Written by Elaine Smith-Nabors
When I think about the team of Gaea and Peli, I think of gentle grace. The sincere appreciation that is expressed in the eyes of both Gaea and Peli as they look at one another transforms you to a gentle depth that is shared with only the most magical teams. The CFF Hall of Fame seems to be a natural part of their exceptional journey.
Peli started this journey as a wiggly furball with big paws to fill, quite literally. Gaea's partners had always been Rotties and quite honestly, that was the image that most of us saw when we looked at Gaea and imagined a dog beside her. The thing that none of realized at the time, was that Peli knew exactly what she was doing and where she was taking Gaea. It would be the ride of Gaea's life.
As they explored the sport of Canine Freestyle, the team traveled far and wide for demos, including a trip to Cape Cod and one to California. One magical weekend Peli and Gaea even earned two legs towards their CFF Championship, the most prestigious award that the Federation offers at this time. When Peli’s health intervened, Gaea had a hard decision to make, but her actions demonstrate true love and respect for her partner. Instead of pursuing the last leg of the CFF Championship that was knocking on the door, Gaea chose to respect her exceptional girl and she showed her in veterans. It was a mixed bag for all of Peli's fans. We certainly understood why it was the right decision for the team, but we wanted the title we felt they so deserved. In our hearts, they are and will always be CFF Champions. We all know an exceptional team when we see them, they command your attention and you are never disappointed by what they have to share. Their openness to one another allowed for this exceptional team to arise and to continue to set the CFF bars soaring. Peli is not the first Cavalier to join the ranks of CFF Hall of Fame, but I know that Claire certainly welcomes her with open paws.