Showsight Spring Edition, February/March 2021


Like so many others, I was heartbroken to hear of Julie Desy’s passing. She inarguably had an incredibly lasting and profound impact on our breed. More personally, she had a great influence on my personal character and outlook while growing up in dogs. I know I’m not the only one who has struggled to succinctly sum- marize her. However, wise, kind, strong-minded, genuine, hon- est, caring, and joyful are but a few of the adjectives that come to mind—though they still manage to fall short of honoring her legacy. I am so grateful to have had a role model like Julie to learn from while growing up in Shelties. I truly admired, adored, and respected her. I’m so grateful to have had such a classy and dedi- cated Sheltie lover and sportswoman to look up to all these years. It is so hard to imagine the Sheltie world and dog shows with- out her. In fact, we still have a couple of Starbucks’ Cranberry Bliss Bar Trays in our freezer (some of her favorite treats) that we picked up to send to her for Christmas, and it doesn’t seem quite right that they won’t be given to her. While we will all miss her presence in the years to come, I’m hopeful that in her absence we can all learn to emulate her class, grace, and humility.

While the dog community mourns her loss, my deepest condolences to those family and friends whose lives were brightened by her wit and her sharp mind on a daily basis.

Grace Sczcurek Rosemear Shelties


from within. She was blessed with a soft persona and person- ality that made her stand out in a crowd. And while she was competitive, she was always a true sportsman with a kind word for those in need. This too made her special… she watched and cared for people in general, and she generally knew when someone needed a kind word or a word of encouragement. If she liked you, you considered yourself blessed because… well, you just were. Maya Angelou once wrote: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That fits Julie to a “T.” On a few occasions, I was able to enlist Julie to speak on a panel that I was discussing. It took a bit of prodding, with her asking, “Oh, who would want to hear what I want to say?” That was typical of Julie; humble to the core. But the truth was, EVERYONE wanted to hear her, and her thoughts were deep and well-thought-out. I continued to encourage her to speak more often to the fancy, as she had SO VERY MUCH to offer. She is someone who could have written a best seller about the breed and the people she loved. And while so much of these attributes came from the “inside,” what lit them up on the outside was her beautiful smile, accompanied by twinkling eyes when she was excited about a dog or a discussion. And on so many occasions, I would watch her flash that smile at members of her little inner circle whom she loved and adored, and who felt the same way. A bright and beautiful light went out with Julie’s passing, but her memory will continue to shine on through all who loved her.

There are two definitions for the word “special.” One is “regarded with particular esteem or affection” and the other is “superior in comparison to others of the same kind.” I think they both describe an inherent specialness of each person that this is ascribed to. When I think of Julie Desy, “special” is the first word that comes to my mind. Long before I met her, I knew “of ” Julie from friends that we had in common. I looked forward to meeting her in person because of all the wonderful things these friends had shared with me. When the day finally came, although it was a short encounter, I could tell even then that there was something special about this person. It’s funny… but a few decades later, whenever we would have the opportunity to meet, I would have that same reaction of feeling that I was in the company of a very special person. And, after those opportunities to visit, I would often come away wondering just what it was that made her so “special.” Was it her vast knowledge of Shelties and dogs in general, or was it because she was so open-minded and honest in dis- cussing these? Was it her great reverence for some of the great breeders of the past whom she held up in such high regard? Or, was it, perhaps, her magical ability to take these Shelties and create a relationship with them that few could challenge, and then show them in such a way that the duo became a magnet for ringside—and the judges’ eyes—displayed in such a way that their natural beauty and character literally emanated from the end of her lead? All of this is so true, as Julie was all of these things and deserving of all the accolades that were cast in her direction. But, I think what really made Julie stand out and what was so “special” about her were the qualities that came

John Buddie Tartanside Collies


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