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Kipp, Dec 2004 - May 2014

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I said good-bye to my little dude today. In the last day it became clear that, while his heart was still willing, his body was failing. So I helped give him the easiest way out of the fight he was loosing. He was just nine years old and I only had him for seven and a half of those years. Way too short. He was supposed to work a couple more years then enjoy a long retirement chewing nylabones, harassing the cat and just hanging out being my buddy.


When I went looking for Border Collie #2, I wanted a traditionally marked, rough coated male puppy. I came away up with a small, adult, smooth coated male (at least I got the male part!) But there was nothing small about his attitude. He was always ready to take on whatever life brought. Even when that was just hanging out being my buddy. He was frustrating, amusing, challenging, fun and had the most.expressive.face.EVER.


When I ended up choosing to train for SAR work instead of herding trials my little go-with-the-flow dog took it in stride and became a wilderness search dog (though I'm sure he would have preferred working sheep). The dog who had rarely been off the farm in his first year of life happily traveled thousands of miles in the back of my car.


I honestly don't think he ever intended to loose the fight with cancer. He was a determined, persistent little dog loaded with try and that really shone these last couple months. I was in and out of the vet's office numerous times and several times I wondered if it was the final trip. But he kept bouncing back and making me smile. Even with a red blood cell count down to 13% he still wanted to follow me around the house, go for rides, play tug and tried to figure out how to slip past me to go work sheep.


Thanks Little Dude for challenging me to become a better trainer, letting me fulfill a dream of being a SAR dog handler and making me a better person in the process. I'm sorry I couldn't do more for you at the end. You deserved so much better than that stupid cancer.





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I am truly sorry for your loss, Mara. You did the best you could for him while he was sick, and more than that, you provided him with an end to his pain when that was what he needed most--truly the most selfless and loving act we can bestow upon our beloved dogs. Rest in peace Kipp.

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I've followed Kipp's story, all the updates and pictures, more meticulously than I have any other posts on this board. He is quite the dog - I wish I'd heard about him before all this. Regardless, seeing his expressions in pictures and hearing about his perseverance made me want to meet this beautiful breed even more. I have no words of comfort, only my thanks for sharing bits and pieces of a dog that has touched me, somehow, without even knowing me.

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I am so sorry for you, Mara. I know you did all you could, and that Kipp has had a loving home with you. The grief we feel when we lose them is an indicator of what a wonderful presence they were in our lives.

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