Remembering Just-In

With sadness and mourning, the following article was written back in 2008 as a memorial to our beloved “Just-In”. This is in remembrance of our original Boykin Spaniel to Texas Trace. Just-In’s picture is proudly presented on each page of this website and is the center piece of our logo. There is much appreciation to Just-In and Greg for sharing their stories and experiences, but most of all the opportunity of enjoying Boykin Spaniels at Texas Trace with the entire family and the many extended family members. Without Just-In, there would be no “Texas Trace”.


The  photos on the left are of Curlee’s Just-In who passed peacefully with the help of our vet in May, 2006. The prognosis back in December 2005 was that Just-In had only 2 to 6 weeks left, so we are thankful for the 5 months Just-In gave us to adjust.

Just-In was as true a faithful and loyal companion a person could ever have. We mourn his passing but take great pride in his being. NetObjects Web Design Placeholder

Just-In, as is all our pups, was regarded as a full-fledged member of the family and was quite sure he was a human, not an animal. He went everywhere with us and if they would have issued him a frequent flyer card he would likely have more frequent flyer miles than the average human. 

He brought us all unabashed joy and happiness and instilled a pride that we have not experienced before or expect to experience anytime soon.  Just-In was also loving and would eventually win over the most reluctant person.

My spouse, Michelle, calls Just-In the King of All Dogs, and for good reason.  He was a truly magnificent dog, with such character, intensity, drive and an aristocratic bearing.  He was a certified alpha male; no therapy needed.  All this is accurately reflected in the all his photos.

Just-In left long before his time.  His death is incredibly hard and wrenching.  Recovery will be painfully slow, but forgetfulness will not be part of it.  I have lots of stories and will try to remember them and record them, including the time he saved my life. 

I choose the words of Senator George Vest, circa 1870, to commemorate the passing of Just-In: 

The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son and daughter that he has reared with loving care may become ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith.

The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him when he may need it most. Man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees and do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our head.

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his DOG. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wing and reputation falls to pieces, he is as content in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth an outcast into the cold, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard him against danger, and to fight against his enemies. When the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws and his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.”

Just-In was just such a dog -- as true a faithful and loyal companion a person could ever have.

Greg Copeland


Remembering Desie

The following article was first published January, 2014 in The Boykin Spaniel Standard, Issue 12, pages 16-17  written by Roslin Copeland.

Desie was Roslin’s first Boykin Spaniel and a matriarch of Texas Trace. Desie lived 14 1/2 years - “a hell of a life” but passed away December 23, 2013 and in this article Roslin remembers with fondness her first Boykin Spaniel.


Majestic Desie

Bella’s Destiny Being Majestic!
May 2, 1999 – December 23, 2013






There's nothing like your first Boykin Spaniel!

My first was Bella’s Destiny. I have had many come through my home as rescues, training and breeding but there’s nothing like your first.

Desie lived to 14 1/2 years of age. As evidenced by gray-haired face, cataract-glazed eyes and tired look from arthritic bones, she lived a great fulfilling long life, a “hell of a life”.  She was a wonderful friend, companion and an awesome hunter. She had a tremendous desire to live life to the fullest. She had a "never quit" attitude that thrived in the yard with bumpers, to the hunting fields flushing and retrieving birds, to her final minutes and breath of life.

She was tenacious and determined to get the spoils no matter the size or the conditions. There are many tall tales to be told that will fill my heart for years to come. I will share just a few.

There was one dove season in south Texas where lots of dove flew by and Michelle, the shooter, missed a few birds. Desie was very patient at first but grew weary of the misses. She finally could not hold back her disappointment and began voicing her opinion. At one point Michelle thought Desie was going to take the shotgun and shoot the birds herself. Desie did get to retrieve a few in the end.  Another time was on a pheasant hunt where many doubted that the little brown Desie could hold a big bird let-a-lone retrieve a big one through the tall milo and rolling thick grasslands. I, of course, had problems walking through, but Dez proved them wrong and met everyone's day's limit and she never wanted to stop.

Desie earned her weight pull title. I will never forget our first show and the look on people's faces when we walked in with a 29 lb brown curly haired dog. You could hear the snickers and feel the unwelcoming environment. She quickly earned their respect and was the darling of the show. People were leaving the conformation ring to come catch a glimpse of the little brown dog that would never quit. There was a large cheering crowd as she pulled over 500 lbs and won 1st place in her division.

She was the pack leader and protector of all her tribe; she possessed no fear as demonstrated by her fighting off copperheads, water moccasins, large possums and numerous other creatures and humans who meant harm to her or her tribe. She would not hesitate to protect with her life.

Once she jumped in between one of her young and a copperhead. She fought and flung the snake until it was killed. She was bit in several places and lost a portion of her tongue that night and to her last days had difficulty drinking water with half a tongue.

She touched many lives along the way. She became an unknowingly great therapist, laughed with many during troubled times, consoled some during depressing times, licked with her half tongue and loved like a good friend.  Ginger can attest to Desie’s therapy methods as she became her good listening buddy during trying times.

It would be regretful if I failed to mention her greatest ability. She was Houdini, the Boykin Spaniel. She could escape out of anywhere or anything. If you thought there was no way, well guess what, there was always a way. It was truly amazing and at one point, I thought we should go on a circus run to show off her talent.

As good as she was with hunting, Houdini escapes, loyalty, attitude, physical strength and therapy she struggled to save all the worlds’ problems. She however was a great Mom and has thrown off not only great hunting dogs but excellent conformational show ring champions and grand champions. I see a little of Desie in all her prodigy, but there will never again be a Desie, my first Boykin.

It was fitting that Greg, my brother who introduced me to Boykins and who led me to Desie was there as we lay her to rest at the Texas Trace Ranch.  I said a few last words to my ole buddy and teared up; Ginger cried and Greg read some wonderful words and released quail to the skies for her to chase. She has peacefully passed on and no longer has pain. She has produced her 6th generation and I’m sure many to come as her legacy lives on.

If you would like to read the full article as originally written with pictures,  Please click here to read.

Please visit our Retirement Page to read about their new adventures.