Saturday, April 2, 2011

My most excellent friend, Kathy

I realized that in the last two posts I have said nothing descriptive about my friend Kathy. This wasn't to slight her, but simply because we have been friends so long she is a part of me and I assume you all should know her too.

I met Kathy nearly 13 years ago, when I got my 4 month old puppy Jack from the pound.

This is Jack, the old man, now 13 years old.

Anyways, I wanted to learn to train him, so I called a number in the phone book for Life of Riley dog training, owned by Kathy Riley. Turned out after describing the dog that she had been standing behind me at Walmart when I bought Jack's crate! Too funny. Anyways, we start up training in obedience with Kathy, and we became friends.

 We went though an obedience course, which I found not nearly fun enough. She offered agility classes, and we were hooked! Over the next 10 years we went to many agility matches with Kathy and the dogs, adding dogs, going up in classes, and having our good weekends and bad weekends. We have rescued dogs together, gone on road trips, had a lot of drinks, gossiped about other trainers, blown through too many hobbies to think about.

Kathy is a fascinating person. Even after 13 years, I am still finding new things out about her. She graduated from the Philidelphia School of Art, farmed, owned a garden center, ran a dog training center, competed with Bull terriers in agility and obedience, been a sucessful artist in natural materials such as gourds, and is now an accomplished bead artist. You name it she has done it!

Of course my absolute favorite thing she has ever done, the thing that makes me green with envy, is she was a gorilla girl at the Philly Zoo. That meant she took care of the baby gorillas, who were attachment mothered until they were old enough to join the group. Oh, can you imagine spending all day holding baby gorillas!! I am so jealous!

I think Kathy is beautiful but she doesn't agree with me, so she never lets me get pictures of her. I managed this one only because she was too busy training my dog:

We have some pictures someplace of she and I in various places with Pansy and Lou. Pansy is one of Kathy's girl BTs, and Lou, or Tallulah, was my first BT, and the love of my life. They looked like the Princess and the Pauper, Pansy being a well bred Bakerstreet dog and Lou being a stray, but they looked a lot alike (well, ok, their heads were totally different, but if you don't know bts...). Even had the same white squiggly on their backs. I don't kow what happened to all those pictures. They were best friends.

 Kathy lives in a little cabin by Pine Creek with a fanstastic view and a housefull of puppies. If you ever want to rent a cabin by the creek, she has a rental open at Life of Riley Vacation Rentals.

That is the other thing about Kathy. She has an amazing eye for putting together color, texture, and form into beautiful spaces. Her cabin is an example of her work as an artist. Her last home was an apartment built into a pole barn for an indoor training arena, with a loft and a huge porch off the back. Someday if I ever find myself alone I am going to move in there.

Anyways, that is Kathy. I love her dearly and wouldn't know what to do with my long drive if we didn't talk nearly every day. Besides, everyone needs someone who will tell it how it is, even when you don't want to hear it.

1 comment:

  1. She seems absolutely amazing! Sounds like she's pretty much living the perfect life. Cabin in the woods full of puppy dogs?! Sign me up!