If you’ve been reading my posts all along you know about the passing of my beloved English Cocker Spaniel, Kelty Jane Margaret Elizabeth (yes, that was her real name) back in April when I felt as though my heart would never mend from her loss.  After she died, I decided that’s it, no dog for a good long time, especially this summer, so that I can go away at a moment’s notice.  Well, that decision quickly reversed itself as soon as I sought relief from the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America.  Once my eyes fell on those long eared loves, I knew that I had to just jump right back into the emotional pond of pet loving, hairball blowing, spitty slop, dirty world of dogs.

I reached out to a few breeders to troll around for puppies and oh boy, that was the best move I could have made.  So many kind words of comfort and hope.  So many words of understanding the loss of a pet from a horrible degenerative disease.  I connected with one of the club’s tireless and oh, so very kind rescue volunteers and from there, my heart began to feel lighter.   After a couple of false starts of hope as I readied myself to foster a rescue dog, I was offered Tango.  Now, I am not a believer in signs from above and fate, but somehow the planets lined up and the very best possible fit of a pooch dropped into my life.  It didn’t go quite that way, I had to pick her up in Pennsylvania, meeting her family from Indiana at the Bryn Mawr Kennel Club dog show.  But now that I know Tango, I would have driven to the ends of the earth to bring her home with me.  She endeared herself to me with the first gentle paw touch and the deep longing in her chocolate brown eyes.  I am so very grateful to her ‘birth’ family for giving me the opportunity to love her as I can’t imagine life without her right by my side as she has been for the past two months.

Have you been to a dog show lately? No, I don’t mean Westminster at Madison Square Garden.  I mean a real outdoorsy dog show.  It’s not about the over the top breeders that are depicted in movies like Best in Show.  It’s about the love of a breed, the bond of the owner and dog, the handler and dog, the sport of the dog and in nearly all cases, doing what is right for the dog.  I know that there are some skeptical types who think that dog breeders do it for the money, but trust me, they are far and few between.  No one would travel hundreds of miles with dogs in their car, sitting in a folding chair for days,  waiting for a few moments of recognition for a job well done of rearing, raising, handling, training, and loving a show dog for the money because the money just isn’t there.  It’s about love.

Merry English Cocker-Bryn Mawr Kennel Club Dog Show

Dressed alike-ready to show

My heart has mended.  That’s not say that I have replaced Kelty, but Tango has complemented her memory and given me another chance to be a better buddy to my beloved four-legged fur ball.   We take more walks.  I sit on the floor and rub her belly more often.  I give her all of the love and attention that she deserves.  She helps make me a better me.   If you don’t have a thing for animals, that won’t make sense, but if you do, I know that you get it.



  1. A dog would ALWAYS want you to have another dog – dog people need dogs! Delighted you have a good new friend to share the path with.

  2. Alice Andrus says:

    Hi Kathleen: I am so behind…sorry for your loss and thrilled about your find. I’m in NH but will be down soon for a spell..how about a meet up. Sometime I’d love to go to a dog show with you.
    Best, A

  3. Karen D'Eramo says:

    Hi, Kathleen,
    This is a heart-warming story! I am so happy for you and your family to have been blessed with Tango in your lives and for Tango to have found such a wonderful, loving family. Thank-you for sharing your story.

    Many Blessings, Karen

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