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A Last Good Bye -


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I'd like to offer one last tribute, one last good bye to those, four-legged and two, who we lost in 2010. They've touched our lives, made us better people, and although we'll never forget them, I thought it would be nice to remember them one last time in 2010.


Kleenex time.

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It's so very hard to read this thread without thinking of my own dogs, past and present, without the tears. So sorry to all who lost a special dog, special pet or special person in your life in 2010. They all touch our lives in so many ways and they will never be forgotten.

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We lost our old cat, Inji, this year. She was just past 20 when it became clear it was time to let her go. I picked her as a 7 week old kitty from a stray cat litter my friend was caring for. I'd never had my own pet before and I picked her because she hissed and spit at me and I thought that meant she'd be a confident, feisty, independent critter. She was.


And, she was my little companion. She went with me to do fieldwork, welcomed my partner into our family, begrudgingly accepted the kitten we got when we moved from Texas to Ohio, didn't mind the move to Michigan, where she became an indoor kitty, accepted the addition of five more cats over the years, and, of course, shook her head but said "O.K." as we started adding dogs, starting with the mutt, Renzo and proceeding through the border collies (she missed meeting Laddie). All the dogs always gave her wide berth and she was truly the queen of our home.


She had a great life but knowing that doesn't make the hole she left any smaller.




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Having lost elderly pets during 2 out of the last 3 years, I know how hard it is to lose our longtime companions. For those who are grieving a loss, I wish you comfort in the new year. It's cliche but time does ease the loss and makes the memories special/bittersweet instead of painful. For me, given time, I remember my pets in their prime rather than old and fragile - Sara runs and soars through the air after her frisbee in my mind. Our dogs (and cats, horse, guinea pigs, etc.) are gone but not forgotten.

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We've been through illnesses and loss of 2 beloved dogs and 2 wonderful cats since June, 2008.

Samantha Chloe, the best good dog ever. She was our first border collie, and my memories of her running like the wind or playing tug make me smile.

Angel Kitty, our border kitty sweetheart. She loved to cuddle, was Nurse Kitty to both Duke and Buzz in the last months of their lives.

Duke, the Evil Orange Cat, who lived to create trouble. We miss his silly attempts to aggravate any dog, any time.

Buzz Leavethecatalonedammit! We saved him, literally a few hours before being euthanized, and he changed our lives in so many wonderful ways.


I hate coming to this part of the Board and love it, all at the same time. It's where we gather to comfort each other in that most painful, and most unavoidable part of our dogs' lives.


Thanks, Vicki, for posting this reminder. Rushdoggie, I'll be raising a glass tonight as well, and lighting a candle when I take some time to remember all those who have gone on.



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Owd Bob died in May. When I first saw him two years ago, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. It wasn't so much that Bob was not a purebred border collie, but it was more that he was old. Really old, which meant his chances of being adopted were slim to none. Still, I'm a sucker for old dogs and so Bob, and his younger companion, Chuck came home with me that April day. On the ride home, I thought --- a lot, what I was going to do with this old dog --- another mouth to feed. Before we arrived home, I knew that if there was not another sucker out there who actually wanted this old dog, Bob would have a home with me for the rest of his days.


His coat was sparse, dull and felt like straw. He had difficulty with mobility. I put him on a good diet and in time, his coat started coming in, became soft and actually shone. And Bob, while he never ran, eventually began to move better and his stamina increased. And as time went on, I realized what a kind dog Bob was, what a great heart beat within this old dog. Bob became my buddy, my companion and accompanied me as I did chores. Bob became my self-appointed sidekick and he took this job very seriously. His place was with me. Bob was there as I raked leaves, mowed grass, shoveled snow --- any outdoor chores, Bob was there keeping me in his view. When I'd head down the long drive to the mail box, he'd walk with me then too, but he couldn't walk as fast and by the time I got the mail and made my way back up the drive, I'd meet Bob coming down. He'd greet me with his snaggle toothed grin and I'd greet him back with a crumple to his ear and kiss him on top of that old noble head. He helped unruly dogs with an ugly face at the offenders. He quickly learned what was acceptable behavior and what was not in what was now his new home. At the end of a busy day, Bob slept the sleep that all old dogs do, resting for the next day.


Then one day this past May, Bob didn't rise to greet me when I came home from work. Deep in my gut, I knew this was the end and when I brought him into the house, he went into a seizure. It was late in the day and I made him comfortable. During the night he must have had some more, because I awoke to find Bob unable to get up. Seizures had exhausted him and he lay in one spot


I bundled him up and on the way to work, I stopped at a vet I had used before. They had to carry him in on a guerney. He had no strength left in him. While they prepared him, I stayed with him and as his soul left this world, the last thing he heard was that I loved him and that he can now run free --- actually run, like he did when he was young, long before we met.


I love you Owd Bob. You'll always be my good boy.


When I first got him:









A couple of months before he died:


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To Maggie, my heart dog, and all the others! Four months later the tears still flow when I think about her loss and yet there are almost daily reminders that she's not really gone, just has shifted forms.

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