Toya came into our life in 1991. She was four month old when we saw her in an animal home. Funny looking with her "bat" ears, she was always a brave and tolerant friend who accompanied us a long, long way. Something between Malinoi and Collie, she prooved many times her wonderful character and she never ever questioned her strong affections towards us. She was the aunty of our three little girls. She watched Nina, Nicola and Julia growing up, always taking really good care of them without any doubt. In winter she was the kids sledge dog, towing them all on a toboggan, in summer she went swimming with them.

It was selfevident for us to take her to Japan for three years where she found many new friends. Back to Germany she gave eight wonderful whelps life.

One year later in August 2001 she just disappeared while chasing a hare with her daughter Balto, just 5 minutes from home. Balto came back a few minutes later, Toya was never seen again. We searched for her with all the immense efforts we could imagine. Thanks to her cleverness it would have been quite easy for her to find home, but she never came back again.

The intellect tells us that she is not alive anymore. But isn't it much worse not to now how and where the best friend ever died than knowing how it happened and where her body is buried???

Any time I wander with Balto through the fields and the forrest nearby I feel that Toya is out there, with me, like all the years before.

Julia, Nicola, Nina, Petra & Georg Holtkotte

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