Salsa at the lake

Dearly missed by Bruce and Leslie

We impulsively adopted Salsa from the Woods Animal Shelter in SLO while attending a Flyball demo. The endearing little puppy wearing a bandana and playing with a tennis ball stole our hearts and we took her home that day. Everyone told us to expect a 35 lb. short-haired dog, but the long skinny tail should have been a clue that she would be much taller than predicted and have long, flowing feathers. Salsa grew into a beautiful, elegant, unique-looking dog. She was often complimented on her beauty with questions of what her breed might be. ‘Borderline Collie’ and ‘Montecito Snooty’ were two of our favorite responses. There will never be another Salsa, she was a breed of her own. Although Salsa seemed elegant and reserved, she was playful too—she was nicknamed “Wookie” because Salsa “wooked” like Chewbacca from Star Wars when she was happy and excited.

With her long legs and grace, Salsa was naturally a great jumper and sailed over agility jumps in perfect form. Salsa was one of the original group of agility dogs, with a USDAA number of 550 at a time when AKC didn’t yet offer agility. But, agility was not Salsa’s true love. Protecting her back yard and hunting critters was her thing. She would never forget a tree with a squirrel, and she’d forever puff up and prance in anticipation of the excitement of it all. She taught us an amazing amount about training, behavior, motivation and rewards.

As she got older, Salsa liked to flirt with younger male dogs, and they liked her too. At 14 she would still play bow in hope of a little attention. She spent her time at the park going for walks and sniffing people’s pockets hinting sweetly for treats.

Salsa had a great life and went everywhere with us to the very end. Each and every day she was here and happy was a gift. We’re glad she was able to accompany us on our waterski trips to the lake on her last summer. The yard will never be complete without Salsa in her usual spot surveying her domain. Her loss has left a huge hole in our hearts and lives. We’ll miss her sweet face, her morning massages and her happy “wooks” when we get home each night.