Mrs Carole Ferguson ~ an appreciation
Sarah, Neil, Paul and I would like to thank all our many friends in the Sheltie and Rough Collie world who sent us messages of sympathy and support following the sudden and tragic loss of Carole. Devastated is the only description which can come anywhere near the way we feel - the shock, disbelief and loneliness are beyond any measure. Friends have been so wonderful in looking after us - I am more grateful than I can possibly say, since I know they will be there, whatever.
We were all greatly comforted by the huge attendance at the funeral service - it was nothing less than Carole deserved and we felt such a mixture of emotions at the sight of so many friends, some having travelled great distances, to be there for her.
In putting the service together, Sarah and I worked very clearly with what Carole had always instilled in both of us - words that governed every aspect of our lives together, that what ever we did it had to be right. We knew that there were many facets to Caroles life and we hoped that people who had grown to love her in all of them would be present to honour her - the celebration was thus intended to let everyone present have a sense of the of some of the other parts that they might not have encountered for themselves.
We were all very supported by Neils recollections of her early life and his obvious pride in her success in breeding Ch. Mountmoor Jeanie McCall and the absolute determination which had always driven her. Thomas von Steggman, former Chief Executive of Bayer Agrochemicals for whom Carole worked for 30 years, most recently as their highly successful Press and Public Relations Manager, spoke of her energy, strength and determination in fulfilling a major role in the company in which she will be irreplaceable.
We were all touched by the heartfelt way in which Margaret Norman outlined the development of Caroles contribution to the sheltie world from their first meeting over 30 years ago, the success of Jeanie and Ch. Mountmoor Blue Boy, Bobby, to her judging of dogs at Crufts last year.
In preparing our tributes, Sarah and I were very conscious of the difficulty of what we wanted to say and what we would be able to say - the strength to speak came from Carole herself - Sarahs tribute to her mother was loving, genuine, strong and had so many echoes of Carole that it touched all who heard Sarah.
In 56 years, Carole lived enough lives for at least 12 people - she has endowed us all with a love of the breed, a clear understanding of what the breed standard calls for and, most importantly, that we should all show INTEGRITY at all times in any thing we all do with the breed.
Carole was selfless with a generosity of spirit, absolutely honest, had dynamic energy, wicked sense of fun, passionate love of the natural world and the ability to philosophise on any subject at all. Her love of the dogs was absolute and infectious.
Through the years she taught me so much - about life, enjoyment, thought, caring, support and teamwork - it sounds so odd to try to distil life under simple headings - we became a wonderful team - it was not always straight forward, but I was never in any doubt what she thought at any time, about any thing. Our life was full to overflowing -Its manic here!
There are so many memories of Carole - we each have so many of our own - she had the ability to make each and every one of us feel special. We loved her dearly and can only bear the emptiness by holding onto the memories.
Liz Ford & Sarah Ferguson
Mountmoor Shetland Sheepdogs