Spayed Female ("altered")
Monday, February 1, 2010
Sable & White ("sable")

2011 UKC Top Ten Finalist    2012 U-TOTAL DOG
RBIMBS U-GRCH AGII RO1 Sympa's Believe In The Journey CL1 CGC     "Rylee"

Photo by Donna Kemp, Rylee's first show weekend, in the Best In Show ring after taking Best of Breed and Group 1 under judge J Ray Johnson, with competition!

CH Belaire's What You Leave Behind x U-GRCH Trelynn's I'm A Believer In Sympas
DOB Feb 1st, 2010

Rylee now lives with a good friend, Donna Sager.  I see lots of fun and winning in their future.  She finished her UKC Championship quickly with multiple group placements.  Donna hopes to do obedience and agility (and maybe more!) with her, and I believe they will go far.  She is also nicknamed "Princess" and is spoiled rotten already being the only female dog in the home.  She plays well with the family's three Poms (Sebastian, Dreighty, and Trevor).

Photograph by Stephanie Sova, Crest Jewels Photography

Donna was very thrilled with the fact that Rylee adjusts to any situation quickly and she learned the doggy door immediately and has only had one accident in over two weeks, "never met a stranger" and "grants people permission to pet her" :)

A candid photo, taken with a camera phone of Rylee with some snow glistening on her coat.  Even all natural, this girl is beautiful!



Rylee, Rylee, Rylee.....because of her, I am heartless. Yes really....you see, what pieces of my heart do not belong to Dreighty were stolen by Rylee.....I resisted (a little) but it didn't work ☺

I had been going to shows with Kelly, watching Kylie earn her UKC GrCH and start her AKC career, and when I learned Kelly was going to breed her I knew I would be tempted but could NOT even think about a puppy. I already owned four dogs, plenty enough for us. So I purposely stayed away from the puppy cam, and only occasionally checked out puppy pics on FaceBook. But oh when I did, I nearly drooled over the little girl that Kelly called Rylee. Then would tell myself again the 'bazillion' reasons that bringing another dog into our home was not a good idea.

One day, Kelly sent out a message, the puppies were getting older, they needed some more experience and the tiny tyke was running riot over her brother and sisters, and could someone just puppy sit for a couple of weeks. I couldn't resist the chance to cuddle and play with the little girl who'd already captured my heart. Stan didn't mind at all, so off I went to collect the darling demon. Kelly had offered one of the others, but if I was bringing one home, it had to be my 'heart throb', if only for a short time.

My guys have always been fairly good with visiting dogs, adopting a kind of live and let live attitude. They may not play much with strangers, but they rarely complain either and never pick fights, so I was confident that having her visit wouldn't present a problem. What I hadn't realized is that she would be completely accepted, even by my Drieghty. Rylee hadn't been with us an hour when I snapped a pic of her and Dreighty curled up enjoying the shade on a wonderful spring afternoon. Even hubby was sufficiently impressed to make a comment. By evening hubby was suggesting that she would be staying with us permanently. I had NO intention, when I brought her home, of keeping her more than the couple of weeks that I'd discussed with Kelly....puppy sitting, not owning, was the idea. So we decided that we had the perfect chance to really decide on whether to make it a permanent arrangement or not. Since I could take her home in two weeks, no questions asked, none the worse for wear. I spent the first week taking her everywhere, she was here for extra socialization and to give her brother a break so we were 'doing our job' while we got to really understand just who she was.

What an experience that turned into. I couldn't take her out in public without attracting the attention of anyone and everyone within eye sight....and she ate it up. Nothing phased her. The first full weekend I had her, she went to an agility trial with Dreighty and I, had her first motel stay, and crated next to four very noisy, boisterous Shelties of an agility buddy. She was the darling of the trial....never made a peep in her crate (even with our 'neighbors' non-stop barking), played with anyone and everyone who came to meet her, and never made a peep at the motel. Could such a young puppy really be that good??? Yup!

The following weekend pretty much clinched it, she had to stay. We took her to a carriage show....horses and buggies everywhere, though she acted like it was just another day in the park. As her fan club grew hubby and I came to the realization that Rylee had found her home. No way was this child going anywhere without us. I believe I called Kelly when we got home, Rylee would be going to my vet on Monday for a 'pre-purchase' exam....if he loved her as much as we did, it would be a done deal.

Ry spent the rest of her summer and fall traveling with Dreighty and I to agility trials and classes, building her fan club, and learning about the world away from home. Never believing that she would actually make size, the conformation ring was not something that we gave so much as a thought to. I like agility, have dabbled in Rally and have had feelers out for an appropriate competitive obedience instructor. We'd be plenty busy without conformation. However, she did grow, and kept on growing until she measured an honest 14". In November, when Kelly was in town for a UKC show with TJ, she asked if I would bring Ry down to the show grounds so she could practice the fluffing that is de rigueur for the AKC ring. Why not, it would be a good outing for Ry. Little did either of us realize that while there, Rylee would be deemed suitable for the conformation ring by several of Kelly's 'Sheltie friends'. I laughingly told Kelly that SHE could show Rylee, I had no idea how, didn't add that I had no desire to learn. I would pay, she could play. And the thought pretty much stopped there, until Ry reached her first birthday. It was then decision making time, either she would have her chance in the show ring or be spayed.

I whipped off a message to Kelly, was she seriously interested in taking Ry in the ring, if not I would talk to my vet about spaying her. Well guess what, Kelly was headed to a show that weekend, impossible for me to go Dreighty was headed off to a trial that weekend, running for his U-GRACH, but Kelly offered to take Rylee anyway. She was packed and dropped at Kelly's on our way to Flint to our agility trial. No real training other than her basic obedience, and not even remotely groomed for the ring. Kelly and her friend managed to get Ry into ring presentable shape. Ry spent Saturday playing hairy ping-pong ball in the ring, bouncing and hopping through her classes, but also building her fan club. On Sunday she started her day by going BOB and earning a Group 1, then followed that in the second show by going BOB and Group 4.....her show career was off to a great start. In her very next weekend of showing she finished her UKC Championship with another BOB. However, it became immediately apparent that Kelly could no longer show her. Since her brother was also a Champion now, they would compete in the same class....not possible for one person to show two dogs in the same class. Her next show she was shown by three different people. This little girl had been in the ring exactly 12 times and had already been handled by 3 or 4 different people....I thought it was about time she was afforded the stability of a single handler. So off we went to enroll in a ring craft class together

Not a journey I ever expected to find myself on, but at just 1.5 years old Ms Rylee (as I usually refer to her if I am not calling her The Princess) has already taught me a lot. Her registered name came from advice given to me (and others on an agility list) many years ago. When the discussion turned to timing entry into events so that titles could be earned at a Nationals, John McKinley of True North Agility wrote this:

Let me say this about agility milestones. Take them when you have the opportunity...your time with your agility partner is limited and no one knows what tomorrow brings. The ribbons and awards are all about recognition from the sport and your friends....and they also say that you cared enough about your dog to spend the time and effort required to achieve those titles. I enjoy that recognition and I will have that hardware as a reminder of the special moments I had with the dogs I loved. I try never to lose sight of this....it's the journey, with our dogs and not the destination....that's what agility is really all about. From the first obstacle on a course to the last one or from day one in agility to the last day, it's always about the journey....enjoy it while it's happening. It will always end way too soon.

Picture taken 12/9/2012, only the beginning of the ribbons for agility

It struck a cord deep in me, it IS about the journey. Life with our dogs regardless of what sport or if we even do a sport, is about the journey. It's what we do together, what we learn and how we react to each other....it's the partnership.. So she is officially known as Sympa's Believe in the Journey.....and I do, and I will.....our journey has only just begun and we will only know where it takes us when it's over. Until then.....we live and love and believe in each other.

Keeping all conformation ribbons really adds up, so these are the Best of Breeds and Group Placements in UKC!

Graphical collages courtesy of Mo van den Tillaart. 


A huge accomplishment to Donna and Rylee at the 2012 UKC Premier (their "Nationals") by receiving a Total Dog Award for qualifying in Rally and obtaining an Award of Merit in conformation!!


Rylee's UKC Conformation Career:

Date Club Location Judge Result
02/26/11 MAPBTC Whitmore Lk Sharon Griffin 1/BF
02/26/11 MAPBTC Whitmore Lk Joseph Gubry 1/BF
02/27/11 MAPBTC Whitmore Lk J Ray Johnson 1/BF/BOW/BOB/G1
02/27/11 MAPBTC Whitmore Lk Patricia Young 1/BF/BOW/BOB/G4
03/12/11 MI Classic/K9 Fanciers Kzoo Nancy Eilks 2/RBF
03/12/11 MI Classic/K9 Fanciers Kzoo Rebecca Harris 1/BF
03/13/11 MI Classic/K9 Fanciers Kzoo Jeanne Heger 1/BF/BOB
03/13/11 MI Classic/K9 Fanciers Kzoo Teri Murphy n/a
04/16/11 MI TFT Whitmore Lk Helena Engelauf n/a
04/16/11 MI TFT Whitmore Lk Rowdy Yates Reserve CH
04/17/11 MI TFT Whitmore Lk Jeanne Heger n/a
04/17/11 MI TFT Whitmore Lk Dianne Raymond n/a
05/14/11 K9 Fanciers Centreville Joseph Gubry n/a
05/14/11 K9 Fanciers Centreville Sharon Griffin CH of CH / BOB / G4
05/15/11 K9 Fanciers Centreville Brenda Landers CH of CH / BOB / G2
05/15/11 K9 Fanciers Centreville Jennifer Landers CH of CH
06/11/11 MI American Eskimo Monroe Robin Abbott CH
06/11/11 MI American Eskimo Monroe Deb Beaan CH
06/12/11 MI American Eskimo Monroe David Arthur CH / BOB / G1
06/12/11 MI American Eskimo Monroe Julie Hatlas Pepper CH
07/02/11 Northwest Ohio Montpelier Maude Tank Reserve CH
07/02/11 Northwest Ohio Montpelier Marian Campbell Reserve CH
07/03/11 Northwest Ohio Montpelier J Ray Johnson n/a
07/03/11 Northwest Ohio Montpelier Diane Raymond Reserve CH
07/30/11 MI Gun Dog Whitmore Lake Pam Moore CH
07/30/11 MI Gun Dog Whitmore Lake Julie Hatlas Pepper CH
07/31/11 MI Gun Dog Whitmore Lake Deb Beean CH
07/31/11 MI Gun Dog Whitmore Lake Jack Wynne CH
08/20/11 Trail Creek La Porte, IN Jeanne Heger CH of CH / BOB
08/20/11 Trail Creek La Porte, IN Eleanor Heagy CH of CH **NEW GRAND CH**
08/21/11 Trail Creek La Porte, IN Gregory Storms n/a
08/21/11 Trail Creek La Porte, IN Mary King n/a
08/28/11 MTFTC Whitmore Lake Brenda Landers GRCH / BOB
08/28/11 MTFTC Whitmore Lake Jennifer Landers GRCH / BOB
09/23/11 Foundation Kai Club Charlotte Marian Campbell GRCH
09/24/11 Foundation Kai Club Charlotte Marilyn O'Neill GRCH
09/24/11 Foundation Kai Club Charlotte David Kittredge GRCH
09/25/11 Foundation Kai Club Charlotte Maude Tank GRCH
09/25/11 Foundation Kai Club Charlotte Beth Snedegar GRCH / BOB / Group 1
10/01/11 American Eskimo Ann Arbor Marian Campbell n/a
10/01/11 American Eskimo Ann Arbor Beth Snedegar GRCH / BOB / Group 1 / RBIMBS
10/02/11 American Eskimo Ann Arbor Sandra Shaw GRCH / BOB / Group 2
10/02/11 American Eskimo Ann Arbor Deb Beean n/a


Me and Belle, Donna and Rylee at their first agility trial, where Rylee won everyone's heart and finished her first agility title!




  2 weeks old

 almost 4 weeks old

 almost 5 weeks old

 8 weeks old

 almost 11 weeks

 almost 15 weeks

 10 months old