7, 2001, the dog fancy lost its Fancey lady.
Melissa Fancey fought a valiant fight but in the
end, the Pulmonary Fibrosis that was wearing her
down for over 2 years finally won the battle.
Long before I actually met Melissa I had heard
about this strong willed, feisty lady who bred
Shetland Sheepdogs. She had the reputation of
someone who got things done, who was loyal to her
friends and didnt mind getting into a
fracus with anyone for what she felt was right.
I first got to know Melissa and Grant personally
at the Papillon Canada Booster in Saint John, New
Brunswick in the summer of 1998. They had
recently expanded their well known kennel of
Shelties to include a little red and white
butterfly from Jo Raymers Mantoga Kennels.
I cant explain how or why it happened but
Melissa and I hit it off from day 1. We became
.maybe the good Lord knew that
Melissa didnt have much time left and put
us on the fast track of friendship. We became
very close and remained so to the end. We talked,
we argued, we learned from each other and we
respected each other. We talked on the phone
almost every day, sometimes to discuss a
particular issue, other times just to touch base
to see how the other was doing. We visited each
other for weekends when we would pour over
Internet websites, Papillon magazines and books
for hours on end.
As was her nature, once Melissa had obtained a
Papillon, she eagerly searched out whatever
information she could find on the breed
standards, photographs, videos and pedigrees,
asking questions and probing for answers. She
threw herself into working hard for Papillon
Canada, chairing the Policies and Procedures for
Specialties and the ROMC Committees even as her
health and strength was failing. In our last
conversation, 2 days before she passed away, she
wanted to know how the Proposals had been
received by the Membership. She didnt want
to leave without all the loose ends tied up.
In the months prior to her passing, Melissa told
me many times that she wasnt afraid of
dying. She just didnt want to go so soon
had much that she still wished to do. And she
didnt want to leave her family and friends
behind either. Nor did she want to leave her
beloved Papillons & Shelties; Grant was able
to bring the Paps (Evita, Gucci and Cleo) to
visit her in the hospital and I know those were
enjoyable visits. She was grateful for the
support she was receiving from family, friends
and the dog show world in particular. True to her
nature, she was more concerned about Grant and
her family than she was for herself.
I still find it very hard to truly believe that
Melissas gone. I keep expecting to hear her
voice on the phone asking me if I got that
mornings Cryptogram or Crossword. I will
always treasure the short time we had together.
To Grant and the family I extend Papillon Canadas
sincerest sympathy at their great loss. She will
be greatly missed.