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Lewie, the Border Collie


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It’s been, golly, three years since I’ve posted in the BC Forums. I hate that I’ve come back to post in this particular topic. Lewie wasn’t a working dog, heck, he wasn’t a purebred. But, he was by far the best dog I’ve ever had. His death is proving harder for me than any other of my past dogs and writing about him is cathartic.


The following is the post I made on FB about Lewie the day I let him go.




Today turned out to be the day every pet owner knows is coming but dreads to think about, the day we must make the hard decision to put a cherished pet to sleep. Today was that day for me.


Lewie, my beloved Border collie mix, has given me 10 years of companionship, devotion, challenges, laughs, and yes, love. Today was the day his body finally said, “I’m too tired. I’m done.” Lewie has suffered with a myriad of health issues since the age of 4 starting with a life-threatening auto-immune disease called Evans Syndrome, then Pancreatitis and finally, Diabetes. Today I discovered that his bladder was housing not just a raging infection, but had a developed a thickened wall while the inside had become “honeycombed’. If it had just been a bladder infection we may have been able to treat him with antibiotics. However, the vet also discovered a sizable tumor sitting behind his stomach. Even without a biopsy, he was 90% certain that it was cancerous. We talked about possibilities and options, but even with a healthy dog this type of tumor is difficult, at best, to remove. I won’t share the graphic details of the tumor and what it would have meant to Lewie’s remaining quality of life, but those details made it easier to opt for the hard but humanely simple choice of euthanasia.


It was quiet, quick and painless. I cupped Lewie’s head in my hands, my face touching his face while I whispered the sweet nothings he was so used to hearing from me. I stroked his head and drank in his brown eyes for the last time, wanting to always remember.


I’ve been through this before with pets that preceded Lewie, but this time was special. Lewie was special. He was my right-hand man and the best companion I’ve ever had or could have hoped for. I loved his Border collie intuition and intelligence. Even as a senior dog, he quickly learned new things. And, he was smart enough that he challenged me to be a better owner.


He loved people. It didn’t matter if he knew you or not, he loved everyone. And, many people were drawn to him, too. It may have been because he was so fluffy and soft, or maybe it was how he would nearly prance at the chance of greeting someone, known or new. He was the Best.Dog.Ever. and I will dearly miss my sweet boy.


Lewie was on daily meds for the Evans Syndrome and Diabetes. He had also developed cataracts due to the Diabetes and was struggling. It broke my heart every time he bumped into something. So, I started the ball rolling and he had cataract surgery on July 31. He regained his eyesight and was doing beautifully and was enjoying life again. The cloudy white cataracts had been removed and his beautiful brown eyes could see me again.


So much of my time was spent caring for Lewie’s medical and daily needs I have far more time on my hands than I know what to do with. I’m trying to feel normal by doing routine things but anything I did with Lewie is emotionally difficult. I decided to go for a walk the other evening, something we did if it wasn’t too hot. I walked out the front door and immediately froze, emotionally paralyzed. I didn’t know which direction to go. I’d always let Lewie choose the path we took since our walks were more for him than for me. I did manage to give myself a mental kick in the arse and got moving but it was a bit unnerving. Dumb, I know, but it kind of sums up my reality right now.


Someday, maybe soon, maybe not, I’ll probably be ready to adopt another Border Collie. I am a hardcore Border Collie girl now. A great dog will spoil you for anything else, but I know I’m preaching to the choir. I’ve put in adoption applications with two local Border Collie rescues so that when I am ready the legwork is done. Until such time that I’m ready and the right dog comes along, I’m taking it day by day.


Lewie, the Border Collie…BEST.DOG.EVER


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