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Kale, Kalester, Mister Kale - ambassador to the world. He was an old soul who opened souls with his quiet, insistent charm. On his first plane trip, an observer of his calm demeanor asked whether or not I had drugged him prior to the flight - I explained no, he's just of the weed smoking breed.... Living in Central Asia, a region that values sight hounds' hunting skills, folks would stop their cars, ask to examine his teeth, prod his muscles - one hunter even offered to trade his car for my dog. And Kale, he just took it all in stride. Goofiest moment? Central Asians hobble their donkeys when letting them loose to graze. Kale used to love to run up and provoke a hee-haw with a play bow. He loved that crazy sound, racing around like a nut head after hearing the donkey bray. His name was Kale, my first NBRF pup. He traveled the world with me, literally. The photo in a field of poppies is from 2007, taken in Kyrgyzstan, outside the capital Bishkek; it is how I remember him. I think of these two beauties, Kale and Lida, everyday. I remember them with gratitude, with joy and with a profound sense of loss. They charmed the most fearful of souls. They took joy in every moment to their last. Thank you NBRF, thank you. Irene Stevenson

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