It is with immense sorrow I must inform all in our discdog
community of the passing of my best friend, the love of my life,
my wife of 40+ years and one of the most active participants in
watching, teaching and enjoying the sport of K-9 disc. After
suffering a massive seizure in early April, and waging an amazing
battle hoping against all odds to beat what was explained as a
terminal illness (lung, brain and liver cancer), Kathy's battle
came to an end Saturday morning around 5 am while sleeping next to
me in our bed at home. After complaining of difficulty breathing,
but stating implicitly she was in no pain, she was started on
morphine the night before to help her breath. She was comfortable
for the last hours of her time with us and slipped away quietly.
Kathy has left a huge legacy for us all to partake of. She was
awarded two Lifetime Achievement awards (Skyhoundz and Ashley
Whippet) for over 20 years of involvement, dedication and love of
the sport of K-9 Frisbee, which was one of the largest joys of her
life. She and her two boys, Knight and Ruckus, enjoyed many
freestyle rounds, demonstrations, and tons of appreciation from
friends and opponents alike. Never being a champion because she
just could not throw distance, but always a winner in everyone's
mind, she stood in high finishing places after her first rounds,
but would then give it away to whoever could get those d/a throws
out. No matter, she was always back for more. It would be
impossible to number those who joined the sport because of her and
most all of her organizing skills will be used by all those who
learned from her forever.
For those of you in Belgium, Please know the Kathy Miller Ruckus
Trophy Tournament was on her mind from the time she was told about
the plan. There is nothing more honoring than to have something
which you love so well dedicated, executed and continued in your
name. Know that where ever you are, when ever you hold this
contest, she will be present watching over all who take part. She
was just so excited to know we were going to be able to be there
this year, and never failed to tell anyone who would listen the
story behind how and why this event was created, and what she had
hoped it would continue doing. Create fun, companionship and
entertainment for pups and people as well. From me, Thank you so
very much for giving my beautiful wife such a remarkable gift in
her final time with us.
She has left all of us; Ruckus, Ziffy, BigBoy, RT (Runt, she hated
the name) and myself with a hole in our lives which will never be
filled and she will never be forgotten. We will love her forever
and know she is now over that Rainbow Bridge with all of our past
lost ones who were waiting for her with open arms. Knowing the way
Irv loved her, I would imagine she was on his arm as she crossed.
One of the biggest highlights of her life and disc dog career was
being 5th in the World Pairs 2006 and the rousing appreciation we
received for our last professional competition at Skyhoundz World
Last Chance Qualifier, Chattanooga Tn, 2008. If you would like to
see our last ever Demonstration taped in Northern California at
the Crusty Classic, Kathy's last time working with disc, please
enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOMlDaeV41A Do not raise the
volume high as the recording was close to a speaker, and it is a
bit distorted. The first ever contest Kathy and I attended was the
Torrance Local in 1980 (a contest we have run since Irv asked us
to take it over 10 or 12 years ago) and her last was the Ashley
Whippet World Finals LaMirada California October 31st this year.
She had just a ball on that day, riding around in her wheel chair
dressed as a witch, (long black hair and all) passing out Cracker
Jacks to anyone who would call out Trick or Treat....
My friend, my sweetheart, my love for life, our lives will never
be the same and we will miss you always.
Mike, Ruckus, BigBoy, RT and Ziffy
The photos below are 2006 Skyhounz Atlanta, 2007 Steve Crusty
Walsh memorial contest Lodi California, and 2007 Torrance
California, which we continue to produce in honor of Irv Lander.