And so it begins–my journey without her by my side. She has left me.
Bess Cornett, also known to family and friends as Boo, Miss Radley, and Bess-a-licious, passed quietly and peacefully in her kitchen after a lengthy battle with degenerative joint disease recently compounded by severe arthritis and canine dementia. She was believed to be 10 years of age.
A transplant from Charlotte, North Carolina, Bess was confiscated by the Mecklenburg Police Department early in 2013 along with 8 other pit bulls during a dog fight bust. However, due to her sunny disposition, gentle nature, and even temperament, Bess was chosen as a candidate for Animal Farm Foundation’s rehabilitation and adoption program. In July of that year, she moved from Duchess County, New York to Bradford, New Hampshire where she was fostered and summarily adopted.
Bess attended No Monkey Business Dog Training, where she began a life-long love of learning, graduating Level I and Level II obedience classes before enrolling at Dee’s Dogs where she successfully earned her AKC Canine Good Citizen Award… the second time around. Bess simply reveled in clicker training; often shouting and dancing in anticipation while awaiting her turn. She had a splendid ‘back up’ and enjoyed entertaining the vet techs with her rendition of “Shoo fly!”–swiping a paw across her nose at imaginary pests. Bess frequently served as a volunteer at Pope Memorial SPCA in Concord, New Hampshire where she enjoyed assisting during the monthly kennel enrichment class. However, she truly delighted in being asked to demonstrate the art of scent work for the children who attended the shelter’s yearly summer camps.
With a keen nose for vermin, Bess was an avid competitor in both Barn Hunt and Happy Ratter, earning the RAT-O title in Barn Hunt. Her personal best a trial in Open, where she correctly indicated the 2 live rats, executed the climb and official tunnel with a time of 57:42 which merited the High in Class award.
Bess will long be remembered for the absolute joy she took in life’s simple pleasures: breakfast, sunbathing on the deck, wading in the lake, snuggling next to mom, short walks when the weather was nice and lovely marrow bones when it wasn’t. If it pleases you, donations in her memory can be made to Animal Farm Foundation, where she was once known as Patti Mayonnaise.
Good-bye Dear Heart… god how I loved you.