I've just returned from the vet's office and am sad. Today Fd Ch Sourland Mt Sheri Hill was euthanized. I was not her first love. I was her caretaker and the guy who enabled to carry our her first love which was trailing rabbits. I've had beagles for more than 65 years and have competed at field trials for 55 years and have never had a dog with more of a 'never give up' attitude. She was fifth generation homebred and gave me many thrills. She finished her championship in a limited number of trials in the '04 season. In '05 she won the Purina award for the most consistent futurity brace beagle. That autumn she won the National Brace Championship and CJBC all Fd Ch trial. She was bred twice and I did not get anything exceptional out of her. One male made his championship, but he was not of his mother's caliber. Around '07 she developed chronic dry eye and an acute pain syndrome. In spite of many $ spent and many tests the only diagnosis was the generic 'autoimmune' disease. Needless to say this was the end of her career as a brood b*tch. I've managed to keep her happy and comfortable by boosting her Thyroid level and using Rymadyl for pain control. Lately she has just been surviving - life is no longer fun for her. I know I made the right decision, but Good Bye is so hard. Sher thanks for the memories. At the final futurity event she was solidly defeated in first series by a more powerful line running hound, but she hung in and got what she could. Second series the hound that had defeated her did not perform well. Sher got a tallyho'd rabbit that ran about 100 ft down a path, made a left hand turn, and then a quick right hand turn into a thicket of green briars. Mentally I said, "Sher get to those green briars, and you will win this thing." She did. At the National Brace Championships she had a fair first series run and was brought back fourth high. After second series they gave her a shot at the high hound - a more capable power hound. Sher hung in there and when given the opportunity turned the rabbit into a blackberry bramble thicket and hung her bracemate out to dry. Sher, for all that you have given me, I owed you this tribute.