last update 4/18/2009
PennHIP - DI Right 0.31, Left 0.38 GDC13101H18GN / E18N
Eyes: CERF BMD-535/1999-27 Thyroid: OFA BMD-TH16/21F-T
VetGen#000021674 Clear for von Wildebrandt's Disease
Kitty (Kat) is by the most charming to live with of the Lorien Dell Family -- so bright, funny, naughty, luscious and deeply communicative. In addition to being our first conformation champion, she is now a Top Producer of champions as well as a BMDCA Versatility Dog.
Katja - The Hero
Late in summer 2002, George and I decided to take a walk with Katja and two of her grandpups, Ludo and Puffin, around Skagway Reservoir, part of the watershed on the south slope of Pike's Peak. Because of Colorado's drought, the bank of the reservoir, covered with baseball-size rocks, descended abruptly from the trail about 30 feet to the water's edge, the lake calm, deep and blue. The pups had never seen open water before, and with the confidence born of innocence, they hurtled headlong down the bank and into the lake. They surfaced, eyes full of surprise, paddling in circles and vainly looking for something to stand on, the force of their original leap causing them to drift farther and farther from the shoreline. As they continued their slow minuet away from everything safe and familiar, I began rehearsing the dimly-remembered rules of my high school water rescue course. George, with his presence of mind and faith focused on the task at hand, called to the pups, imploring them to exert themselves shoreward. Then, Katja, observing her grandpuppies' quandary, seemed to decide that they were now in genuine peril. Disregarding her own distaste for deep water, she gathered herself, bolted down the bank and leaped into the lake. She swam to the two struggling pups, touched noses with each one, circled around them and headed for shore, the pups following her to safety, single-file, like ducklings.

One of Kat's "Always-Sweet" expressions

Kat turned eight in February 2005. Where has the time gone? I remember a six-week-old pup fearlessly barking into the huge open mouth of Baer, his lips curled back as if to avoid touching this tiny upstart. I remember:

- Kat escaping her lead at the 1998 Fort Collins show, circling the ring and calling the other entries to follow her to freedom while they hung their heads in embarrassment

- Kat at 18 months, basking in her Conformation Championship

- Kat hurtling down a 40 foot boulder in Arizona; as we helplessly watched, she landed lightly and bounded off

- Kat's first litter of pups, through which she discovered her true calling and passion: Motherhood

- Kat at 3-1/2, recovering from limb-spare surgery for an osteosarcoma that could not conquer her

- Kat somehow gentled now, smiling in pride as she posed for her photo as a new Novice Draft Dog

- Kat posed at her grandest when she was awarded Best-of-Breed Adult at the 2002 Barktoberfest.

In November and December 2002 she helped nurse and care for her first litter of great-grandpups. We see her indomitable spirit pass through each generation, the stamp of her character that will live on long after she has left us.
But Kat -- we know that there will never, ever be another you!