The era of the Lambert Girls, a.k.a. The Red Collar Club, turned the Sutphin Girls, began 17 years ago. I was 32. Over the course of less than two years between 2001 and 2003, I adopted four dogs – one from Nassau, one from Maryland and two from Nairobi.

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The Lambert Girls were my life when Don and I reunited at our 20th high school reunion. (If they hadn’t liked Don, he would’ve been history.) They weren’t a very well-behaved pack, especially with strangers. I was pretty nervous having Don meet the girls, and I’ll never forget the day he met them. He walked right into the backyard of my Maryland house and rolled over onto his back. The pack instantly fell in love with him, just as I had.

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The Girls made the move with us to Albuquerque in April 2007, then made the move back east with us (us by that time was Don, me, the Girls, Whisky, seven donkeys and a goat) to Virginia in December 2013.

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Kassie and Whisky died a week apart in 2014/2015, the day after Christmas and the day after New Year’s. Enzi and Suni died three days apart in May 2016.

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Kike died Friday, July 6, 2018. Kike Kyote, Little Fart Squeaker (LFS), Hairy Hairy Kike (HHK), our African Queen, Deeker… our skittish girl. She eased the passing of the others for us. We’re positive that without Harper and Vivien, Kike wouldn’t have held on for so long.

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With the death of each of my girls went a bit of my youth. With the death of each of them went a family member who had weathered so much by my side. With the death of each went a child I loved unconditionally and who loved me in return.


I’m thankful every day for Harper and Vivien (The Blue Collar Club) and the journey we’re beginning with them. A life without dogs – impossible to imagine. ♥♥♥♥♥♥

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