Today is Chandi’s 15th Birthday. Well it should have been. Last year it rained on her Birthday, but we still enjoyed two walks together in the hills, and it did brighten up a little during our second walk. I remember practicing some heelwork together along the top of one hill – precious memories. This year we don’t get to spend the day together, but as usual, my beloved girl will be constantly in my thoughts.
It’s been a bit of a crap year so far. Eight days after Chandi died, my good friend Kirsty, also died. It is rare to find someone to call a friend, particularly someone who is involved in the same dog sport. Kirsty was lovely. I knew that from the first moment I watched her and her beautiful red tri Collie, Roo, perform. Together they oozed talent and style and they were definitely an up and coming team and one to watch. I told Kirsty how great I thought they were as she left the ring after completing a wonderful performance at a Crufts semi final qualifying show. From that moment, we became friends.
Kirsty supported me so generously while Chandi and I were going through the whole Britain’s Got Talent ‘process’, and I was grateful for her constant support. Never once was there any hint of envy, or jealousy, just loyal, honest friendship and support. I can’t bear the bitching and back-stabbing that goes on in every competitive environment and play no part in it. Having been on the receiving end too many times, I just don’t, and never have, taken part in the kind of behaviour that, at its worst, will hurt someone so much that they stop taking part in the sport.
It seems to be that in this country (perhaps others, I don’t know?) that we all too willingly support the underdog (no pun intended) but really hate to see others being successful, particularly if we can’t also achieve the same level of success. Truly sad. Perhaps if those wasting energy being nasty spent more time training their dogs and being creative, they might achieve something more valuable than a reputation for being vile. Just a thought…
Kirsty played no part in anything negative, and that’s why I loved her, oh and because she was beautiful, talented, funny, kind, generous….. Every time she and Roo competed in the Heelwork to Music Final at Crufts, I would be cheering for them and willing them to do the best performance they could.
Kirsty came with her husband and young son to the final performance of the Britain’s Got Talent tour that took Chandi and I all over the country. We performed in some amazing venues including Wembley Arena and The 02 Arena and the Edinburgh Playhouse. It was the performance at the 02 Kirsty came to see us (She had also been to an earlier tour date!) I arranged some complimentary tickets for them, along with backstage passes so we could meet up afterwards.
This last year was incredibly hard for Kirsty who battled adversity so bravely.There is no bigger testament to her bravery other than the fact that she managed to not only qualify for the Crufts HTM Final, but then managed to make it to the N.E.C. to take part in the Final. She did this with a small oxygen tank on her back and a mask over her face to help her cope with the exertion.
A week after Chandi died, and I was still reeling from the horror, but I phoned Kirsty. She didn’t answer her phone, despite having arranged to speak with her at that time. I knew how poorly she was and plucked up the strength to leave her a message telling her how proud I was and how talented she was and that I loved her. Nothing she hadn’t heard before, but I wanted her to hear it all again. I hoped her husband would play her the message and Kirsty would be able to listen. I didn’t mention that Chandi had died as I didn’t want to upset her. She of all people, would have understood my devastation.
My dear friend and supporter died the next day. She was 33 years old.
Love you Kirsty.
Love you Chandi – Happy Birthday. x