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Liz P

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I don't have the heart to write a proper memorial just yet. That will come in time. For today all I can do is share my grief with you. I lost a good dog to cancer this afternoon. He was brave and honorable to the very end. Rest in peace Flyboy.




Edited 7/3/10


I had a dream last night. In it Flyboy was young and healthy again. The end of the dream broke my heart, because I knew he was really gone.




Flyboy was a birthday gift. He was flown into NJ from VA on July 16th, 1998. It was a brutally hot summer day and a long trip from our home in CT. After driving in circles around the airpot for what seemed like hours we located the cargo area for American Airlines. As we approached the huge warehouse we could hear a puppy screaming at the top of his lungs and the workers screaming back at the pup to shut up. My first thought was, "Uh oh, I hope that isn't my puppy!" When they handed me a silent carrier from the front of the building I breathed a sigh of relief, until I looked inside and saw a Springer Spaniel.


Well, turns out that my puppy was the loud mouth. To his last days on earth Flyboy liked to howl and yodel with joy when I came home. I used to joke with people and tell them that I owned a wolf. Sometimes I think they believed me. Flyboy always knew how to express his joy for the world to share. Not only did he yodel, he also smiled with a wide toothy grin and did a happy dance that involved moving his body from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail.


Flyboy had a great sense of humor and he loved to play jokes on people. If I left him in the car while I went inside a store he would hunker down on the floor and wait for someone to walk past. When a person made the mistake of getting too close to the window he would pop up and bark. As the person screamed he would sit on the seat with a big grin on his face and making a huffing noise that was unmistakable as a laugh. If his victim had been brave enough to stick their hand through the window they would have been greeted by a lick and nose bump. Flyboy's nickname was Sir Pokes-A-Lot because of the way he slid his nose under your hand seeking affection.




While he had a fun loving side, Flyboy was truly the most honest, hard working dog I have ever owned. As a one year old dog he had a partial tear to his cruciate ligament while working. I saw him skip a single step and seem to slow down for a few paces. I called him over but couldn't find anything wrong. I asked him if he was ok to keep going. He wagged his tail and got right down to the task at hand. When we were finished I said, "that'll do" and called him over to the truck. He ran over and promptly collapsed. It took a full year for him to recover, but as soon as he was able to he started right where we left off, with perhaps an even stronger work ethic. I can't think of a single time that he ever quit on me. Flyboy was a 200% kind of guy.




He was a tough dog, there is no doubt in my mind about that, but Flyboy was also very gentle and loving. He didn't cuddle, that was beneath him, but he did show his love through a devoted gaze, a nose bump or by the simple act of being by your side. I would never go so far as to call him aggressive, and yet he was extremely caring and protective towards both his human family and other animals. He knew the difference between when force was required or a gentle nudge sufficed. The big tough working dog loved his kitties. Orphaned kittens were his absolute favorite thing in the whole world. It wasn't uncommon for him to carry them around in his mouth, share his food or even keep them out of trouble by shepherding them out of forbidden rooms in the house.




As he aged Flyboy became a stately gentleman, though he never did stop playing jokes. He was just starting to enjoy his life of retirement and creature comforts when I diagnosed him with hemangiosarcoma of the liver and spleen. It was the same type of cancer that had killed his best buddy, my other Border Collie (Duncan), just a few years previously.


Flyboy spent his last day on earth laying in the warm grass and watching the sheep and goats grazing. He was too weak to work them, but he was happy.


I hope that Duncan and Flyboy are together again at the Rainbow Bridge.


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I'm so sorry to read this. Words are so inadequate at a time like this. We get through it, but never over it. Prayers and a virtual hug being sent your way.



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Fergie and I are so sorry. But now Flyboy is a happy young puppy, waiting to greet you. And you know, that the time for you may be long, but his sense of it will be just a sec.

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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.


~ Author Unknown


Vaya con Dios, Flyboy.

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