Posted by: jility | August 4, 2013


Josephine & Mel

Josephine & Mel

She was arguably the fastest standard Poodle ever to step onto an agility course. In her prime, there were very few dogs that could beat her, including the fastest Border Collies.

When Lisa Greene became ill, she asked us to take her amazing standard Poodle, Josephine into our care. We agreed to take Jose and Lisa’s other Poodle Charisse. Jose was almost six years old at the time and Charisse was almost three. Lisa said she wanted Mel to run her because he was faster and a better handler than I was. I agreed and thought that was a great idea.

Mel and Josephine tore up the courses. They were an amazing team, winning large classes Coast to Coast.

With her first owner, Lisa, Josephine became the youngest standard Poodle ever to MACH. Lisa and Josephine also made the finals of the AKC Nationals one year! Pretty amazing for a standard Poodle because that was back when the World Team BCs ran in the 24” class and there were a LOT of great 24” dogs. Then, with Mel, she became the highest MACHing standard Poodle until others came along to take that honor. Jose ran in agility until she was 12 ½ years old. She retired due to her eyesight, just 4 double Qs short of MACH 8. Her body was still willing but her eyes were weak.

We let her do some jumper courses in matches at 12” and she loved it. She lived for agility and as recently as last week, she got very excited to just be in an agility building.

13 year old Jose in a match at 12″

Jose was the boss of the world and she let everyone know it. She was the queen and demanded to be treated as such. We obliged her in every way possible. She gave us her all for as long as she lived. I never thought it would end.

Two and a half weeks ago, Josephine had a mass rupture on her spleen. We had her spleen removed and the tumor was benign. I wrote about it in my last blog.

Jose struggled in her recovery and spent many days in the emergency vet in Olympia, Washington as well as in Medford, Oregon where we were trialing. We finally thought she had turned the corner. She was doing SUPER! She was eating well. Her temperature was staying down and her attitude was terrific. She was growling at the other dogs again and bossing them around as usual.

This morning, we went out about 8:30 to the seminar we are attending in Sequim. She was doing so well. When we came back in at noon, she didn’t greet us at the door. When I found her, she was lying on her side on one of the dog beds. Isabella was lying back to back with her snuggled up. That has never happened in all the years we have had Josephine. Isabella took good care of her until we returned.

We can’t stop crying. We will miss her forever and are blessed to have had a dog like her in our lives. We have spent all afternoon watching old videos of Jose.

Below is something Mel wrote about her. He loved her so.

Our great Standard Poodle Josephine has died.

 During her agility career it was lucky for me that Josephine could read numbers. I don’t know how many times she saved the run when I had tried to mess it up. At the last split-second she could change direction to go the correct way when I had miscued a turn or obstacle. She let me know I had screwed up too: “Woof” (Tell me sooner Grampa).

She always tried her hardest for me. If it wasn’t for me, she would have Qed every time.

Her funniest behavior was when we did a MACH victory lap. She would refuse to do most of the obstacles. “I know the run is over Grampa. Where’s my treat?”

I enjoyed running Jose the most of all our dogs. I’m very sad that she’s gone. She loved agility. She loved me and I loved and still love her. She was truly a great dog.

 In her prime, she usually beat all but the very fastest BCs. She ran most of her Jumpers runs about 6 yps or more and most of her Standard runs about 4.5 yps or more. She enjoyed dock diving, sheep herding, Obedience, Rally, endlessly retrieving and swimming in a pool or in the ocean.

But most of all she loved agility.

 Josephine would have turned 14 in November. She eagerly did everything we ask of her and more. After her retirement at 12½, she still got excited when I went out to train or take one of the other dogs to the line at a show: “My turn Grampa, my turn.”

 Teller’s Hollywood Dream (Josephine) November 28, 1999 – August 4, 2013

 The only standard poodle to ever have an ADCH and MACH 7

Just 4 DQs short of MACH 8

Enough points (11,417) for MACH 15+

224 Ex B Jumpers Qs

206 Ex B Standard Qs

One Q short for her CDX


I hope she is doing agility with Lisa in heaven. We are so grateful to Lisa Greene for trusting us to care for her Josephine and to Janice Teller-West for breeding the most amazing standard Poodle that ever lived.

Long live the Queen!



  1. I’m so sorry to hear about Jose. She was well-loved and returned that love many times over.

  2. i had the honor of seeing josephine run at that AKC finals – sitting in the stand cheering for lisa and jose (on that stupid carpet!). we poodle owners were so proud of them! one of my great memories of josephine was of her sitting on the dash of lisa’s RV – the queen of them all. and then the true love she had running with mel. seeing those videos – thank you for sharing them.

    an era has ended. thank you isabella for taking care of her at the end. thank you helen and mel for loving her as much as you did.

  3. Dear Helen and Mel, I am so sorry to hear about what you have just gone through with Josephine on top of everything else for the last year. I have shed many tears reading about your painful sagas with the dogs. May you have peace for the rest of the year, Fondly, Barbara and Freeze Date: Sun, 4 Aug 2013 22:46:14 +0000 To:

  4. SO SORRY, Helen and Mel! We love them so much!

  5. I am so very sorry for your loss Helen and Mel, we just never get enough time with our furry friends – she was a lovely dog and how lucky you both were to be able to have the time you did with her. She was amazing! Big hugs to you both.

  6. SO sorry to hear this Helen. RIP Josephine..

  7. Very sorry for your loss.

  8. My heart is breaking for you Mel and Helen. She was a standard poodle that inspired generations. She will never leave our hearts.

  9. I am so sorry. What a lucky dog she was to have shared her life with such wonderful people. Godspeed Josephine.

    Sent from my iPad

  10. RIP Josphine what a legend you are. Lots of love being sent your way Mel and Helen. xxxxxxx

  11. Helen and Mel, I’m so very sorry for your terrible loss of Josephine. May the pain you feel now soften with the passage of time.

  12. Oh so sorry. I got to meet Josephine once in Alpharetta. My Asha thinks she is the queen but she doesn’t come close to the regal ness that Josephine emmentated. I know her passing will leave a big hole in your pack. My deepest sympathies.

  13. Helen and Mel I am very sad to hear about Josephine. She was an amazing girl and no doubt touched and impacted many lives. Hugs to both of you.


  14. I am so sorry for your loss, my deepest sympathies to you and Mel. RIP Josephine.

  15. I’m so sorry for the loss of your amazing girl. This is a wonderful tribute to Jose. I have tears in my eyes for you and your girl, and Isabella and the other dogs too. RIP Josephine.

  16. So sorry for your loss Helen and Mel.

  17. Hi Mel, Thanks for sending, but don’t think I want to watch any videos of Jose, right now ! Maybe in a few days ! Damn, f–ked up World ! Ron

  18. I am so sorry for your loss but immediately thought of Lisa, arms outstretched to love her baby once again. She was yours and hers. I remember when you went to pick them up.

  19. So sorry for your loss, Helen and Mel. Josephine was an awesome dog.

  20. So very sorry for your loss of such a special and wonderful dog. Take care.

  21. sad RIP Josphine.

  22. what a lovely tribute to Jose, you made me cry!

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