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Alis Margaret

EDITORS NOTE: Many in Paris will remember this little dog who traveled from Utah with her owner; Secretariat statue’s sculptor Jocelyn Russell, and Michael Dubail, all the way to Paris to the dedication of Secretariat Park last month. Alis Margaret died tragically last week.

Alis Margaret was born on her parent’s anniversary, Sept 28, 2000 in Lampasas, Texas. On November 27, Jocelyn Russell (Momma Dog) picked her up for her first flight at eight weeks of age, destination Friday Harbor, Washington.

Named in honor of husband Michael Dubail’s mother, Alis Margaret began her training for two positions: Livestock guard dog by day (goats, geese, chickens) and service dog for Jocelyn’s late night vertigo. Michael (Daddy Dog) became an integral force in her training and care, and her bond to her family was palpable.

Her formative months included obedience training and extensive daily walks each morning on her property’s forest trails. She was headstrong and sassy, yet willing to work for cheese.

As she matured, she continued her independent personality yet began to excel at each task requested, including protecting the farm animals with fierce devotion. She learned vultures were acceptable and eagles were predators. She kept the raccoons and fox at bay and she despised rats. She loved her goats although often nipped an ear while passing by, an obvious objection to our goat affection. As she continued training for service dog duties, she began fulfilling public access requirements and commenced extensive travel, including 73 flights and visiting 26 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Being an Aussie, she was ever-vigilent and occasionally would alert that a child (or adult) was approaching loudly with high energy. She always overcame her concern with affection.

The Triple Crown tour, honoring Secretariat’s 50yr anniversary of the iconic race victories, afforded Alis many opportunities to meet and be met. Her following grew and her spirit drew people closer. She proudly guarded her monument trailer during events and was available to task at night. She met dignitaries and garnered as much attention as the monument, and her regal presence captivated all.

She passed unexpectedly on November 27, 2023, exactly three years to the day she was brought to her farm. She had her nose in the wind and was embracing her freedoms, as she always wanted.

She is survived by all who love her and will remain in our hearts forever.

“Oh very young, what will you leave us this time…You’re only dancin’ on this earth for a short while” – Cat Stevens


  1. Jocelyn Russell on December 15, 2023 at 9:41 am

    We are forever grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the Paris community and for offering Alis the honor of being included in so many ways. Thank you. ❤️

    • Marilyn Dicks on December 16, 2023 at 11:12 am

      So very sorry for the loss of Alis Margaret. She was such an integral part of the whole Secretariat experience and gave so many the joy of seeing her. She will be missed terribly by a great many who loved her and I know her spirit is there with you.

  2. Tracy Winkler on December 15, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to an incredible sweet soul!!

  3. Susan Whitcomb on December 15, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    Very sad to hear of her sudden passing. I only met her once, this summer in Saratoga, but she is unforgettable. What a sweet and smart girl. Deepest condolences to her family.

  4. Theresa Abbott on December 15, 2023 at 6:12 pm

    She will forever be in my memory. I followed you on all of Secretariat travels, for my daughter. She is a GREAT fan. So sorry for your loss, but you have a lot of wonderful memories.

  5. Kali Linn on December 15, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    What a lovely tribute to a beautiful soul who touched so many lives and gave so much love and joy.

  6. Yvonne Barrus on December 15, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    Beautiful tribute to Alis, Jocelyn, and Michael. Had the privilege of spending a little time with Alis and getting to know her sweet spirit. She will always be remembered and loved.

  7. Barbra Case on December 15, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    It broke my heart to learn of sweet Alis’ passing. I hope you are surrounded by only hood memories of your sweet pup💔

  8. Jean Moore on December 15, 2023 at 7:22 pm

    A wonderful tribute to a dedicated and wonderful companion.

  9. Cheryl Balmas on December 15, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    My condolences to the family, friends and fans of Alys Margaret. My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach when I read the news, so I can’t even imagine what the family is going through. While I didn’t attend the Secretariat dedication in Paris I did follow the journey and adventures of this family, the dog and the monument traveling across the country. I think we all fell in love with Alys Margaret and we most definitely appreciate her being shared with us. May you feel the arms of the fans surround and support you and may the memories you shared with your beloved companion give you peace at this time. We will never forget her.❤️

  10. Lydia Griffith on December 15, 2023 at 7:31 pm

    Such a beautiful writeup for a very beautiful and loved canine companion. She will be honored and remembered always

  11. Jill Angell on December 15, 2023 at 8:32 pm

    Alis Margaret was such a beautiful dog, so full of charisma and sweetness. It was an honor to meet her in November. My condolences to Jocelyn and Michael in their loss of Alis.

  12. Teri Shelton on December 15, 2023 at 10:12 pm

    She was a gorgeous attentive girl! Always very alert, watching everyone and everything around her. So very sorry for your loss Jocelyn and Michael, it was a pleasure meeting both of you and Alis at the dedication. You remain in my thoughts and prayers ❤️

  13. Jim Lowe on December 16, 2023 at 7:35 am

    Run in God’s green pastures with Secretariat Alis. We’ll miss you!!

  14. Diane Daley on December 16, 2023 at 8:41 am

    I followed your travels on FaceBook. Thank you for sharing them with me. I am so very sorry for your loss. I have no other words.

  15. Karen Krumrine on December 16, 2023 at 10:01 am

    I am so sad and sorry to learn of your beautiful Alis Maragaret’s passing! It’s never easy to lose a beloved fur baby. Hugs 🤗🙏💔❤️

  16. Kim Macey on December 16, 2023 at 10:09 am

    She was such a huge part of the Secratariat festival…guarding the statue, riding in the carriage and back of the Dodge Ram, just being a great dog!!
    Thank you so much for this beautiful tribute. Sending much love to Jocelyn and Michael ❤️❤️❤️

  17. Suzy Woodward on December 19, 2023 at 9:33 pm

    I’m so sorry. I know the pain and I wouldn’t wish it on ANYONE. She was just precious, smart, witty, (yes I could tell from the posts). I’m sorry I never met her but I still knew her thanks to your posts! Everyone loved her, even those of us who never met her… I know your heart will heal in time but never the same. Thank you for giving us this wonderful tribute! ❤️

  18. Richard Hudson on December 26, 2023 at 10:55 pm

    On 12/11/23 my wife and I visited the Secretariat Park in Paris, Kentucky. I remember watching online the workers installing the Statue of Secretariat and Alis Margaret walking around the Monument. I also, watched with great anticipation the trip across the country with the Statue of Secretariat. Alis Margaret was an amazing and beautiful dog. I lost my beloved cat of seventeen years in March of this year. So I can relate to this. My prayers and thoughts go with you always on your loss. GOD BLESS!!

    • Mary Kniffen on January 2, 2024 at 5:08 pm

      A beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl. I was fortunate to meet Alis Margaret at the Secretariat dedication in Paris, Kentucky and will cherish that memory. I offer my sincere condolences for your loss. She was a special girl.

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