This blog first appeared on ColumbiaPatch.com on September 26, 2012.
The story of Holly's Magic Chair of Tennis Balls, a golden tradition that began in 2010 and will live on and one and on. . . .
(Holly, Swimming with a Tennis Ball/Holly, After Swimming with a Tennis Ball/Holly's Magic Chair of Tennis Balls at Camp Goldstock)
by Skye Anderson (note: This blog was written primarily by a friend of mine, who belonged to Holly, the golden.)
In memory of Holly, golden retriever (9 Sep 1993 – 27 Aug 2009)
Dear golden friends from Camp Goldstock,
Please visit Holly’s Magic Chair. This is the story of how it came to be.
Last summer (2008) when we returned from Goldstock (a camp mostly for golden retrievers and their people – www.goldstockcamp.com ), I told my neighbor about the great time our dog Holly had playing ball and racing down to the lake. She had just been diagnosed with spinal neuropathy but she acted like she was 2 when she saw that lake, not 15!
My neighbor at home often sees tennis balls in the retention pond at the high school when she takes her early morning walk. She said she would gather some up for Holly.
So, every day since last fall when Holly went out for her morning walk at about 7:30 a.m., there on the chair on our front porch would be a gift of one, two, or sometimes a jackpot of tennis balls.
Holly would sniff each one, smile as if to say, "Wow this is such a magic chair!" and after her walk, on the way back into the house, she would grab one to add to her pile of treasures that she has been collecting since we adopted her at age 11.
As the year went on I started putting the extra tennis balls from the Magic Chair into a bag in the garage for the next Goldstock camp.
Last week Holly stopped checking the chair.
Her thoughts were focused on how to get up in the morning and lie down for a nap and if she could manage to eat breakfast. After all, she was 15 years old!
Her days of tennis balls were behind her and she earned her wings just short of her 16th birthday and her second trip to Goldstock.
Holly would like you to play with her tennis balls from the Magic Chair you pass on the way to the lake at Goldstock. All she asks is that as you throw out the first ball you say, "Here Holly, go get it. This one’s for you!" She’ll be right there.