Colleen,  (Volmar Spirit O Shamrock)  was my big sister.  She was born on the 30th of April 1996 and left us for the Rainbow Bridge on the 26th of July, 2011.  This was also the date of Aunty Carla's Birthday.

As Aunty Carla and Colleen had been the best of friends, perhaps they decided on that date together. Perhaps Carla wanted Colly to be with her for her birthday party!  At least, that's what Audie and I like to believe.​​

This is my special tribute to my big sister, with Audie's help.​​  Caelan loved her too, and really misses having her around to be a 'Mummy' to her, and an example to look up to.  Colleen was a wonderful girl, a true lady, and she set us all a perfect example to follow.

I'm going to begin by showing pictures of her from when she was a pup, even though she did not come to live with us until she was over 4 years of age. But we always kept in touch with mummy Rie,​​ and often visited, so Colly and I never REALLY 'left home' - so to speak!

These pictures were sent to us by Mummy Rie, and we thank her for sharing Colleen's early years with us.​​
Was there ever a cuter baby than this? Just look at those eyes!
Full of mischief too!
And oh, so cuddly and cute!
Here she is at 4 months of age - growing up!
Looking lovely at 9 months of age
And here she is at 10 months of age.
When Audie drove up to Mummy Rie, in Bundaberg to get me, (I was only 8 weeks old!) she met Colleen for the first time. Aunty Carla came too, of course, and this was how my sister Colleen and my Aunty Carla first met and got to be friends. It would be the following year before Colleen came to live with us.

In the picture below, you can see how well they got along, right from the start!​​
Then, one happy day in the year 2000, Colleen arrived on a big plane, and Audie picked her up at the airport and, from that moment on, she became a beloved member of our family.

She soon made herself right at home, and she and Carla became close friends and used to sit together, and chat together, and probably say things to each other about us, (me and Caelan, when Caelan came at the end of that year) such as "Just LOOK at the children!  Now, WE never did that when WE were their age!"

We all went to dog shows together, and Colleen liked the outing, but hated the ring.​​ Here is a picture of Colleen and Carla together in their show trolley, and  a couple of pictures of Colleen in the ring.
Another outing she enjoyed (we all enjoyed!) was going to Wheaten Days in the Park on St' Patrick's Day. For this part, I asked Audie to play the song she used to sing to Colleen - the 'Dear Little Shamrock'.
Audie used to call Colleen her 'dear little Shamrock' and sing it to her often. So I'm playing it here, for our 'Colly-wolly', and because these pics were taken on St Patrick's day, 2000. 
Click on the pause button of the first song, then click on the arrow of the second to hear 'Dear little Shamrock'.
EVERYONE loved Colleen!  When we went to the beach, she would walk up to people sitting at picnic tables, or passing by, and her tail would wag and she'd have this big smile on her face, as if saying: "Hello! I'm Colleen!  Would you like to cuddle me?"  If they as much as 'smiled' back, she'd be over like a shot, making such a display of enthusiasm that I used to feel embarrassed (being a shy boy!)

No matter where she went, she loved people and wanted to talk to them. She greeted everyone like long lost brothers and sisters. But as I mentioned before in one of my letters, if she was ignored, it was a different story! She'd look hard at the person, and then give a disgusted 'Hrrumph', and walk off!  That was our Colly- woll!  You had to love her!
Colleen was fashion conscious. She was a very snazzy dresser. Here are some pictures of her in her favourite outfits. (I'm in the first one!)
Birthday gear!
Winter gear!
Cornish gear! (Audie is half Cornish!)
Christmas party gear!
Irish gear, with a friend from the US!
We loved going out in the car, especially to the beach, and at first, we all sat in the back seat. However, Colleen started choosing to sit in the front seat, where she could more conveniently 'direct proceedings' as the 'passenger seat driver' - and there she continued, right until her final days with us.
Before she got her promotion!
AFTER her promotion!
And so that front passenger seat was hers alone, right up until this last picture was taken of her on her 15th Birthday.
Through the years she gave us all so much love, and brought us so much joy. ​Never a day went by when she wasn't loving and gentle and kind, especially to Audie, when she wasn't well. We all tried to comfort Audie, but Colleen would refuse to leave her, and would stay beside her on the bed, keeping watch even through the night. 

Colleen loved bedtime stories, and Audie would read to her from books she'd had as a child. Colleen would select the book herself, by nudging it, and even looked at the pictures before her eyesight failed.  But Audie continued to read to Colleen, right up until she died.  If Audie stopped to look at something on TV, she'd receive a gentle prod on the arm from Colleen, reminding her that she was supposed to be READING!
(The picture below was taken on her 15th Birthday)​
Colleen also loved listening to music, and here are two pictures of her, carried into magical spheres by the Sound of Music.
These are some of our favourite memories of our Colleen through the years.
And in her closing years, she was still a Fashion Queen, as well as the Queen of our hearts!
After the previous song is finished, click on the arrow below to hear the final selection, chosen by Audie.
My sister Colleen truly was 'all things' to us, and especially to Audie. But we know she isn't gone - she's just in a different place, and we will all meet again there one day. As Audie is always saying, the veil between Colleen, Carla and Lisa's heavenly home and ours is very thin, and I know we have often 'seen' and 'sensed' their presence with us. The night before Colleen left for the Rainbow Bridge, Audie saw Colleen gazing excitedly into what appeared to be just a wall, and she was wagging her tail happily and 'talking' to 
someone.  We later realized that the next day, the morning she died, was Carla's Birthday, and we believe it was Carla she saw. Her dear old friend coming to call her, and greet her, and prepare her for her journey

So I join with Caelan and Audie in wishing Colleen a happy voyage, a safe haven, and the joy of being young and healthy again.​​

See you in the Morning, Sweetheart!​​

Your loving Brother,

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