She drove right past us waving her hand in the air with an evil smile on her face. It was our last contact with her.
We had met Brenda at a County Show. We were new to this game. But there she was, as we were perusing one of the stalls. It was me who started the conversation, asking her if she was there to show the rather large dog whom she had in a lead. He certainly did look handsome.
“No,” she said, “Not this time. But he’s a Champion already. I call him Champ for short.”
“Oh my,” I said. “He certainly is gorgeous.” He was a beautiful Rough Collie. Lassie type.
And that was where the friendship began. She did not live too far away from us, though she was right up in the hills, on an isolated farm. She ran the small farm single handedly. Horses were also her area of expertise. Palominos. She bred them.
Most days, after that, I would go to her farm, pick her up in my car, and we would then have lunch at another nearby farm that had diversified and opened up a small restaurant. Then we would go off and do something else of our own choosing. They were good and happy days. Champ made a friend of me and most of my clothing bore his mark as he had put muddy paw marks on me. I didn’t complain. After all, he was a Champion.
Then came the day we went to another Show. Brenda took Champ with her to show. We met up there. It is impossible to know what went wrong, for she never told us. But something had irked her, and she walked away from us in a temper.
That last wave seemed to say it all. Though we never knew exactly what it was. But I am able to say that I have met a Champion and had his muddy paw prints on me.