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Mikey, Mikey, Mikey


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He was not a Border Collie, but all his friends and "family" were and sometimes he seemed to think he was one, too.

 

I lost my last Nova Scotia Duck Toller today. At 16, it was time and last night when he could not move and I had to drag his bed into my room so I could listen to his breathing, I knew I had to do it.

 

Tollers are a lot like Border Collies - smart, loyal, trustworthy. Mikey was also kind, gentle and about the best service dog that ever lived. He could find ANY scent in the air, didn't mind being dropped from a helicopter and would not quit until he found what he was looking for.

 

He saved peoples lives. Several of them over the years. He got more cards, letters and presents than I did :)

 

If I had to pick one dog, just one, to take to a dessert island with me, it would have been Mikey.

 

His last words were, fittingly, a ghost of a "found them" call. He passed gently, surrounded by creatures that loved him, and has gone on to rest under the big chestnut tree by the swimming pond, where he had his mud hole and buried his bones.

 

He worked hard and well, he was good at his job. He was a good friend and companion and I will miss him terribly.

 

Go on, Mikey, take a rest, you earned it.

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Thanks to everyone for their condolences.

 

I don't know about heart dogs. I can think of three dogs that I could not bear NOT to call that. Mikey was one of them.

 

As has happened to me before, I am sorry that I never kept one of his puppies. But - eh - if I kept one of every litter from a special dog, they would be doing a tv special about me - and not in a good way.

 

I hung his collar on the honour wall today (like a dog trophy case - a wall in one of the tack rooms where we hang the collars of our working dogs that have passed). He has the distinction of being the only non stockdog on the wall. My grandfather used to say that you could tell the real value of a dog by the stories that people told about it when they passed its collar. Let's hope Mikey generates a story or two.

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