Tag Archives: border collie
My Dad and Bailey – Saying Goodbye
By Melanie Ross
Bailey is our Border Collie. He’s amazing! He goes to work with my husband almost everyday and has most of the guys trained to keeping the kind of treats he likes in their work stations. My Dad worked for my husband and did lots of deliveries for him, usually taking Bailey along. He was my Dad’s co-pilot.
My father was diagnosed with stage 3B lung cancer in September of 2012. Dad was kind of a silent observer and didn’t waste much time on what he would consider useless chatter. My Dad didn’t always have a ‘way with’ people, but he had a ‘way with’ dogs.
Towards the end of his first round of chemotherapy he would have almost a week of feeling poorly. I spent a lot of evenings and weekends over at their house just hanging out and watching tv. Our Border Collie, Bailey, was always with me. All I had to do was walk to the door and ask if he wanted to go see his pappy and he was at my side.
Bailey’s personality isn’t what most people think of when they think Border Collie. He’s a hard core player when he is outside, but when he is inside, he is like a 90 year old man. He’s just laid back and extremely docile. He’s also kind of an independent dog. He loves people, but he pretty much likes to be at your feet rather than on the couch beside you. So Bailey spent a lot of time laying at my Dad’s feet, which was good because my Dad’s skin was so fragile you could hardly touch him without hurting him or tearing his skin. We had to be careful the dogs didn’t get excited and jump up and hurt him.
About a year into his treatment Dad decided the treatments were just too hard on him and he was having so few good days that he made the decision to just let things take their course and enjoy what remaining days he had. He did pretty well for about six months and then he really started to decline. He went from a cane to a walker, to a wheelchair, to being mostly bed bound in a short span of time. Our visits increased and Bailey was always happy to go and just lie near Dad, wherever he was.
My Dad’s last two weeks were hard. He could barely get around and it took my husband, brother, mother and myself to be able to keep him at home. Hospice was called in at this point and we moved a hospital bed into the living room so he could be where everybody else was. My husband, brother and I took turns staying there. Anytime I was there, so was Bailey.
Dad’s final two nights were bad and we ended up calling hospice in both nights. The morning my a Dad died I was getting ready to take Bailey for our morning run. We had slept on the couch to be near him and hospice had been in the night before because he had such a bad night the previous night. At this visit we decided we should put him on morphine to get ahead of his pain rather than to try and catch up with it once something happened. As I was getting ready to run, I was texting my brother and my husband to ask if they thought I should wake Dad to administer morphine or let him be because he was breathing so steadily and he was so peaceful. During this time Bailey walked into the room and laid his head on my Dad’s bed at his hand and just stood there. After a minute or two he walked over to me and laid his head on my lap, too. I looked at my Dad and realized Bailey was trying to tell me my father had passed away and he had been there for him. I walked over to check on my Dad and he was gone. Bailey knew the time had come and he was there for him.
Lots of things have to happen when someone passes away at home. Hospice comes and pronounces the person deceased, family members come to pay respects, and the funeral director comes. They take care of your loved one and then take them to fulfill their final wishes. As they took my Dad out on a stretcher and loaded him in the van Bailey came outside with us all. We were all standing there when Bailey put his paw on the bumper with full intentions to take my Dad’s final ride with him. We had to call him back.
It is unbelievable to me what a dog can sense and I don’t know how he knew, but he did. All I know is I feel better knowing that Bailey was there for Dad in his final moments and I know it was a comfort to my Dad, too. What Bailey did for my Dad that day is something I won’t ever forget. As I said, he’s an amazing dog.
“KEEPING THE FAITH”
I’ve decided that I’m ready to, “Come up for air”.
Recently I received an email from wordpress; it detailed the performance from The Border Collie Inquisitor for 2014. The results were gratifying. This would be the motivator I’d need to start writing again. I’ve deeply missed the connection with the readership.
Allow me to briefly explain my absence.
My family and I recently suffered nearly insurmountable losses. Losing (4) of our beloved dogs last year took its toll.
I found the courage to write about our Epic, she was our first loss in January, https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/01/02/game-of-bones/
March came in like a Lion and our old and faithful Scout was gone. https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/02/26/the-pack-part-2/
No sooner had we started to get ourselves settled into the new pack order my side kick Deja Blue aka Boo was diagnosed with liver cancer. Her diagnosis hit me like a violent tornado as it made its first initial powerful punch. We sat in the eye of the storm, treasuring every moment we had left until August when the eye wall unmercifully hit with vehement intensity and we lost of Boo. I’ve not yet found the courage to tell her story. Even now I pause to sob.
The final chapter in October was our Tulley, https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/category/mean-dog/ diagnosed with lymphoma; this had to be a bad dream. How and where would I ever find the strength, I was, at that time, completely and utterly broken. How was I going to break this news to my husband? Tulley was after all, his constant companion. I would somehow find the faith. I took a deep breath, pulled myself together determined to rid this cancer from Tulley’s body. https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/10/16/chemotherapy/ https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/10/25/chemotherapy-2/ https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/11/24/precious_moments/
Sadly determination and reality collided and just a week before Christmas and Tulley could fight no more.
I so appreciate my co-writer and dear friend Lisa for posting a final farewell. https://bordercollieinquisitor.com/2014/12/16/farewell-sweet-tulley/
Time is powerful, it moves along with no regard or limits, so we’ll take all of the time that we need. Grief is a process; it goes its own way, and in its own time. It’s the little things, the day to day interactions when we mostly feel their loss.
The Quakers have a saying, “if you love, you will suffer, and it is worth it.”
A friend recently thanked my husband for helping to house a dog at his shelter for 17 months until a special loving home was found.
“Thank you for keeping the faith,” George stated. So profound I thought these three words. And so we will, “Keep the Faith.”
Many thanks to all, your love and support has carried us through.
“Godspeed to our beloved Epic, Scout, Deja and Tulley”.
“After the tears, there will be a rainbow.” Terri Florentino
Home At Last
I received an email—Rich and Wendy were interested in adopting Scout. This would be the third Border collie they acquired from Ed and me over the course of 12 years. If anyone could handle her it was Rich and Wendy. They wanted her to come and spend some time with them, their two cats and Border collie, Willow.
That evening I’d have to prepare my husband. Continue reading
A couple of weeks had passed. Scout’s game, as I saw it, was to resource guard not only whatever she held in high value, (i.e. a plastic bag or paper towels of all things), but also space and certain people. She knew exactly how to get whatever she wanted. And yet, she could be the most affectionate and lovable pup, as long as it was on her terms. We needed to renegotiate those terms.
As time went on we’d made some progress. Now, in lieu of biting, she’ll give up whatever’s in her mouth with only a brief display of her teeth. Ideally my goal is “no lip” from the little lady. Along with Mirk and Echo she would come to my office with me. The privilege of being able to hang out in the office was immediately revoked as soon as she started inappropriately chewing or rooting through the trash. While I’m working on financials, I don’t appreciate a game of tug o’ war for a banana peel. Continue reading
Just Like A Feral Cat
By Terri Florentino
It was evening by the time Tillie and I pulled into my driveway. I would introduce my pack one at a time after Tillie and I had some time alone to take a walk and get better acquainted. I opened the back of my truck to find the little pup cowered in the back of the crate, trembling so badly her teeth were chattering. I wasn’t sure if she might react fearfully and attempt to bite, so I moved slowly as I reached into the crate. She continued to quiver as I clipped the leash onto her collar as she turned into a tiny ball in an attempt to make herself as small as possible. I couldn’t recall ever dealing with a dog that was as petrified as this little girl. It was a good thing I had a secure hold on the leash, as I picked her up out of the crate and gently placed her on the ground she immediately defaulted to her flight drive and attempted to scurry away. Her social skills, at best, were similar to that of a feral cat. I attached a 30ft line to her collar hoping some distance between the two of us might help her to relax and feel less threatened. There was almost never any tension on the line, 30ft wasn’t even enough to take off the edge. I decided to let my dog Scout out for a meet and greet. He was such a gentle soul, I Continue reading
Trialing With Grace
By Judy Bonner
Gracie and I recently competed in the first east coast and the second in the country fully sanctioned NACSWTM K9 Nose Work® Level 1 Element Specialty trials hosted by Sarah Woodruff of Paws N’ Sniff in Stroudsburg PA.
The Level 1 Interior Element Specialty trial was in the morning and the Level 1 Container Element Specialty trial was set to run in the afternoon. I registered both dogs, Gracie and Banner, in both trials. Gracie and Banner were both Continue reading