The photo of the Divine Miss Tova (Fairoaks Tova de Sambre, HCT, CGC/TDI, Sch B, TAN, VBEx) was taken spring when she was 11-1/2. She has been a vigorous and healthy girl all of her life, and has no medical problems. Her sire (Ch. Madrone Ledge Othello of Fogbank VBCh, etc) and his sire (Ch CentaurTs Hanter) and dam (Ch. Madrone Ledge Korbelle) before him all lived to >13 yr, as did at least 3 of her 11 full siblings.
Tova did tear the bicipital tendon in her shoulder while herding at age 5, and although she has completely recovered, she retired from all working-dog activities at that time. She continued to work more lady-like venues as the mascot for the Cottage Health System Breast Care Center (of which I was the director), a hospital and clinic therapy dog (she went to the clinic with me daily to meet-and-greet patients and sit with them during chemotherapy, and visited hospital in-patients), a runway model for the annual “Looking Good Feeling Good” fashion shows sponsored by Nordstrom Department Stores and the American Cancer Society for breast cancer survivors, and participated in a Playboy “Playmate of the Month” photo shoot. She retired again when my husband and I retired in 2005 and moved from California to Washington state.
She continues to enjoy her life up here on Whidbey Island at age 12+, going for long walks on our property, hunting squirrels, tracking deer, singing with the coyotes, and protecting us from the bogey-man. Her coat is still productive of wonderful fiber -1 get enough for a sweater a year from her, and this year used her fiber to knit a sweater for my son’s Basenji. We hope to have lots more time with our girl, who only seems to get better, not older.
Tova’s picture and story has been published in The Dirty Beards Quarterly, Spring 2008 edition.”Tova” – Fairoaks Tova de Sambre, HCT, CGC/TDI, Sch B, TAN, VBEx