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MACh, C-ATCH Paradox Educated Guess, Grin

MACh, C-ATCH Paradox Educated Guess, Grin

by Beth Ostrowski-Parks
Whenever we, as people, acquire a dog or any pet, the assumption is we will outlive that pet. I am speaking about dogs right now. I know each time I get a puppy that she is my responsibility forever. I need to keep her safe. I also know that more than likely at some point I’ll have to make a decision to let him or her go. 
I unexpectedly lost my girl Grin last week.
This newsletter is to honor this special dog, forever in my heart and by my side.


MACh, C-ATCH Paradox Educated Guess
AKC Agility Champion, CPE, Agility Champion
Born on April 8 2011 and blessed me with her life until July 6, 2022.

My absolutely adorable and beautiful Australian Shepherd Grin passed on July 6, 2022.  I’m devastated.   I think Grin had, not only a great life, but she also had a great a last day.  I’m still in shock though and struggling to write but I wanted to get something out to honor that life I got to share with her.

Grin was well known by many of my basic manners and puppy class students.  She was a stellar demonstration dog.  Steady, well-trained but also very interested in doing things right. 

Pam and Sheila and I will miss her presence so much in class.

She has left her little brother Batman but before she left, she did a great job teaching him about having an “off-switch” in the house.  She also had such confidence that I think that rolled off on to him.

Grin was the easiest dog that I will probably ever have.  Grin’s very last day, we were at agility class.   She was so excited, as usual.  We did complete one run in class and then while setting her up for the second run, she collapsed.  I had seen this before and I knew it wasn’t good.

Here’s where miracles happen:  I was in class in Manchester, Connecticut,  but  I called my vets office in Northampton, MA  and I  was able to get her in for a 1:00 appt (it was now about 11 am),  I walked her around a little outside of Tails, but it was clear she was in dire condition.  Her gums were very white and she could barely walk

I was then able to get her to my Vet’s office,  met Wayne there, and it was soon confirmed how unwell Grin was.  Her heart wasn’t working well and her lungs were noisy.  It was also soon discovered that she needed to either have a pocket of blood removed from her heart or she needed to be put down peacefully which is of course what we chose.

I’m so relieved to report that she went very peacefully and I don’t think she ever suffered.

I’m suffering…its never easy, but somehow, the dog that always seemed as though she wanted to just make things as easy for me as possible, did her last agility run  and then said, “Okay, I have to go”. 

Who doesn’t want to spend their last hour of life doing something they loved? 

Grin has been my easiest dog EVER. Even with agility, she was fast, she was loud but she also WANTED us to complete courses perfectly.  

For all of the years we competed and as we got close to our turn to run, I would always say, amongst other things, “okay girl, lets go wake everyone up!”  I figured we probably did.  

I feel that Grin had a GREAT life and I’m honored to have been her person.  These are just some of the things I will miss about her:   

  • Her confidence
  • Her 100% tractability.  Grin never really cared about other dogs, other then “her” dogs.  She was a co-exister in that part of her life.  
  • Her way with Phlip, Ninja, Shumai, Kala (who was complicated!) and of course little Batman.  She was the most tolerant dog for them to grow up around.
  • Her waiting for me at the door
  • Her help with my pet dog classes.  She has been my demo dog for 10 years.  So many of my students know her.  She would make me look good.
  • I could trust her off-leash ANYWHERE.  A leash was in use where required (sometimes).
  • Her unbelievable cuteness…
  • I will always miss grooming her.  She loved to be groomed.
  • Her beauty, inside and out.  But she was a tom-boy through and through. 

This is a short list. With every minute the list grows.

As anyone who has lost anyone they love knows, there are so many “firsts” after the loss.  You have to get through those “firsts” to start to feel better.   

I cherish everything about Grin.  I’m just so glad she didn’t suffer and I was able to let her go in peace.  That means everything to me right now. 

Hug your dog now and always.   You just never know when the day will come.