Tia passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, April 13 2006. We had taken her in for a spay procedure as we were not planning on breeding her again and felt that spaying her was a good option. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Tia never recovered from the anesthesia and she passed away at the vets office. We have decided to NOT autopsy as it won't bring Tia back to us; and if, on the off chance, it did find the vet responsible, what could be done? It still wouldn't bring our Tia back to us.
I wish to thank Tia's breeder Fran Lass for having the faith in me to do my best by Tia and I hope she isn't disappointed! Tia was, by far, one of the best dogs I have ever had the pleasure and honor to share my home. She was always sweet & willing. Not every litter produces this kind of personality & temperament. In fact, some breeders can never achieve this at all.... but Tia was "that one" and for 6 glorious years we had the pleasure of her in our home.
Tia obtained her American Kennel Club (AKC) Championship at the age of 17 months (May 2001) - entirely owner-handled! I was never afraid to go up against the "big gun" handlers when Tia was with me; and Tia was always there with me - stride for stride. We continued to show Tia occassionally as a special and were rewarded with a Group placement in 2004 - this AFTER he litter of puppies!!
Tia obtained her Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) Championship in 5 straight shows in Canada. She ended up going Best of Winners 4 of those shows, and Best of Breed 3 of those shows. The day following the completion of her Championship, she was moved up to the Championship class and went on to win the Great Dane Club of Canada's Western Regional Specialty (Aug 2002). She competed against some of the top specials in Canada and proved that even in Canada she had what it takes to make a Champion. The judge told me afterwards that he choose her because she simply "never let down". He had us running around so much we were getting dizzy. But Tia gave her all and was rewarded spectacularly!
Tia obtained her United Kennel Club (UKC) Championship in 4 straight shows, including 3 Group 1's and ending with her very first Best in Show (2001)! We continued to show Tia in UKC shows where she ended up # 2 Great Dane in the nation in 2001. Tia ends her UKC career with more than a dozen Group 1's, numerous other group placements, and two Reserve Best In Shows. Tia never obtained the UKC title "Grand Champion" only because there were never enough Champions for her to compete against, otherwise I'm sure she would have done that, too!
Tia obtained her International All Breed Canine Association (IABCA) title in 3 straight shows.with excellent comments.
In June 2003, Tia presented us with 8 beautiful puppies (1 fawn male, 1 fawn female, 1 brindle female, 5 brindle males). While most of the puppies have not been shown, the fawn female needs just her majors to complete her championship and one of the brindle boys has 5 points (one of the other brindle boys has multiple reserve winners placements, but they have chosen to not continue showing him). I am grateful to all the puppy owners for their care of "my babies".
In 2005, my good friend Julie Holmes decided she would like to give Therapy work a try. She owns 2 Dobermans and a Great Dane and wanted to "practice" the tests with Tia (Tia being so calm and easy that Julie felt she would be a good dog to not only train with, but to take to do Therapy work). Tia and Julie passed the Delta Society/Denver Pet Partners testing with the highest possible ranking IN ALL SECTIONS of the test! Tia not only qualified to be a Therapy Dog, she qualified to go where even most qualified Therapy Dogs cannot go!! A couple of months later, Juliie qualified with her own Great Dane and so Tia never did any actual Therapy work :-( We had been requested, however, by another friend if she could use Tia for Therapy work and so as soon as another round of testing came, she was going to go again!
Also in 2005, Tia and I began work on her AKC Rally Obedience title. She got her first qualifying leg in April 2005 (owner-handled)! However, due to money concerns (cost of gas skyrocketed that year!!) as well as the fact that we were handling multiple dogs in conformation, Tia did not finish her Rally title in 2005. When 2006 came along, Julie had some time off and offered to show Tia if we would enter her. We entered her, Julie showed her, and Tia obtained her Rally Novice title in March 2006. Regretably, Tia passed away before we could qualify for her AKC Companion Dog (CD) title, although I'm sure she would have been a success at that as well :-)
Tia, here's to you. You will be sorely & deeply missed :-(