the babiest dog

My oldest dog Riot died yesterday, she was exactly one month shy of 16 years. Together her and I won 2 AKC National Championships, 2 USDAA World Championships, made the World team three times, and took home a first and a second place in the agility classes at World Championships the two years she competed there.

She was a world class athlete and my best best friend. Saying goodbye yesterday was the hardest few hours I have ever spent with a dog. Her nickname was The Babiest Dog, and Jim and I had a song to go with the silly name which like all stupid pet owners, (I am one you see) and we sang it to her all the time.  I am at peace in knowing that she is no longer uncomfortable and suffering from the renal failure she has endured the last three years. I count each one of those extra 1000 days as a blessing, and thank the vets who helped me keep her here.

Here is one of my favorite photos of her at 9 weeks and one of her two days ago still carrying her namesake Riot toy and happily having a game of tug with me.

This should have been a happy week. Clean Run put my Alphabet Drills book on the website. I am officially a published book writer. Scoop is doing better and I am dreaming that we won’t have to have another treatment. All the time off has actually been good for him. He is still an immature boy and we have a long way to go to be a world class team.

Alphabet Drills Book

Kiss your old dogs, treat them like kings and queens, and sing them a special song.


28 responses

  1. Nancy, congrats on your placing at the European Open. Seems to have a pretty wet affair, hope that it was fun anyway. Can you report on it when you have a chance? best, Jeanine

  2. I’ll never forget trying SO hard to come up with a question to ask you so that I could talk to the great Nancy Gyes….and I came up and asked about Riot’s a-frame, not knowing it was a bit of a sore spot at the time 😉

    I’ll also never forget watching you and Riot run in the GP Finals at my first ever USDAA Nationals in California in 2001, and I’ll never forget the FCI Gold Medal in Porto in 2001. You and Riot, as well as Linda and Awesome, were teams that shaped my own dreams and goals, and so I am very sad to see this particular chapter in agility come to a close.

    Those who are too new to the sport to have remembered those glory days are missing out 🙂


  3. Nancy,
    My heart goes out to you for the loss of a dear friend and partner.
    May your heart find joy in the journey you had with her.

  4. Nancy and Jim we are so very sorry to hear of Riot’t passing. She was a SUPERSTAR for sure and we have many wonderful memories watching you in action. Heartbreaking to lose our very special dogs. Our heart ‘s are with you both.. Mike and Sandy

  5. Every dog should have their own special silly song. I’m so sorry for your and Jim’s loss, but what an amazing run you two had. mia

  6. Dear Nancy – so sorry to hear about about Riot, I loved watching you two together and you’re deep connection. May you know the love of her in your heart forever.

  7. So, so sorry to hear Nancy and Jim. One of my favorite quotes: “Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you. I loved you so — ’twas Heaven here with you.”

    -Matt, Cami and Buzz

  8. Dear Nancy & Jim,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. There just aren’t words….

    (currently singing silly songs to my old & young ones and thinking positive thoughts for Scoop)

  9. Aww, thinking of you and sending a hug. Hope you can find comfort in what a long and glorious life you had together.


  10. Nancy and Jim, my heart aches for you. Every day we have with our dogs is a blessing, and when they are gone it leaves a hole in our hearts. Run free sweet Riot.
    Patty Englestad

  11. I´m so sorry about your friend, but you two spent great time together, so keep in your mind and heart that, not only the competitions, keep with you the good time in trainning and in the back yard running and sleeping in the carpet in a cold evening during winter. She must be in dog heavent with others friend

  12. You are lucky to have had 16 years together, but it’s never long enough. My deepest sympathies to you.

  13. Nancy and Jim,
    I’m happy for the 16 years and silly songs. May the Lord quickly fill up the Riot sized gap in your hearts.

  14. sorry for your loss,I have a 13 yr old in renal failure, she means the world to me, She is sitting next to me now, I love her to pieces….and yes we have silly songs and names too.

    Hold your memories of her close to your heart, one day you will unite again.

  15. I can only imagine the void in your heart you must feel, yet a part of Riot will always be constant there, you two were beautiful to watch, my prayers are with you

  16. My heart goes out to you. Just lost my very first agility dog two weeks ago. He didn’t accomplish nearly what you and Riot did, but he was my champion nonetheless. What a blessing to have such loyal dogs touch our lives. I’m sorry for your loss.

  17. They never live long enough, do they? My heart is heavy for you for you and Jim at the lose of your best friend and world-class athlete.
    In sympathy and friendship,

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