Kireisa's Champagne Dream, TT, R.O.M.

June 7, 1995 - May 10, 2003


We had to put Moka down this morning.  Since her "bloat scare" ten days ago, which we now believe was a stroke, she deteriorated rapidly on a day-to-day basis, and on Thursday, she really took a turn for the worse. Unfortunately, nothing the vet tried was working, and while we had an appointment for her on the coming Wednesday with a neurological specialist in Toronto, I knew, even yesterday, that she wasn't going to make it that far. We suspect it was a brain tumour.


I woke up this morning (after not having slept much at all), knowing that within the hour, we would have to let her go.  We brought her into the clinic, and she went easily, in my arms, not fighting the drug as I am sure she was ready to go.


She was my special girl; my constant companion, never more than a few feet away from me. She was the first puppy we kept from a litter sired by our Sunny, and she grew up with our twins, all three of them crawling and playing on the floor together.


She went on to become the matriarch of our kennel, being the mother or grandmother of just about everything that we have here today.   As a puppy, she was a "café-au-lait" colour, hence the name "Moka" (for Mocha Java).  As she grew, she lightened into the most beautiful "meringue" (very light, with toasted outercoat, like the topping on a lemon meringue pie).  We finally decided that her colour was like a champagne, and her registered name became "Kireisa's Champagne Dream".  All of her direct female descendants here at Kireisa bear "Champagne" in their registered names, in honour of Moka.  Her daughter Tabu is "Kireisa's Champagne Classic",  and we have "Kireisa's Champagne Chorus" as well as Moka's granddaughters "Kireisa's Champagne Splash" and "Kireisa's Champagne Legend".  Her great-granddaughters, when they are born, will carry on this honour in her memory.   She was awarded a R.O.M. (Register of Merit) title when five of her offspring earned their championships; she has several Champion grandpups, as well.


She was afraid of nothing, yet she loved everyone.  Her outstanding disposition enabled her to earn her T.T. (Temperament Test) designation easily.  Her favourite summer activity, when we still lived in the suburbs, was to "hunt down and attack" those golf-course type lawn sprinklers (the ones that make a rachetting noise when they re-wind, and then shoot out a stream of water in a rotating arc).  She would run up on to a lawn where such a sprinkler was, and attack the stream of water, right at the base, trying to catch it all.  Many of the neighbours got a real kick out of watching her antics, and it always made me laugh. 


She was the Tennis Ball Queen, and could scent a tennis ball miles away.  We always came home from our walks with lost tennis balls in Moka's mouth.  She would carry them around for hours, and we could not walk past the local tennis courts without her wanting to stop and wait for tennis balls that would fly over the fence - - she was only too happy to retrieve them, but then, she sure didn't want to give them back!  Unfortunately, no tennis ball ever survived her long-term attention - - even the Jumbo-sized tennis balls designed for large dogs were soon punctured and torn to bits, once she tired of carrying them.


When we moved to the country, she became an avid hunter of mice and anything else that moved in the grass.  She was a champion fence climber, and would think nothing of scaling a 6-foot chain link fence when she got bored.  One minute, she'd be asleep in the sun; the next -- gone.  Thankfully, she was more curious than malicious, and would always come back within minutes when we called her, happy and smiling, and luckily, never with one of our neighbour's sheep in tow.


I'm still numb, and I know the days ahead will be harder yet, as I miss her head on my lap, deep brown eyes imploring me for an ear rub, or the way she would lie at my feet under the computer table.  Only two weeks ago, she rode proudly in the passenger seat while I did errands.  Upon returning home, she jumped out of the van, and we went down to the paddock, where she ran up and down the fence, alongside the youngsters, taunting them to catch up to her.  She loved puppies, and would immediately adopt and "protect" them from anyone else's attention, usually Sunny's, as he, too, loved pups and always wanted to play with them.  Moka would let him know she was watching out for them.


I think there must be some puppies over the Rainbow Bridge that need Moka more than we do, and that is why she has been called, so quickly and far too soon, away from us.


"The hardest part of love is letting go. Godspeed, Moka. You will always be in our hearts."


Lorraine Burch
May 10, 2003