The life and legacy of Jamie Donelson will long be remembered by her family and friends, and by the countless people in our community who have been touched by the many gifts she freely gave throughout her lifetime. It is with our sincerest appreciation to Jamie’s family and friends that SHOWSIGHT shares the following messages of love, laughter, and light in remembrance of a life so beautifully lived.
Jamie LOVED her Brussels Griffons. She would go on a walk every day, miles at a time, around her neighborhood so that she could truly enjoy nature. She also loved growing veggies in her vegetable garden, and she never gave up, no matter how many times the rabbits would get in there and eat the garden. Jamie enjoyed…
- Spending Time with Family
- Hanging Out with Friends
- Spending Way Too Much Money at TJ Maxx and HomeGoods
- Going out to Dinner and on Picnics
- Taking Her Beautiful Limited-Edition Mustang Out for a Ride on a Nice New England Day
- Spending Time with Her Horse, Maverick
- Always Finding a Reason to Laugh.
– Morgan, Joanne, Annmarie, Siobhan, Suzie, and Jamie’s Family & Friends
I will love you forever
I remember everything as if it were yesterday. The shock, the sadness, being angry, and the pain. My day was going on like any other day, everything was normal until the phone rang and the messages started. Maybe losing your best friend feels like the tears running down my face as I type this, and maybe these tears contain the unspoken rules we had, the silent hugs, and the now-wishful and cherished memories we share. That said, life happens to all of us. Sometimes it’s sad, other times it’s one of those “everything happens for a reason” moments, even when we don’t like it or understand it.
Most of us have experienced losing someone close at one time or another. Jamie knew how to give you tough love and advice without ever attacking you, but she also knew how to make any situation funny. She always looked at the glass as half-full instead of half-empty. When you needed her, she was there. She always showed up for her people. She was the kindest human I have ever met. Her presence was comforting in a way that I can’t explain, even if I tried. I will cherish the memories I have with her forever.
Thank goodness I am the annoying one who records everything and anything. Jamie, I can never thank you enough for everything you did for me and everything you taught me. I am a better persontoday because of you. You inspired me every day. I promise to continue to make you proud. I’ll miss you forever, Hurricane Donelson. I love you.
Jamie had a way of making everyone feel like they were the most important person in the room when you were with her. To me, she was my go-to, my warm hug, my constant cheerleader, my best friend, my voice of reason, but most importantly, my Mama Bear.
Since I was 16 and first met Jamie, I’ve wanted to be like her when I grew up. I idolized her. She was one of the most pure-hearted, genuine, optimistic, and positive people you could meet. She knew when l was having a bad day and needed quiet time with my best friend or when I needed a kick in the butt and some tough love. She’s gotten me through some dark times in my life and has been there through thick and thin. She left warm memories with anyone she came in contact with. Her smile could make any day instantly better, and her hug could fix anything that was wrong.
All of our shenanigans, our giggling, our twinning; I still can’t believe we’ll never be able to make more of those memories together. Before Jamie, I never knew you could be homesick for a person. I don’t know how to begin to process my life without her in it, but I know all of our warm memories, photos, and our silly videos will be there to make me smile on the hard days.
I wish I could have one more Mama Bear hug to help ease this heartache. I hope you know how much of you there is in every little thing I do. I will miss you forever, Jamie.
Our Beloved Mama Bear.
No problem was too big,
Mama Bear had the logical solution… immediately!
Pennsylvania, Florida, or wherever we went,
Mama Bear lead the way.
Starbucks at 5:00am…
Mama Bear found the open one.
When a friend was needed to lend a hand,
We had Mama Bear every time!
Thank you for being our Mama Bear.
We will always love you,
Till we meet again.
The first time I met Jamie was in her driveway, after a long and anxious drive to her house to work for her and her husband for the summer. I had met Adam before, while he was on the road with Emily, but I’d never met Jamie. She was waiting in the driveway with her mother as I pulled in, taking in my surroundings of where I was going to live for the next three months. As soon as I jumped out of the car, she walked over to me and embraced me in a welcoming hug that was comforting and warm, releasing every nerve that I had built up on the long drive from Michigan.
One simple hug was the foundation for our friendship that lasted 12 years.
Twelve years seems like a long time, but to me it has been cut short—and to the quick. Jamie was a home beacon for me, a family outside of my family. She was a major part of my support system after I lost my mother. I wish I had told her that more often.
Jamie and I had so many fun adventures—often from my own persistence and begging her to tag along with me. But, when she did… we had a BLAST! What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… TWICE! We were supposed to go for my 30th birthday, but COVID got in the way. We were supposed to go in 2024 too, for her 40th, so I think I’ll have to get into twice as much trouble for the both of us.
Jamie was the “cherry on top” addition to any trip I planned in the New England area or any big show I was planning to attend. “Well, is Jamie going?” “Yep!” Perfect, I’d think. Then I’d know that I was sure to have a good time with my best friend by my side, even if we just sat in our hotel and watched TV together.
My Angel of Good Conscience, I’m a penny richer in Heaven now. I believe you will always be with me—having fun beside me.
I Love You and will miss you dearly. May the shamrocks fall softly for you, my sweetest friend.
Everyone remembers Jamie mostly for her love of dogs and the dog show family that surrounded her, but the Jamie I knew was so much more.
Jamie was that extra caramel sauce. Always.
Jamie was the one getting her hair done, while I made faces at her in the mirror. We shared the same hair girl and the same appointment days.
Jamie was that “let’s have one more beer” when we already had four too many.
Jamie was that “let’s go sit by the beach and listen to the waves crash.”
Jamie was so much *NSYNC and a little Backstreet Boys and Mariah Carey too.
Jamie was the “let’s stop at sonic because one desert wasn’t enough.”
Jamie was the phone call I would make when I didn’t have electricity in a storm and needed a shower.
Jamie was the shoulder to cry on over a stupid, stupid boy.
Jamie was my fearless leader when I couldn’t find my way out of a cardboard box.
Jamie was the best company with a glass of wine, matching sweatpants, and a greasy pizza.
Jamie was my voice of reason on my wedding day. She kept the champagne flowing, a smile on my face, and the day would never have been complete without her.
On October 21, 2022, not only did I lose my best friend, I lost my sister, my confident, and a huge piece of my heart.
I love you, Jamie. We will always love you.
Love you, always and forever.
Jamie Donelson was a bright light, not only in the dog show world but in life itself. She always had a smile, but don’t let that smile fool you. She was also a fierce competitor, though she had so much poise and grace. I cannot thank Jamie enough for everything she taught and did for my daughter, Morgan. First, she was her mentor. Then quickly, she became her best friend. Jamie is now shining down on her family and friends. I hope that this gives some comfort. I do not have a photo with Jamie and myself, but here is one of Jamie and Morgan that I love. Never forgotten. <3
Jamie, you were one of the kindest people I know. I am a better person for having known you.
It is still hard to believe you are gone. God must have really needed a very special Angel. I hope you know how much you are loved by your family, friends, and the dogs you cared for. You had a special bond with all the dogs you showed. Whenever I see the sunshine, I will think of your shining smile. Rest well, my friend, and thank you for your friendship. You are greatly missed.
Anne Marie Kubacz
Ramblin’ Red Irish Setters
I’ve known Jamie Donelson since she was a teenager. She was part of our Irish Setter family. She gave willingly to help teach Grooming with the Stars (a fundraiser for the Irish National) and adult handling class at the Irish Setter National, and she donated to “handler raffles” for many Specialties.
Jamie always had a smile and a word of encouragement. She also had a great laugh… and she laughed often.
It is a profound loss for our sport and for our Irish Setter family.
May the shamrocks fall softly.
Anne Wagner (Ardanwood), Kristen Cofiell (CnSand), Mufasa (GCHP CnSand Ardanwood It’s Good To Be King):
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Denise, Al & Jack Parker:
Our time with Jamie was brief, but brilliant… she meant so much to us and to Jack, more than we ever could have hoped for. Jack really enjoyed living with her in Connecticut and especially loved it when Mike’s daughters, Hailey and Kiera, came to visit! And we will never forget introducing Jamie and her friends to the joy of Maryland blue crab season after a show at Lums Pond. We are pretty sure she thought we were nuts brandishing our wooden mallets and discussing the placements and events of the day while smashing crabs to bits! But she happily, if tentatively, joined in with our group of friends and we had a lot of laughs.
We always had a good time hanging out with her and all those who were part of her world. She always made us feel that we were so appreciated and an important part of her family. Our time with Jamie was a gift we will cherish forever.
Michele DeTour & Mary McEneany:
It is so very difficult to put into words the impact of the loss of Jamie Donelson; a young, vibrant, and joyous woman who shared that joy with all of us. Jamie would always be there, ringside, with a smile and a laugh. No one loved the hairy, wonderful breed that is the Briard more than Jamie. She was the type of person you rooted for, no matter which dog she was showing, hoping to see her flash that winning smile. And when you showed against her, you brought your “A” game because you knew that she would too.
Jamie had great hands on a dog and found a way to bring out the best in every dog she showed, all the while establishing a bond with her dog that was obvious—even from outside the ring. We lost much when we lost Jamie. We lost an example of kindness and caring for people and dogs that may not pass this way again. She will be missed. #belikeJamie
Jamie was a beautiful person, inside and out. She not only excelled in show handling, she made it fun for myself and for the Airedales. She will be forever in our hearts.
Bright and Warm
That is how I knew you
That is how I will remember you,
Professional Handler, Owner and Operator of Happy Tails Ranch, Inc.
I remember the first day I walked into Joyci and Alan Feldman’s home. I was surrounded by Briards circling around me. I kept walking until I reached the living room where Joyci invited me to have a seat on the couch.
It was an interview for an amazing job to show their Briard, Bam Bam. Waffles (the litter brother) was already shown to his championship by Jamie on the East Coast.
Joyci pulled out photo albums and proceeded to show me beautiful show pictures of Jamie and all of the Briards she showed for them over the years. Jamie was very successful, not only with the Feldman’s Briards but also with so many other dogs she showed. I felt a little intimidated, but also excited that I had an incredible opportunity to join such a wonderful family.
The first time I met Jamie was at a dog show. She was showing a Briard named Gibbs for the Feldmans. She had a unique connection with Gibbs and showed him to perfection.
As the years went on, Jamie and I acquired a special friendship while showing for the Feldmans. I always admired Jamie’s professionalism and talent.
My heart goes out to Jamie’s family and friends. It’s a tragic loss to our industry and she will be terribly missed.
Where do I start? With her smile, her laugh, her pearls, or just her funny ways?
Jamie will always leave an impression on me and on all of us in the dog show world.
She had an amazing personality and, at times, a very dry sense of humor that made me laugh some days at the shows.
The crazy question that we would all ask one another was, “How are things going today?” Jamie would reply, “Well, you know how it is.” We would smile and go to the next ring. I remember standing ringside, waiting to show dogs, and we would ask, “What game are we playing today?” Jamie’s reply was, “Your guess is as good as mine.” Just the dry comedian, she made the long days at shows go easier.
May we all continue to remember Jamie with kindness and compassion, and for the love she had for dogs, animals, and people.
Forever in Our Hearts…
There are people who enter our lives at different times for different reasons. Jamie came to work for us as a teenager for a summer. Her talent with dogs was a natural talent, and as she grew up, her natural ability just shined through!
Over the years, we remained friends and became better friends. I admired her for so many reasons, and told her how proud I was of her and how mega-talented I thought she was.
To lose such a strong beacon of light at such a young age is so hard for me to wrap my head around… this one is really hard.
I will miss your infectious smile and your incredible laugh, and those strong and warming hugs you gave.
My life was richer for knowing you, and now there’s a void that can never be filled.
I hope you know how much I loved you and how highly I thought of you.
Rest in Peace, Beautiful Jamie.
When you decide to send your dogs out to shows with a handler, your first thought is, “Who will love my dog as much as I do?” I found that answer in Jamie Donelson; a wonderful, caring, funny, and just the sweetest person I have known in the 20-plus years that I have been showing dogs. I will never forget the four-hour round-trip to drive my Bernese Mountain Dogs up to her home, or how happy they were every time they saw her. She met most of my family when they joined me on that ride. Yes, they all joined me at one time or another on that beautiful ride through the Connecticut countryside.
I will miss that ride, and I’m so glad that I made it with Brooklyn just a few short weeks before we lost you. You will be missed, and I hope that my girl Dylan was waiting for you and that you are laughing and running together again. My heart goes out to your family and to all who loved you. You will be missed.
Jamie was not only someone I looked up to in this profession, but someone I looked up to in general. She was the kindest person I’ve ever met—and probably ever will. She was always willingly to lend a hand or an ear, and she gave you everything she had in everything she did. Jamie made an impact in the life of every person she touched. That impact will continue to live on through the rest of us. Jamie will never be forgotten, and I know that every time I think of her I will smile because that’s what she would want all of us to do.
Jaime has always been a role model for me. She idolized professionalism, ethics, and the care and conditioning of her dogs along with so much more. She was always there to lend an ear, and in return, to give her honest advice. Jamie’s presence will truly be missed.
Rest softly, sweet angel. Thank you for being you. <3
The world is sweeter and kinder for having known Jamie. Her presence is within each of us as we remember her. I will forever cherish our friendship. #BeLikeJamie #Pink&Pearls4Jamie
Jamie was an extraordinary person. She was the person we should all strive to be in our lives. Always smiling, kind and willing to help anyone in any way she could; a good sense of humor, didn’t sweat the small stuff, loved the dogs, patience of a saint, and so pleasant to be around. I am a better person for having known Jamie and I will miss spending time with her.
Dearest Jamie, You will be forever young, forever beautiful, forever kind and generous of spirit, forever missed, and forever loved. Until we meet again,
Jamie Donelson… first impression, that smile!
We started out as client and handler. I soon learned how caring Jamie was about the dogs and I saw how they responded to her like she had known them from birth. Tails wagged, sloppy kisses…
Yes, there was plenty of winning with my dogs, and with many others on the truck. Whether we won or not, Jamie was going to enjoy the day, the moment, and the people around her.
I will miss the times we spent chatting about stuff… those early mornings when Jamie came in dressed down (no makeup). Me bringing early (EARLY!) morning STARBUCKS so that we could all wake up!
I remember during the COVID shows, we groomed outdoors. And at one show weekend last fall—Saturday temps about 50 degrees (grooming not a problem) and Sunday temps about 30 degrees—as the morning wore on, it was snowing. So, there we were blow-drying dogs in the snow (LOL) and Jamie just got it done!
We became dog show friends, and then ultimately, Jamie became my friend. She was there through my tough times and always had a minute to let me ramble on, about nothing!
I’m sorry that I didn’t get to hug Jamie one more time or to see that winning smile as I left the show site, but I will keep the memory of her forever.
Thank you, Jamie, for the wins, the advice, and the listening. Thanks for EVERYTHING!
Sherry, David & Colin Henderson:
Jamie was a wonderful person and always kind. She helped our son when he would show and she always encouraged him. She was one of the few handlers that we entrusted with our dogs.
She loved them like they were her own.
Jamie’s kind spirit will be greatly missed.
Sherry, David & Colin Henderson
Having reached the Jurassic period of my judging career (now at 37 years) I have had the pleasure of having this true professional handler grace my ring with her professional abilities and equally professional demeanor. I have always thought of her as a tough competitor but also as someone that is an asset to the sport of dogs. Always a gracious winner and an equally professional demeanor when she did not. Our sport has lost one of those very special people.
In Memory of Jamie Donelson