Tribute to my Best Friend, Eclipse

June 5, 2019 at 12:44 pm 5 comments

Windsong’s Ecliptic Phenomenon CD, WC, JH
8/20/1996 to 10/1/2011

Eclipse was a great dog. She was so special that a client once offer me $1000.00 for her. But she wasn’t always a good girl.

Eclipse at 8 weeks

In fact the first 2 years of her life she ran wild. You see someone else was in charge of raising and training her. He tried, but he wasn’t a dog trainer. I decided to take over after it took me 20 minutes to get her to come. Once I took over she learned very quickly and became a fantastic working partner.

Doing What She Loved

She could hold a sit stay for as long as I needed her to. She amazed people because, I would put her in a sit stay in a client’s home, run outside to my van, come back in and she would still be in a stay. Believe it or not I still have the stuffed alligator toy that Eclipse won for placing 2nd place at an AKC obedience trial back when she was 3 years old. She loved that toy. If I said go find your alligator she would run around until she found it.
Eclipse had a charmed life. Not too many dogs get to go to work with Mom. The best part was that it was her job to play with other dogs. She was my distraction. In the last 11 years I couldn’t even start to think about how many dogs she has helped train.

Eclipse Giving a Helping Hand

She would stay in the van and sleep until it was time for her to do her job. I could leave the windows open on the vehicle and she would stay for hours if I needed her to. (But, never on hot days or if it was too cold.) Sometimes while waiting for me she would sneak into the driver’s seat waiting for my return, but most of the time you never knew she was even in the vehicle. I did teach her a trick for her and my safety and that was guard my Van. I was always afraid that someone might try to steal her, so I taught her guard or no guard. If ever I went into areas that had a higher potential of cars being stolen. I would say guard my van. I know she wouldn’t have done anything, however she sounded like a ferocious watch dog. Otherwise I would say no guard and once again. You would never know that she was there.
Now there were times that Eclipse wasn’t the brightest dog. Whenever I would work with dogs that were dog aggressive and the dog would be growling at her. Well Eclipse thought that they wanted to play. She would bounce around trying to get them to play with her. Once she even tried to play with Coyotes. They weren’t in any mood to play and she quickly ran back to Mom. Actually she raced back . Yet she also had a calming nature about herself. Whenever a dog came into bootcamp, she was the welcoming committee. She just had a knack for making the dog feel at home.
Many clients remember Eclipse at our once a month maintenance class. She would hold a sit stay while Mom was running the class, but once class was done. She would go up to every person to say hello. Since she loved her bumper (retrieving toy) she would carrying it around and tease people with it. She would walk around to everybody holding her bumper challenging them to take it from her. We used to have pizza at class and she always managed to get a few crusts. I eventually had to tell people to stop as this always made her sick. I actually think she was upset. After all that was the best part of class.
In some ways Eclipse was a celebrity. She had been on TV several times, been in numerous radio stations and of course a star on my training DVD.

The Movie Star

If you count all the times that she got to play with celebrities dogs. Well I probably could have let her have her own fan club. The problem is all that attention might have gone to her head.
Well this was Eclipse’s public life. Her private life was just as special.

Playing Tug of War With Gareth

She liked lying down by my feet while I was working on the computer. If I went outside she always wanted to go with me. I think she was hoping I would throw her bumper or take her for a walk. She loved her walks. Even in the last year when she no longer could go very far, she got to go at least around the block. Of course she was a fantastic retriever and loved to swim. If I brought out a bumper she would perk up like a puppy and would race out to pick it up. I knew it was getting close to the end when last week she ran out to the bumper, but never picked it up.


In the last 2 years poor Eclipse has been battling cancer. She had a tumor on the inside of her right front leg by the elbow. I had it removed 3 times. She was 14 years old the last time it was removed and unfortunately within a month it started to grow back. It was decided to let it alone as the last surgery took so much out of her. She made it to 15 years old and for this I am grateful. She will be missed by many. I know it will take me some time to stop looking for her on her favorite dog bed, however; I know she is running in the fields of Heaven chasing bumpers and being happy.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lorna Slenkai  |  October 10, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Bonnie, I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of Eclipse. I remember him from the trainings and he was a great, great dog. I know he will be missed and that there will be a hole in your heart for a while. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and say a prayer to St. Francis that he watch over Eclipse in his new home.
    Lorna Slenkai

  • 2. Lorna Slenkai  |  October 10, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Bonnie, I am sorry. I meant Her, not him, and she, not he.

    • 3. Bonny, Michigan's Puppy Expert  |  October 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      Thank You Lorna for your heart felt comments. She will be greatly missed, but I know she is running free out in a field somewhere chasing birds. Hope all is well with you.

  • 4. Lauren Mendelson  |  December 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Bonny, I just read this for the first time and I dont think I knew your dog had passed away. She sounded like the most awesome dog! Did ROMEO ever get to play with her? I’ll have to ask him!
    It is always so devastating when we lose our best friend, but reading the story of how full and wonderful a life she shared with you somehow outweighs all the sadness.
    We are all so lucky to have such wonderful animals enhance our lives in every way!!

    • 5. Bonny, Michigan's Puppy Expert  |  December 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm

      Hello Lauren,

      Thank you for your kind words. Eclipse was truly a very special dog and would always make Romeo feel at home. She would very carefully try to get Romeo to play tug of war. Or Romeo would try to tease her with a toy that he had. She is missed.

      The good news is that Bella, a Yorkie that Romeo knows very well will also be vacationing at my house while Romeo is visiting. The two of them play so well together.

      Thanks – Bonny


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