts regarding our early experiences with her that sum things up pretty well:

Gem earned titles in agility, obedience, rally, conformation and field. She was a recipient of the Rusty Jones award and also earned enough titles to qualify for the NSDTRC USA's Versatility Excellent Award (VCX), as well as one of the US club's first ROM dams. Despite all this, she was often a bit of a curmudgeon, especially in her early days, and really made me work for all of those titles she earned. She leaves behind a beautiful legacy in her pups, grandpups, great grandpups, and as of this year, great great grand pups as well.

Over the years Gem faced a few health issues but always managed to bounce back, outliving her siblings, Toller contemporaries and a number of her offspring as well. Based on recent symptoms of nose bleeds and some neurological abnormalities, our vet suspected we might be dealing with a tumor in her sinuses, though we opted not to perform the invasive procedure that would have confirmed this diagnosis. Her symptoms and behavior guided our decisions on when to fight and when to let go. It is very quiet around the house today with only her granddaughter June and great granddaughter Lark in residence.

Gem - 08/19/12

Gem - 09/19/12