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October 1989 - October 2001

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'Tribute to Leo'
By Fredrick Casella- Hi-Step'n Boxers

I remember how my wife Connie would get teary-eyed when we watched Leo
strut his stuff in the Veterans class. There is a special something about
watching the Veterans, and Leo certainly personified that special something.

I personally will never forget the experience that I had with Leo at the
Cleveland show in 1999. I was standing at ringside, as the Boxers were
entering the ring for Best of Breed, when it was discovered that they were
short one handler and needed someone to take Leo in. I looked on calmly,
knowing that this little glitch would be quickly resolved, as these matters
always are, when Jim turned around, looked at me and said; "let Fred take
Leo in!" I knew that they would find someone, but I didn't think it would be
me! That really made my day.
I reached into my pocket and checked to confirm that I had some (lot's)
of bait, walked over to Jim and took Leo's lead from his hand. I remember
the smile on Jim's face, he could see how thrilled I was to be able to take
Leo into the ring.
As I started to enter the ring with Leo, I looked down at him and thought
of his many victories, and of the great handlers who had accompanied Leo to
those victories, and how much he had contributed to the breed, and thought;
what a privilege and honor it is for me to take such a magnificent Boxer as
Leo into the ring. It was an experience that will always be a special one to
me.

Another Leo memory was at a party we attended at the Kilman's home one
evening. Both Connie and I got such a kick out of how Leo worked the crowd,
at least anyone in the crowd who had a plate full of food!!
Leo would casually walk over to a guest, and from a polite distance, look
over their plate of food, and indicate that he was interested in a
particular culinary item that looked especially appetizing to him. Of course
he was handed that piece of food, then, in his own casual way, he would soon
appear at another guests plate and repeat the process.
After a few of Leo's journeys, Jim would say; "OK Leo, that's enough for
now." Leo would go and lay down next to Jim until he figured that "now" was
over, then get up and casually stroll over to the plate of another guest and
repeat the process.
He knew he was special, and was of course quite welcome to whatever tasty
treat his heart desired. Leo was the hit of the party.

I know that we are only one of many who have a Leo Granddaughter, but it
is still a very special thing to us none the less. She is the beautiful
daughter of Maxx, Syrr Run's Line of Credit, who, as I am sure all of you
know, is a magnificent Leo son.

I know Leo will be missed, but I also know that as long as there are Boxers,
Leo will live on.

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