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October 1989 - October 2001

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'Tribute to Leo'
By Carol Nesbitt - Karjean Boxers

When Shirley asked me to write about Leo, it brought back so many memories. He was such a fun dog to show. He always gave you a great show. He was a very food oriented dog and many of us have bruised and bloodied fingers to show for it.

As a producer, he spoke for himself. He was often faulted for not having head type. But that did not stop him from producing many Canadian and American champions and more still to finish. He was a producer of "producers" and will have an impact on the breed for many generations.

I think the most memorable times for me, were when Leo stayed at our home. NEVER did he stay in the kennel. That would have been beneath him. He would go to the kennel with me when I fed and cleaned. He would stroll past the runs and look at the other dogs like they were peons. When it was time to go back to the house, you can bet he was the first one out the door. He slept in our bed and layed on the couch. Being that food was one of the two most important things in his life, (sex being the other) the refrigerator was never opened without his knowing it. The one incident that really sticks in my mind was when my husband had made himself a sandwich and was holding it at his side while he reached into the refrigerator for something. Leo decided that sandwich must be for him and was at just the right height. Before Mike knew what had happened the sandwich was history.

I think the best example of how intelligent Leo was, was how he knew the different rules from my house to the Kilmans. At their home he was not allowed on the furniture. I don't think he ever made a mistake about that except for one time. I was at their home, sitting on the couch in the living room. Leo came in and jumped up on the couch next to me. He obviously had a temporary mind dump. He was sitting there when Priscilla walked into the room. His eyes got huge and he went flying off the couch.

One other memory cannot go without telling. Priscilla but a CD title on Leo. I was able to watch him in the ring at one show. He went through his heeling command beautifully. On the long sit he decided that was just the time for a crotch bath. On the long down he rolled over on his back and managed to work his way well out of line. But, he was still down.

Most handlers develop a strong bond with their specials dog, because you spend so much time together. That's part of the job. But the truly special dogs are few and far between. I loved him more than I can say, and I think he felt the same.


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