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Sue R

Reunion at the Bridge

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RocketBabeandMac1993.jpg

 

Rocket (1985-2000) - Babe (1993-2008) - MacLeod (1992-2007)

 

The last of these three made the crossover today. Babe (center) was born in March 1993. We've said for the last couple of winters that we wouldn't put her through another one and we finally made good on that promise. I guess that age 15 was the magic number for each of them.

 

Babe was a bottle baby and grew up believing she was something more than a cow. We spent so much time waiting to find the "right" name for her that the name, "Baby Cow", became her name by default. Calling her "The Babe" helped to avoid sounding stupid calling a half-ton-plus cow, "Baby". She spent quite some time with the family. If she got out of the pasture, we'd find her on the front porch, looking in the window and hoping for some company. You can't miss seeing an adult cow on your front porch.

 

When she was a baby, our MacLeod (the Aussie on the right) was just a young dog turning one year of age. They played together in the yard and out in the pasture behind the house. A favorite game would involve Babe, now much bigger than Mac, to put her head down so he could stand up with his feet on her face and play "bitey-face" with her curly poll. I wrote once about the last time they were able to that, before Mac became too stiff in the hind end to play like that. It was very endearing to see two old friends playing their childhood game, while a bit slower and graying than before.

 

As Babe did not join the cowherd until she was quite grown, she didn't consider herself a cow and really didn't want anything to do with those nasty creatures. It took her quite some time to reconcile herself with a life with cows instead of people and her "companion" dog.

 

She always preferred Mac's company. He absolutely refused to work her (even when she needed some working). She trusted him so much that she would let him clean off her newborn calves. He, being one of the world's greatest small and baby animal nursemaids, was happiest when he had a baby to care for and protect.

 

Mac was our son's dog originally but, when our son preferred to no longer be Mac's person, he became my husband's and then our family's dog. Actually, if you were to poll most of the family, and ask them whose dog was Mac, they'd each lay claim to him. He was a faithful companion, farm dog, orphaned calf nursemaid/protector, protector of all baby and small animals (like house rabbits), walking and riding partner, and guardian. I never worried when our youngest daughter went for long excursions on the farm, as long as Mac was with her.

 

Unlike any of our Border Collies, Mac was a natural guardian. We spent a week one summer having our roof redone. We carefully took Mac out every morning to greet the work crew, and he was fine with them working around the house, coming to the door for something, etc. Until the last day, when Lisa and I went for a ride and left Laura in the house alone watching a video. Harry (the contractor) came to the door to borrow the phone. Well, Harry tried to come to the door to borrow the phone. Mac was fine as long as the workmen stayed on the roof where they belonged. No one was going to come to the house where his best friend was alone. Not on his watch. Harry had to sneak around back and call to Laura through an open window.

 

Mac was like that with his baby calves. He loved to play with a neighbor dog, Maggie. She was his best dog friend. She made the mistake of ambling through the pasture one spring day when there were calves present. Mac raced out, body-slammed her, and sent her yelping home. No family cat could enter a room where Mac was tending an orphan calf or keeping vigil over the body of a beloved rabbit that had just passed on. That same cat could expect the same protection from stray cats or dogs that Mac gave to any of "his" other creatures.

 

As for Rocket, as you can see in the photo, he was thoroughly disgusted by having to lie next to "the enemy". Cattle were meant to be worked, not socialized with. He was a good dog who got a lot of work done in spite of our totally inept and uneducated efforts at on-the-job training. He spent a long enough time as a young dog, peeking around a barrier at the scary cattle, that we despaired he'd ever make a stock dog. He did, and he made a fearless one.

 

He's the dog that helped save Ed's life from a mother cow with a calf she felt she needed to protect. He's the one that got the bull by the nose when he was acting uppity towards Ed, and went for a wild merry-go-round ride on the end of that bull's nose. When the bull finally got dizzy and stopped, Rocket deftly let go and dropped to the ground, and watched that bull decide that his priorities lay elsewhere.

 

Rocket was shot one autumn, on the eve of hunting season. He covered seven miles or more and then wandered into a hunting camp where the good men who fed him for several days noticed that he was acting sick. He was full of infection from pellets in his skin, he had a severe concussion from the wad that split his skull, and he was in pain. The vet and I spent quite some time removing those many pellets from his handsome hide. He looked pretty silly with his butt end and other various parts shaved.

 

His eyesight never recovered from that concussion. Largely blind, he still worked cattle avidly and accurately. He was attacked while working cattle one day, by a Doberman. He sent the Doberman packing (obviously a bit of a bully and really a wussy dog), and turned right back to his stock.

 

With age, he became essentially blind and began to lose his hearing. If he got "lost" in the house, he'd stand and woof until someone came and touched him, and then he knew he was not alone and was quiet again. He spent his last years as Lisa's sidekick, hiking, biking, riding, climbing, and just hanging out. Not a bad retirement for a good dog.

 

Sorry to ramble but this was, after all, for a threesome. Please forgive me if it was inappropriate since only Rocket was a Border Collie (and only half, at that, as he was half Aussie, also). With Babe going, it's been a contemplative (and tearful) day at our house.

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I'm sorry for your loss - when you lose the last of a group, it seems to bring back all the pain of losing the others. I can relate since I recently lost an old cat that was the last pet of a quartet of pets I had for many years. I'm sure your trio have found each other at the Bridge and are having a high old time!

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Thanks for sharing the story of your wonderful threesome, Sue. I love the image of the three of them - their expressions are priceless. What a wonderful reunion they're surely having... How blessed you were to share 15 years with each of them.

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I'm sorry for your loss. Your trio might not be with you right now, but no one can take your memories.

 

Forgive for sharing your threesome with us??? Hell, we'll shed a tear with you and thank you for sharing what is on your heart with us.

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I'm sorry for your loss. Your trio might not be with you right now, but no one can take your memories.

 

Forgive for sharing your threesome with us??? Hell, we'll shed a tear with you and thank you for sharing what is on your heart with us.

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Aw, Sue, what a story! (...tear drips down cheek but a smile comes) The three of them were such characters, I'm certain they'll live on in your hearts for a very long time. It sure must be sad to see the last one go.

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I am so sorry for your loss. While the reunion of old friends at the Bridge will be wonderful, it will be completed when they are finally able to join you in crossing the Bridge. I hope that in the meantime these words might bring some comfort.

 

As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,

I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade.

I saw a wondrous image then of a place that's trouble-free

Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

 

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side

Were meadows rich and beautiful - lush and green and wide;

And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see

Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be.

 

My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new

And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do.

I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I'm alright,

That this place is truly wonderful; then a bright glow pierced the night.

 

Twas the glow of many candles, shining bright and strong and bold;

And I knew then that it held your love in its brilliant shades of gold.

For although we may not be together in the way we used to be

We are still connected by a cord no one can see.

 

So whenever you need to find me, we're never far apart

If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart.

 

Via con Dios, Babe.

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What a lovely and loving tribute.

 

My sympathies.

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And what a grand reunion there will be :rolleyes: Thank you for sharing. They certainly must have been a very impressive trio and your 'ramblings' brought tears to my eyes.

{{{{hugs}}}}}

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That was terrific. We lost two good old sheep last year and I know I'll be sad when another pair that are only a few years younger than them, pass on. I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier, it's been a hectic few days.

 

Patrick says his condolences to Ed - with the assumption that she's going to have a "proper burial." I like to plant something as a remembrance whether the animal is there or not.

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Shiro has waited for Babe at the Rainbow Bridge, and now, as we read....they are playing together.

 

Both send their love and kisses.....

 

Diane

 

ETA: Shiro loves cows

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What a wonderful tribute to an interesting and remarkable threesome. Thank you for sharing.

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Thank you for sharing the story of three special souls. Life feels so empty without them and the pattern of life is greatly altered with their passing. Great tribute.

 

Toni

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Oh, thank you for sharing your trio with us. Even fifteen years isn't really enough, but they're all together now and keeping each other company while they wait for the rest of the family.

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