Monday, November 12, 2007
(photo: Jancada Tender O’Kings Valley, R.O.M., dam of 14 Champions - top producing dam and held that record for over 20 years. b12-28-73, d.7-31-84)
I learned this morning that Eva Rappaport, the matriarch of Kings Valley Collies, passed away yesterday at home.
We only met Eva a few times, but each time were mighty impressed with her energy and vision, as an artist, trainer, breeder and lover of collies. The few times we spent together were intense with energy and conversation as we had so much to share, especially as artists and lovers of collies. I always regretted the fact that we were unable to make it to the 2 social occasions at KV to which we were invited: a Passover seder and Eva's birthday...and actually they both might've been the same one. I felt so honored to have been invited. But I feared, had we gone, that I would have been unable to join any conversation NOT about collies. Kings Valley, with its' long narrow gravel entrances is like Disneyland to me, even the gates hum with portent and promise.
The last time we saw her was the day we took the papillons down to KV to meet Maudie and make sure she could be our collie. (that story appears in an earlier entry). Eva was housebound and in a wheelchair and as we entered the house from the yard, I was overwhelmed with an urge to hug her. Despite the fact that she had been through so much physical trauma, it seemed to me that not an ounce of her strength was gone. Perhaps she had softened a little, but that might've been my perception of what was her willingness to share my wide open happiness. We shared the joy and excitement; both Eva and Leslie understood what it meant that I was finally going to have a collie again, and such a splendid collie "in her prime" Eva said, at that.
And when it comes down to it, I think that that is what made me want a KV collie above all others; Eva's deep acknowledgement of the collie soul.
I hope that as Eva's soul journeys onwards, she will be met with the music of all the collies that have been waiting for her, and they will surround her with joy.
Here on earth, we have Leslie and the collies to carry on the legacy.