Thank you, Steve Mandel and Sixwire, for lyrics that guide life with our dogs:

Happy Patterson. Make It Happen.

“Green grass growing on the edge of my feet.
Feels good knowing I’m not out of my league.
Singing a song that I never have sung;
Out of my reach on the tip of my tongue.”

Happy. My Happiness. 2020 AKC EO Team, Win-On spot. 2021 UKI US Open Speedstakes Champion. 2022 AKC EO Team Alternate. AKC MACH Champion. UKI Champion. 1st Place Westminster Masters Standard.

Green grass, new opportunities, the edge of something that’s never been experienced before. Born on March 2, 2017.

Socialization and connection were the focus of Happy’s first year of development. We traveled and used opportunities like car shows, carnivals, fairs, ferry rides, walks on a college campus and so on, to assure his comfort in a wide variety of locations, with a high level of distractions. Focus and thinking games are a huge part of his growth, and daily, we encourage Happy to do something he’s never done before, to offer a behavior, to play with balloons and unusual “toys” and to reward his efforts. Happy’s life remains as one big party, and that keeps him …. Happy!
(Photo: E. Kiss)

Cruzer Patterson

“Who knows if tomorrow will come.
It really don’t matter til this day’s done.
Gotta move. Gotta go. My fate. My turn.
Still a little daylight left to burn.”

MACH 2 Bare Cove Keep on Cruz’n. Cruzer Patterson. Always Awesome. World Team Member, Westminster Winner. He crawled out of the whelping box at 3 weeks and picked me to be his. August 12, 2012 – December 21, 2016.

There is a once in a lifetime dog for each of us. The dog that gives 100%, because s/he has heart. That was Cruzer.

A catastrophic spinal cord injury one summer day created injuries to his internal organs that could not be healed. His body was limited physically, despite our best efforts. The agility community enveloped us and stood with us. “Cruzer Strong” became a mantra for strength and peace and courage. On Dec. 21, 2016, the shortest day of the year, I made the heart breaking choice to let Cruzer Patterson run free once again, to the Bridge. In my heart he lives forever. In my future he runs beside me, with every step.

I wish you a dog like Cruzer. Brave enough to keep trying when hisbody said no. One that is in tune with your heartbeats, connected to your soul like no other.

Vee Patterson. Cover photo for Clean Run Magazine.

“Hey, man, look at me now,
Nothing in the world’s gonna get me down.
Spark’s flying, I’m on fire!
Way up high, and I’m getting higher.”

Spark’s Flying She’s On Fire, MX, MXJ, NADAC Elite, USDAA Masters, Therapy Dog. Vee. The beautiful Belgian Laekenois girl that taught us that just about anything is possible, with confidence and support. December 11, 2000 – August 25, 2012.

Pulled from rescue, Vee was an import from Belgium, whose first part of life was spent being shuttled from foster to foster, and rarely out of a crate. Working with a behaviorist, a homeopathic vet, a chiropractor, and enrolling her in Family Dog Agility classes, and then, Therapy Dog classes, helped to turn many of her phobias and fears around. Abandonment created severe separation anxiety, which was ultimately controlled with medications. A reaction triggered Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy, an autoimmune disorder that causes the covering of the nails to be rejected by the body. Pain-filled and challenged, Vee remained sweet and caring, and comforting.
(Photo: L. Mattuchio)

Catcher Patterson

“Turn it loose, turning it on.
On a day like this,
What could go wrong?
Tip my hat, blow a kiss to the crowd.”

MACH 7 PDCH Himark’s Perfect Catch. Catcher. Honest, thoughtful, funny. Catcher must be right, and taught me that timing is everything. A chronic illness keeps us from competing as we’d like. He’s just as happy to go for a ride to the river and walk in the woods. Life is good. Born on May 21, 2007.

Boomer Patterson

“Sunshine shining in the summertime breeze.
The whole world’s smiling,
If you know what I mean.
Cool, cool time, hangin’ out with the boys.
An AM radio making some noise.”

Bubba J. John Boy Boomer. Boomer. No titles needed, but, he is “THE AMBASSADOR.” Everyone needs a dog that is cool. A dog that will go with you to the pizza parlor for a slice. That’s Boomer. Billy’s Boy Boomer. He’s been with us since April 29, 2003, at a year of so of age. He’s not telling how old he is, or what he is, and we’ve stopped asking.

Kazee Marie Patterson

“Tunin’ in to a moment in time,
When everything seems like a perfect rhyme.
Here it is. Here I go. My show. can’t wait.
Gotta do it now fore it gets too late.”

MACH 6 PDCH Versatility NATCH Himark’s Intrepid Karma Kazee. Kazee. The Diva, who lived by Madonna’s words, “I always knew I should be treated like a star.” A lesson in independence, in trust, in connection. Yes, even independent dogs need to be connected to their handlers. Twelve pounds and 12 inches of “Princess.” The Little One directed the Patterson Pack with the precision of a tour guide at the Vatican. July 14, 2004 – Sept. 30, 2019.