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My sweet little Conner


Shannon RN

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This is my first post to this board. I wrote this August 3rd 2007

 

 

 

Today I put Conner to sleep…

 

 

 

 

Conner's place in my life was the result of divine intervention. I was in process of finding a new home for Dusty my border collie that had a bad habit of biting and was in contact with a person whom I considered knowledgeable in border collie personality. I had discussed Dusty with him on line and tried all of the tips that my on line friend offered going even so far as taking him 60 miles away one way every week for training. In the end nothing that I did helped and I needed to find Dusty a new home.

 

 

 

 

I emailed my friend and to ask him if there was anything else that he could think of but didn't hear back from him before I found the perfect place for Dusty. I was heart broken but it had to be done. After I took Dusty to his new home I came home to three emails, all written within a few minutes of each other. The first said something like, "Don't get rid of him…call me!" The second said, "If you've gotten rid of him go get him back and call me!" The third said, "If you've gotten rid of him and you can't get him back I really need to find a new home for Conner ...Call ME!" And that is what I did.

 

 

 

 

He said that he had a female border collie, with the sweetest temperament and he thought we would be perfect for each other. (His female Meg and Conner were not getting along). Conner was 2 1/2 years old and he had rescued her the year before from someone who had kept her in her crate most of the time. The only problem was that he was in Denver and I was in Nashville. I told him that he was NOT going to believe this but I already had a trip planned to Denver in two weeks!

 

 

 

When I got to Denver my boyfriend Scott and I rented a car and drove to his home. There I met Conner. She was so cute and so sweet and I loved her from the minute I saw her and I know she loved me…it was meant to be. He let us take her back to the hotel with us. That night she crawled up in bed with us and snuggled up next to Scott and didn't move. She spent that night and the next day with us. Scott said that I would be crazy not to take her, I had already come to that conclusion and a few days later my new friend loaded her on a plane and sent her to me.

 

 

 

 

I cannot even begin to describe the joy she brought to me. Her tail wagged her body when she saw me. She was persistent but not to the point of annoyance…if there was a ball close she had to roll it, chase it or have you throw it. She was a Frisbee fanatic! She could play soccer with the best of them and the word "Light" put her into a tailspin. She LOVED with a capital "L" her laser pointer. Any time there were visitors in my home she would sit staring at the shelf where her "light" was kept…she always conned someone into playing with her.

 

 

 

 

Conner loved going through the drive through at Mc Donald's. When she heard the voice over the speaker say, "Welcome to Mc Donald's may I take your order" her tail shook her body fervently. I would load her and Scott's dog Baily in my car and take them through the drive through and get two plain cheese burgers and they would share, a piece at a time, taking turns as I fed them. They were both so excited so grateful and so cute.

 

 

 

I once took Conner alone through the drive through at the bank…the woman came over the speaker said something and Conner jumped up so excited! When I got my receipt and drove away I turned and looked at her. She fell flat on her belly, dropped her head to her paws and sighed. Bless her heart! She thought we were driving though and she didn't get a burger! (Our next stop after that pitiful show was of course Mc Donald's).

 

 

 

 

I could go on and on with Conner stories, how she would pop my little shih tzu, Nik, on the head with her paw when she wanted him to play. How she would talk to me if I ignored her with sounds you would never think a dog could make. How she could lick your face completely before you had time to turn your head. How her OCD sometimes frustrating some times humorous never ceased to amaze me. How she was a loving loyal companion that brightened every day of my life for the last 10 plus years.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday morning I came home from work and she didn't meet me at the door like she had every morning for the last ten years. I called her and she came out of my office and I let her out outside…she stumbled down the front steps and I was frightened. When she finished she came halfway up the steps and stopped…I saw sadness in her eyes and knew that she couldn't go any further. I gently picked her up and for the first time realized that she was so light. My heart dropped. I ran in to the house and called my vet. "Can I bring Conner in…she couldn't climb up the steps and I'm worried!" "Sure", he said, "Give me about 30 minutes." They asked if I could leave her for a few minutes and come back, I did since I don't live far. An hour later he called me, and told me the bad news. Conner has leukemia and it is advanced.

 

 

 

 

I couldn't help it…I couldn't maintain my composure. My eyes welled up with tears and my voice cracked. "What would you do if she were your dog", I asked. The answer wasn't what I wanted to hear but it was the truth. "I would put her to sleep…sooner rather than later." I headed back to pick her up, and I couldn't quit crying. When I got there he had me feel the large lymph nodes behind her knees. I never noticed them for all of the fur on her legs. He explained that they should be the size of a bean. I asked him if I could take her home for a day and he said that it would be fine, he would give her a shot that would give her a sense of well being for about 48 hours. We agreed I would bring her back Friday to put her to sleep. On the way home from the vet we drove through Mc Donald's and got two plain cheeseburgers…the next day I got six…she had cheeseburgers from Mc Donalds and home made ones, her favorite thing, for the last two days of her life.

 

 

 

 

So…today I put my sweet little Conner to sleep. I have never had to do this before and I was terrified. My dear friend Julie was in town and came to my house to pick us up. Conner who had hardly moved for the past two days except when I picked her up to take her out side dashed in to the living room when she heard Julie and stared at the shelf where her laser pointer light was kept. We shined it for her. Her eyes brightened and her ears perked up and once again, for the last time, her tail wagged her body. Julie took pictures of the both of us and we all got in Julie's Jeep.

 

 

 

When we got to the vet we were the only ones there. He told me to put Conner on the table and he showed Julie the nodes and explained what was going on. He asked me if I was going to stay and I said yes. I couldn't leave her the last moments of her life, I wanted to love and comfort her to the end. This had nothing to do with me ...it was all about her. He asked me to move to the end of the table at Conner's face. He shaved a spot on her right her front leg. I put my face in her face while I held her head in my hands and rubbed her ears. He looked at me and then inserted the needle. Before she went to sleep for the very last time I whispered in her ear like I did every night before I went to bed…"I love you Conner, you're my favorite border collie in the whole wide world"…

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I'm so sorry for your loss. Conner was a beautiful girl and you obviously loved each other a great deal. I'm glad you were there for her right to the end. I did the same for my first dog and I thought the pain would never go away. Five years later, I still carry her tag on my keychain, but the pain has receded and the good memories are clear. Your story brought tears to my eyes, both for you and Conner, and the memories it stirred.

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My tears are rolling with yours. What a beautiful homage. I can see how well she was loved. Our prayers are with you through this very difficult time.

 

 

PS. I also fed my 15 year old choc labMcDonalds hamburgers during her last days.

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What a beauty. I am very sorry for you loss.

Although I can hardly ever make it through these posts I love to read about these great dogs and just how much love, fun and excitement they bring to out lives.

She was a lucky dog to have had you as such a loyal friend as well.

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Why do I read these? I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope in time your pain heals. No other dog can replace Conner, but I'm sure if you get another, it will be a border collie. I always have. We do love our dogs so much. You did the best you could. RIP sweet Conner.

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Just like everyone else, tears fell in our home tonight as we read your post....Connor was lucky to have you, and you honored her to the very end. We lost our dog around the same time, and our memories of the last days are still fresh and raw. Your writing brought it back vividly...

 

I'm sorry for your loss. Our dogs leave impressions on our hearts that stay with us...leaving us with a deeper experience of the beauty in loving. Connor left her mark on your life, on your heart...and that place will always be hers. May her memory carry you through the pain of her loss....

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Thank you EVERYONE! I knew I came to the right place and am sad that I didn't find this site before I lost Conner. I have since gotten her ashes back and have a little Conner shrine in my office (her favorite place). Yesterday I got some great news. The man that gave me Conner over 10 years ago emailed me and this was his note:

 

Shannon

 

My male Dakota and 2nd female Nell are due to have puppies any day now. If you are interested I want to give you first pick. Please call me

 

 

Andrew

 

I did call him and he was so sweet! I had planned to go see my daughter (who moved to Denver last year) at the beginning of November just when my new puppy will be ready for a new home. I had decided on Saturday that a house without a border collie just isn't a home and had thought about looking again...just hours before he emailed me...divine intervention again? I am hopeful. I am so missing Conner that I can't stand it but looking forward to another sweet border collie to love an once again make my house a home.

 

I appreciate all of your thoughts more than you know.

 

Shannon

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Shannon,

I am so sorry for your loss. I've read this thread a few times but it's taken till now before I could post. I feel your pain and loss. I had to put my heart dog down 12 years ago and reading things like this brings back memories of that day.

 

Who knows. Maybe Devine Intervention is stepping in. Conner will always be in your heart. The love you have for her will never be replaced by another. Instead another dog will create their own place in your heart. And an empty house does seems to magnify the loss and sorrow. If you feel you're ready and the thought of having another puppy puts a smile on your face, I say go for it. I'm sure Conner would agree.

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I'm so very sorry for your loss - it's always hard to do the right thing and let them go when we want so hard to keep them with us. But you did what was best for Conner. It's clear that she was well-loved.

 

The puppy won't replace Conner but hopefully it will make your loss a little easier to bear. And the puppy is very lucky to have found such a wonderful home!

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I feel sad for you, I too like the others had to put my Bc to sleep, I also held him like you did and told him he was the best dog in the world, Conner will always be with you. I think it was conner who has led you to your new puppy, you will have to post when you have the pup, maybe then you will have a smile and laughter again.

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I can only read a few of these at a time. I'd be crying for a long time if I read them all at once. I'm sorry for Conner and for you. You went through just the same thing I did last December. Your words brought back memories. Conner was a beautiful girl and I think she was very lucky to have you.

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  • 1 month later...

conner sure was a lucky girl...i am sure, after reading your words, and hearing hers (bark) in the video of conner and her favorite toy. as much as i was sad for you, i must tell you how hard i laughed watching conner dig faster than anything. i am lucky with my first bc, who is 7 months. i hope all is well with you.

-diane

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  • 2 weeks later...
conner sure was a lucky girl...i am sure, after reading your words, and hearing hers (bark) in the video of conner and her favorite toy. as much as i was sad for you, i must tell you how hard i laughed watching conner dig faster than anything. i am lucky with my first bc, who is 7 months. i hope all is well with you.

-diane

 

 

Thank you Diane, I laugh when I watch that video too! We started the laser before I knew better (now understand it may not be a great toy for a BC due to obsessive issues) but for us it was great fun. She loved her light. I have a new puppy now who is a dear but Conner will always be my most special girl.

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