a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Goodbye, Tala

Friday, May 25, 2012

Goodbye, Tala

SUMMARY: Boost's amazing mother is gone. (11/1/00 -5/22/2012)
I learned last night that Boost's mother, Tala, died Tuesday at only 11 and a half.

She was diagnosed very recently with leukemia, and apparently it was quick and aggressive, because just like that, she's gone.

It was less than two months ago that she competed at the AKC Nationals, at her age, doing very well against much younger dogs in the regular classes (as I noted with video here).  And Greg was conceding that maybe next year he'd enter her in Preferred instead of the Regular classes.

She was an amazing competitor who, after a rough early start (knocking bars and running past jumps, things like that) became the Dog Who Could Do No Wrong--she'd even run for just about anyone and do very well, although I think she really sparkled with Greg. Through her career, she often had highest score (as mentioned in this post and several others) or fastest time on the courses she ran. She appeared in the USDAA Nationals finals multiple times.

She wasn't a doggie dog--f'rinstance, once her puppies were grown and out of the house, she was done with them. She was into having a job, and whether that job was running agility or obsessively bringing back a toy--any object will do--she didn't much mind. And she was as reliable off the field as on. When I attended the judge's clinic in 2010, Greg was doing some remodeling work on the multi-acre site, and just turned Tala loose for the day. If there was activity, she'd be there to check it out--some of us ran her on the test courses for judges, because she was there, wanted to work, and never got tired--or if there was no activity, she just hung out quietly in the shade.

One of the tests for the judges was to examine a course to make sure it was ready for competition, and one of the "traps" that you were supposed to notice was a water bottle lying on the field. Whenever someone was out wandering around the field, Tala would trot out to the water bottle, pick it up, and drop it at your feet to be thrown. Tough to convince her that it wasn't actually a toy!

Blackwatch Hi C-Era Tala had both her USDAA championship (ADCH) and her AKC championship (MACH)--which I noted here--where you can also see how much she and Boost looked the same doing the teeter.

She'd have probably done a lot more if she hadn't taken time off during her career to have four (?) litters of puppies, all of whom have been amazing dogs, and many of whom look so much like her--here's a comparison of Boost, Tala, and Rowdy, for example.

My apologies to all those who have patiently explained through the years which litters their dogs came from, but here's who I can remember (who can help me out here?):

First litter?: Wyn...who else?

Second litter: Boost, Beck, Bette, Gina, Derby (and two other dogs who I believe don't do agility)--all of whom (other than Boost) have their ADCHs and I believe at least one other championship (MACH or C-ATCH). Gina and Derby have competed at the national level in USDAA and AKC and have done very well; all are smart, super dogs who want to work.

Third litter: Quas, Quik, Rowdy...is Roulette in this group? or Smarty Joanz in this group?--I believe that the first two have their ADChs, don't see enough of the others to know.

Last litter: TCam, who at 3 already has her ADCH and MACH and won her way onto the world team; also Tonic, who doesn't compete that often but who looked like a pro even as a novice--and I should know who else but don't remember.

And some of those pups--definitely Gina and Smarty Joanz--have already produced some amazing Tala grandchildren who ALSO look a lot like Tala (and Boost)--f'rinstance, as shown in this post.  If you have links to your Tala offspring or grandchild's photos, let me know, and i'll post them here.

So although she is gone, and way too young as too often happens--she lives on and on and on.

Thanks to Tammy and Greg for letting me have one of her puppies.



To post here later: Gallery of the tala photos that I already have...


  1. i'm so sorry to read this - she was a very special girl who will obviously be deeply missed !

  2. Oh my goodness -- so sorry. I remember that recent post about the Nationals; what a shock to hear this.

    Walter is the first animal I've had whose mother I know. It will be hard to hear about when her time comes. Not something I've though about until just now.


    1. It's doubly shocking because she's only a couple of months older than Tika.

      And she always seemed so healthy. In fact, I was talking with Greg at a trial this spring about the various issues that various of his dogs have had, but about how Tala was always so healthy.