Chloe, my heart

Chloe, my heart

May 26, 2004 – August 2, 2019

I have always been pretty and proper

I lost my darling Chloe today. I have dreaded this day for years.

At Granny and Granda’s in Scotland

She was born deaf in Scotland in a litter of 8 pups. I did not figure out that she was deaf though until she was nearly 7 weeks old.

Testing out the tent with Mom in the kitchen of the Scotland house

I trained her with sign language and she was certified as a therapy dog while we were living in Scotland.

In kitchen in Scotland house

She worked with me with clients in massage and energy work in Colorado. I saw her calm many anxious children and adults.

Working even towards the end and teaching upstart Gigha how to be a therapy dog

Chloe and I road tripped to one of my fiber shows in PA. She road tripped both from MI to CO and back again 7 years later.

Soooo happy after playing in the mud

Her biggest trip of course was her flight from Scotland to MI when she was barely 2 years old.

Always watching in the Michigan kitchen

She and her three sisters were inseparable. Now that she has passed, being the last to go, all four are together again.

Nutmeg with her sisters, Sassy and Chloe passed out on top of her….always together

I can’t imagine life without you. We had 15 years together and it was not enough.

I love you always, Mom!
Our last goodbye
Saffron aka Sassy

Saffron aka Sassy

May 26, 2004 – July 30, 2018

On the Colorado Ranch

I lost our Sassy today, after over 14 years together. She was my wounded child…..my sensitive one.

Cinnamon about to jump on Sass in the whiskey barrel at the Scotland House

She had a horrible accident at 7 weeks old and nearly died. It changed her and she was never the same again.

In the kitchen of the Scotland house

She was the one who lived in such a bubble of fear in her own mind but drew on me as her anchor and protector. I adored her and miss her so much.

My ball

So here are photos of her and her life. She lived a full one.

Nutmeg with her sisters, Sassy and Chloe passed out on top of her….always together

From being born in Scotland, flying to Michigan, driving to Colorado, driving back to Michigan, and to her final place under the Norwegian Fir tree between her sister Chloe, and Rick. I love you my baby, Sassdiddydos!

All 7 Scottish Border Collies in our backyard at the house in Scotland
On the side of the mountain on the Colorado Ranch
I am visiting Loch Ness in Scotland, What you looking at?
Every old gal needs her princess and the pea bed!
Sitting with Mom by the French Doors in the Michigan house
All 7 Scottish Border Collies at the Colorado Ranch
Rick and Rachel

Rick and Rachel

We lost a couple more dogs here at Alba Ranch as well.  This has been a difficult time for us.  I thought I had better get caught up a bit with what has been going on…but for a while I just wanted to take a moment.

 

 

Rick

Rick

(Feb 2016-March 21, 2018)

 

Rick we had to let go just two days after Cinnamon and Nutmeg passed over.  He came to use at about 10-11 months old and where he had been before was not good for him.  He had been abused so much by a family and returned to the breeder after extreme damage had been done to him….both mentally and physically.

He was the sweetest boy and had such a sweet loving heart but he could not trust humans and had anxiety that was off the charts.  We worked with him for almost 1.5 years but he was having so many physical issues as well as mental issues that it was just better for him and for all the dogs in the house that we let him go.  His pain had to be ended.

Whatcha sayin?

 

on the move

It was one of the hardest ones I have ever had to let go…and trust me none are easy ….but this one was super hard.  85% of the time he was our loving boy Rick and would sit for hours letting you pet him or just lie near you.  The other 15% he was unpredictable, dangerous and in so much mental anguish and pain.  That anguish and pain was coming out against the other dogs, against me and against any person that might be here.  Rick did not want to be that way but he could not control it.

I truly hope that those people that had him will never have another dog or animal in their entire life as what was done to him was unthinkable and certainly unforgivable.

He is free now and no longer in pain of any kind, nor can he harm any other person or dog which was one of his fears as well.

 

Rachel

(October 2014-June 4, 2018)

Rachel guarding

 

Rachel came to us from Ohio with two of her brothers, Ike and Toobies.  She has been one of our Livestock Guardian Dogs  (LGD) ever since.  I really did like Rachel and she loved to be petted.  She also tried to lick me to death and would dig some pretty intensive holes everywhere.  She was also the one that told us about any coyotes, or any other predators about and would not stop telling us until they left…which could be all night. ha!

She was with Willow when we had the predator attack last year.  The attack that killed Willow and really injured Rachel but no goats were harmed or lost.  They both did their jobs protecting.  Rachel has been struggling every since that time.  She was in pain, and seemed to be having some mobility issues….she was very grumpy with her goaties which I don’t recall being normal for her before this time.  Baby goaties jumping on her was very painful when normally the LGD would lie still and let the kids climb on them.

Rachel and the kid

 

She also was much more anxious and fearful than before the attack.  I think that attack forever changed Rachel and she was just not up to things anymore.  It was with a heavy heart that we said good bye to her a few weeks ago….it was hard but I know that she is no longer in pain, either physically or mentally.

 

Nutmeg and Cinnamon have passed over…..

Nutmeg and Cinnamon have passed over…..

We have had a few more losses here at Alba Ranch.  It seems like a lot lately but the reality is the entire pack was aging and all approximately the same age as well so it was a flood of them leaving one after the other as they have finished their lives over these last few years.  I knew that it was coming but that doesn’t make it any easier.

All 7 Scottish Border Collies

This post is not a poor me my babies are gone…even though seriously…poor me my babies are gone…I mean for reals….but a celebration of their lives with some photos of them growing up just to give you a glimpse of their life….all the years we have had with them.

You will see and know why we loved them from the photos.

 

 

 

 

 

Nutmeg as a pup

Nutmeg  (aka if her name is NOT Meg….what is it?)

May 26, 2004-March 19, 2018

 

Nutmeg was one of 8 pups from Pru…and we kept 3 of them.  She and her 2 sisters and her half sister Cinnamon, along with Auntie Tessa, Abbey and Pru were our 7 Scotland border collies that came over to the USA when we moved back.

Nutmeg was always my shy tri except at home.  At home she was a bully.  She ruled with a quite but iron paw.  And even Rowan, the 90 pound Anatolian, cowered in fear with just a silent lip curl from Nutmeg.  Respect…..

Nutmeg with her sisters, Sassy and Chloe passed out on top of her….always together

Nutmeg did not like little old ladies with brollies (umbrellas for you usa folks).  nope…not them at all.  She never did take to car rides.  She did not get sick in the car, or have accidents or bark and carry on, she would just sit bolt upright, panting in terror and never settle down.  When we drove from MI to CO, she did that for those two days.  And she tried to bolt out of the suburban and managed twice and took off with us chasing her after her in a parking lot, a field or whatever to get her before she hit the highway.  Needless to say, Nutmeg stayed to home a lot and that suited her just fine.

 

Nutmeg with Charlie

 

She could play football (soccer for the usa folks) like nobody’s fool.  And amazing air…oh my…she would do almost a complete flip and roll at about 4 ft high in the air for a ball.  Dive into the pond after a toy, into a puddle or a padding pond…no matter…if there was a ball…she was after it.

 

Nutmeg all grown up

She was a quiet dog and faded into the background a lot….but she was still my shy tri and I loved her until the end.  She was very still with us mentally but her body was failing when we let her go at just 2 months shy of her 14th birthday.  That is a good long life for a border collie.  Rest in peace my Nutmeggers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon the puff ball pup

Cinnamon (aka Cinnaminimoooooos)

June 3, 2004-March 19, 2018

Cinnamon was a pup from Abbey’s litter of six pups.  She had the same sire as the pups from Pru but Abbey for a mom.  She was their half sister born about 10 days after.

Charlie was taken with Cinnamon from the day he saw her.  I was not sure though.  When we were trying to decide which pups to keep, we took charlie back to work in Abredeen from Peterhead when we were living in Scotland.  I suggested he pick a pup he was considering and take that pup on the ride and see how he felt.  He chose to take Cinnamon and she promptly threw up on him…twice…so he said she had to stay being she threw up on him.

 

Cinnamon about to jump on Sass in the whiskey barrel

 

Cinnamon suffered with getting car sick for many, many years after that and it was only with a lot of work that we could get her finally OK with the car enough to NOT be sick through some nausea meds, and than began the work of getting her calm enough to even give it a go.  I mean if you got sick in the car every time you rode, you would refuse to go too.  We started with short drives like to the mail box or the end of the drive.  Or just sitting in the car and NOT going anywhere.  Even that was trying for her in the beginning as she has begun to associate the car with begin sick so much that to even be in it she would get sick.  It took a long time but she finally cracked it and than she was happy and willing to go anywhere.

 

Cinnamon, what a beauty

 

Cinnamon was a very head strong dog who was also a destructo dog.  There was barely a toy in the house that could not be destroyed by Cinnamon.  We had to have all the footballs…soccer balls…deflated but even that did not work as she would tear the leather off and rip the bladders out.  I have no idea why she had to rip things apart but there was that one day she had her first encounter with a chicken and well….you guessed it…30 seconds later the chicken was in three pieces and dead and Cinnamon never did get near a chicken again.  In her defence, the chicken had flown its coop area and flown over the fence into the dog pen so…..you know…fair game….at least in her mind.

 

Cinnamon out back

We tried Cinnamon with herding lessons but she really didn’t have any thoughts to herd.  She was like la de dah….running through the field..whats that…oh sheep..OK well…la de dah…running through the field….yup..not a sheep herder.

She would sit next to me on the couch whenever she had the chance and be so over joyed to be there that she would wiggle and drive me nuts…but she did so love being close to me.  I miss Cinnamon…she was in a fair bit of pain towards the end…and she had some tumours.  We had removed some a few years before right around the time that she lost Abbey and she never really recovered well from that.

 

Abbey and Cinnamon, side by side

She was such a mama’s girl that Abbey passing sort of took the stuffing from Cinnamon.  She even lost her will to destroy in those last couple of years.   The girls would all play and run and leap together and the four pups were the best of friends.  Rest in peace Cinnamon, you are missed.

 

The Scotland Border Collies were born in Scotland, flew to Michigan, drove to Colorado, drove back to Michigan and now are at rest in the woods near Lake Michigan.  Both Nutmeg and Cinnamon went together and they were even kenneled as pups together as well.  We felt it was fitting that they were buried together as well so their worn out fur bodies would be forever together.

 

 

Dogs of Alba

Dogs of Alba

It is the one year anniversary today of my Darling Abbey Gail passing away.  I miss her dreadfully and it still feels like it was last week.  I saw her yesterday during an energy treatment…she visited with BJ.  She is still as beautiful as every.

Abbey

All my border collies and a couple of my LGD are sick  right now.   So right now I am thinking all about the dogs.  I think I have figured out what it is but don’t know if the damage is too extensive in a few to the point that they may die.

I have been feeding Taste of the Wild Dog Food and every time I get their digestion calmed down and start to re introduce the food, they get violently sick again. I have tried to re introduce their food twice and will not try again. I didn’t go from feeding raw or a bland diet to just their kibble, I did a small bit first for two days and that was all it took last time. This time I did small bit two days and they seemed OK but on the third day I gave them only their TOTW dog food but in a smaller amount than normal and the hell started again. Mucous and bleeding from their bums. Throwing up and total loss of control. I am at a loss.

I have sick dogs for 3 weeks and they have been to the vet and I have called numerous times. I decided to try some holistic things and started with pumpkin which cleared the diarrhea up so fast it made my head spin.  I gave them that with yogurt and kefir to fix the bacteria in their gut. I can’t feed raw with 3 giant breed dogs AND the border collies as I don’t have enough freezers or money to fill them.

Last night about midnight, I did a search on the internet for Taste of the Wild Dog Food + sick dogs.  OMG.  The reviews that have popped up all over about how sick dogs that have been eating this food have been in March, April and May of 2017 is staggering.  Taste of the Wild Dog Food is made my Diamond Food Company.  They also make Kirkland dog food in Costco and Nature’s Domain, which is the grain free formulas also available at Costco.

I found one site Consumers Affairs that had a lot of details and information  about the reaction of the dogs to the Taste of the Wild Dog food.  The symptoms were scary as they were exact to what my dogs are going through.  Unfortunately the reviews that had the best details and information, were also the people that lost their dogs.  The dogs went from being healthy to in kidney and liver failure in 3-4 weeks and having to be either put down or dying in their owners arms.  My dogs have been sick for three weeks.  I have two in particular that have been bleeding and worse than others.  That is my Nutmeg and my Chloe.  I don’t know if they will survive.  I have called my vet office and they are checking to see if they want to repeat the blood work tests and compare them to the ones already done for Nutmeg and Chloe.  I don’t know if there is any course of action as the damage is already done.

I have been researching and found some companies that do HUMAN GRADE food in a human grade facility made in the USA and it is dehydrated food. You add warm water and stir and give them it 3 minutes later. They have both regular formulas and grain free. The regular ones that have grain are cheaper so I might be able to afford it if I stop eating myself!! The grains they use are barley and oats. There is NEVER wheat, soy, corn or any GMO in it. I am going to try it.   The Honest Kitchen is the food.  Take a look at it yourself and see if you like it.

 

Update on the dogs as of May 19:

I have been talking to the vet at Diamond and she has had no issues with the batches of dog food I have had. If it is the dog food, I am the only one with those issues with those production batches. I gave her codes on like 11 bags. She recommended Metronidazole for them before I even told her that one had a confirmed positive test for Giardia. but we did 5 days in a row of heavy Panacur/safeguard granules for that per my vets instructions. After just one does of that panacur/safeguard I went from 1 dog with bloody diarrhea to 6 dogs with diarrhea although not all had blood in their poo. I called vet immediately and they insisted I keep on it. Five days of hell went on and still no slowing of the the poo. I was also advised to start cooking rice and boiled hamburger for them and did that from after that first dose. I have been doing that interspersed with chicken and sometimes a bit of oatmeal instead of rice right now….been doing that for 3.5 weeks. They are still sick.

Every time I get them mostly firm when I use a bit of pumpkin, I slowly start to reintroduce TOTW and they get sick all over again after either 2 or 3 doses of the food. I have tried this two times. The first time they were still having the bland diet along with a sprinkle of the TOTW and by two days into trying to blend in the TOTW they were right back into explosive poo. The second time we did sprinkle of TOTW for two days and by the third day were at only TOTW but in a much smaller dose. Still same thing, huge mucous and diarrhea and blood with some vomiting but not as much of the vomit. When there was vomiting it was full of mucous as well. I have given them yogurt and kefir most days to help them out with the good bacteria their gut. So now I am not sure if it is the food or not. I won’t be running out to get any new bags if you are wondering. 

Vet at Diamond said that the bland diet with the rice gives a false sense of them being firmed up because the rice absorbs the excess water in the poo. That is logical.  Perhaps??  Pumpkin does as well and so does the oatmeal to an extent. Vet at Diamond thinks that they still have Giardia as the med prescribed for it does not work for that. Checked with a vet up in Ludington that I have used occasionally and they also said same med as the vet from Diamond. The other vet up in Ludington also said that Panacur/safeguard does NOT fix Giardia. I researched what meds to use for this and panacur/safeguard is NOT one for Giardia. My dogs have been through hell for nothing as well as are still contagious to me.  I have used a small forest of paper towel and so many vinyl exam gloves.  My hands are raw and cracked from washing them so much.  The house stinks like bleach from bleach power washing the floors and the food dishes and dog toys.  I have almost no dog beds or blankets left as have had to throw so many away.  I don’t know how much more any of us can take.

The vet from Diamond plans on paying for the vet visit for Chloe and Morag.  Those are the two she wanted seen today as they were both up all night with diarrhea.  She also said she would cover their meds.  She is considering covering the meds for the other 4 as well.  However, I feel that our vet should do the exam for these two and give us the meds for all of them no matter as the original med prescribed was incorrect.  I am going armed with receipts to show that I did buy the med for all the dogs as I got it for five form the feed store and 1 from the vet.  and that she should cover these vet visits as well.  Either way, I am not paying as I don’t have anything to pay with.  I am also going armed with receipts for over $200 alone for chicken, rice, oatmeal, hamburger, paper towel and trash bags to show her what this has cost us.  Unfortunately I don’t ahve receipts for the $45+ of laundry where i had to bleach wash all the rugs including 3 large sheep skins that are supposed to be dry cleaned only.  I am sure that bleach wash and dry shortened the life of those skin rugs considerably.  So we are off to the vet for now.  will have to see if this will work or not.

Morag

Morag

 

 

I have been waiting to tell you all about this for weeks but had to keep my mouth shut.  NO easy feat you know.

I have had border collies every since Jan 2000, when I first got married and moved to Scotland to live with Charlie. Before that I didn’t really know what a Border Collie was but I had always been a fan of Lassie dog Collies. Charlie works offshore and here I was first time married, in a foreign country, didn’t know anyone and he had to go offshore for about 5 days. what to do?

Morag on car ride home from breeder

Well I got my first blue smooth border collie before he got home and told him if he intended to leave me and go offshore, this was what would happen.  It just went down hill from there. More and more border collies. People always ask us why we have so many border collies? Our response is always: Border Collies are like potato chips, ye canna hae just one! I have 4 left of my Scotland border collies which will all turn 13 years old in May and June. They are starting to fail and we ended up having to put down 8 dogs this last year as everyone had reached their “sell by date” and was suffering. I managed 15 years with a lot of my borders and 10-11 with most of my Great Pyrs and Anatolian who are the LGD for the goats and llamas.

Fast forward to now, and we sort of rescued a 1 year old border collie.  Charlie wanted a male dog that was “his” even though they are always all mine. haha  His name is Rick and he had been returned to his breeder with some serious issues. He is super high energy, neurotic, OCD, must have been abused in the place he was returned from and knows every bad border collie behavior that there.  He also isn’t really potty trained. This has been a serious trying time.  He has been with us for about 2.5 months and we are still working through these issues.

 

Morag on HER box

We were planing on getting several border collie pups, but were not sure when the timing would be right.  I had lost my Abbey this summer and frankly it gutted me.  I wanted another pup, but I just couldn’t for a while as I was so grieving for her.  She was 15.5 years old and not your average border collie…a stunning bright red tri color. To get a slightly older pup and have to put so much work into him right off the bat…..well I didn’t think getting another little new pup immediately was a good idea.  I am no border collie novice but Rick did have me pulling my hair out. I had never had one so messed up or such high energy before and he is my 10th border collie.  We are still working through things but we are starting to settle down a bit so….

 

 

Morag

While hubby was offshore this last time, I went and got me MY border collie.   Losing my Abbey, I was on the hunt for another red tri color….you know just in case Abbey decided she wanted to return in another fur body. I told her before she passed that I didn’t know if I believed in reincarnation or not but I was willing to give it a go if she was.

Two and a half weeks ago, I got my darling new border collie pup. She was a bit too young from the breeder but we counted wrong on the calendar and realized it the next day.  Since I had experience with border collies, she came and stayed. Charlie said I could get whatever dog I wanted and whatever color I wanted without any interference from him, I could get her when I was ready as he said he was always ready for a new border collie pup and that she would be mine.  I decided to take him at his word.  This one is all mine. Well they are all mine really, but this one is really really mine.

 

 

Morag chilling

I went to get her sister as the breeder said he had 3 reds, and 1 tri. I got there and he said that he made a mistake and he had 2 reds and 2 red tris. The sister was heavily marked with prominent tan points and the one I came home with has less tan points. I wanted those tan points but that pup screamed bloody murder every time I touched her. The one I came home with was in my arms and all calm. AND….she started talking to me right away. I can talk to a lot of animals but have not ever really talked to one so young or so new so quickly. She said to not worry about those tan points as she would make up for it personality…more than make up for it. I was trying to ignore her as I was focused on wanting to have the other pup.  But she kept yammering on in my ear.  Morag told me that she was the one that I wanted and she put her feet on my chest and stood up in my arms and looked direct and deep into my eyes and said, “IT IS ME!!!” I tried to ignore her but couldn’t after that. The breeder was fascinated with how she was reacting to me.

Shortly after Abbey passed, Charlie told me that our next red tri border collie was to be named Morag.  I asked him why and said he chose the name Morag which is Gaelic for Maggie.  Our Abbey was supposed to have been named Maggie and the farmer had intended to keep her.  The farmer wasn’t to home when we went to look at the pups and the wifie didn’t know her husband’s intentions, so we went home with his Maggie who was  our Abbey.  Our new Morag comes from a line of Maggies and Abbeys as well.  Her mom’s name is actually Maggie and her grandmother was Abbey.

Morag adventuring

 

Morag on the Hunt

I already have a nickname for Morag which is Aggie.  Half Maggie and half Abbey….Aggie. I couldn’t tell you all about her because I didn’t tell Charlie about her. I decided to surprise him and picked him up from the airport with her.  I had her stuffed in my coat and after he leaped in and got his seat belt on, I causally handed this wiggliy squiggly ball of fluff to him and told him to hold her because she was too wiggly to drive holding her. He never knew as I kept my mouth shut for 2 whole weeks. She started to lick him all over and promptly peed on him!!!

Our Cinnamon, who is now almost 13 years old and is our original Abbey’s daughter, had puked on him her first car ride with him. So if you pee or puke on dad, you get to stay!  she is only 8.5 weeks old now but almost impossible to photograph as she is just a wee little bluuuurrrrr most times.  What do you think of my darling Morag…little we Aggie?

Abbey Gail

Abbey Gail

 

Abbey Gail Dec 3, 2000- May 17, 20016

 

My darling sweet Abbey.  My heart is broke.  You were never a dog, you were always a human with fur.  I remember the arguments that Abbey had with Bj about watching the cooking channel at the office in CO.  Abbey said cooking channel was stupid and put on something cool like Animal Planet.  She loved to watch me cook but on TV they never drop anything so cooking shows were boring!!

Gorgeous Abbey

Abbey would express her happiness at watching certain TV shows and commercials.  She went mental over cat commercials….and a good footie match on TV.  oh my.  I remember the afternoon we had on a football match (soccer for you Yanks), and they kicked the ball from one end of the field to the other.  This meant the ball went from one end of the screen to the other and Abbey was behind the TV trying to find that darn ball.  She has turned off the TV numerous times in her excitement and jumping up at the TV.  She had a special video tape we made for her.  It had 15 minutes of football, 15 minuets of animal planet, 15 minutes of football, and so on.  She would take that with her to Granny and Granda’s house and watch it with Granda all the time we were gone on any trips.  Funny but she had Granda trained well.  She would sit all pretty in front of the TV and stare at the blank screen.  Heave a big sigh and look over her shoulder at Granda, turn and stare at the blank screen.  She would repeat this until Granda turned on the TV and popped in her tape.  She mae be daft, but she was nae feel.

 

Abbey with Charlie

And yes she would bark at the cows on the TV even if they were the cartoon laughing cows as she was smart enough to KNOW they were those HORRID COWS!!! and they must go.  She barked at the Cow statue at Country Dairy, the laughing cow cartoon TV cows, the cows out on the range in CO as we traveled all over, and even the mere mention of cows or if I spelled C-O-Ws…even that she knew.  She did NOT like cows!!  she said they were mean and hurt mama.  That would be when the Highland Cattle that we had briefly…well one of the cows came after me and kicked me.  Abbey never forgave the entire species of cows for that, not even once.

Abbey watching Tiger

Abbey was a red tri color….red, cream, and white…border collie.  She is a proper Scottish border collie, born and raised in the highlands of Scotland.  Hoof and Mouth was rampant when Abbey was first born and no one was allowed to the farms until things had cleared up.  By that time Abby was already 4 months old.  We were looking for an 8 week old puppy and the farmer did have two litters available.  One litter was 2 months old and one was 4 months old.  We looked at both litters and had one from each chosen, both having the same markings and coloring.  I was drawn to the younger litter.  We walked into the farmers kitchen where the pups were not allowed and Abbey walked right in as if she knew where to go.  She walked under my chair and laid down.  She chose me and it was settled.  We took her home.  Later we found out that the farmer, who was not home when we chose the pup, told his wife that he had wanted to keep that pup.

Abbey was all about work.  She took her job of taking care of us seriously.  She came into the house and took over the role of head dog even though Tessa was 18 months old.  Abbey was the boss of the Scottish border collies until the day she passed.  She moved with us from Scotland, to Colorado, to Michigan.

Abbey as a pup, always watching

We did breed her one time and she had 6 pups.  One pup we kept, Cinnamon, who is similar in build to Abbey.  She is nothing like her in color as Cinnamon is a blue Merle, but she is super smart like Abbey.  Cinnamon was very bonded to Abbey and it has been hard on her with Abbey gone.

The last day that we had together was a lovely day here in Michigan.  I was planting flowers and plants in various parts of the yard and Abbey was wandering around with me.  She would not settle down and kept pacing so I was always trying to find her.  Finally she did lay down and rested in the grass at the back of the house by the gazebo.  I was planting some flowers there for a while and pulling some weeds.  I decided I had enough and since Abbey seemed calm, I put my tools away and got out a pillow from the gazebo.  I put the pillow on the ground by Abbey and laid on the grass with my head on the pillow.  I stretched my arm out in front of me and Abbey laid her head over my arm in my hand.  It was breezy and the wind chimes were singing by our heads as we laid there soaking up the sun bits coming through the tree tops. It was peaceful and wonderful and horrible all at the same time as we only had that half hour before we had to go to the vet to let her go.  How can my heart be so filled with joy and so broken and full of tears at the same time?

 

The aftermath of the first night Abbey was with us

Charlie had dug Abbey’s final resting place before we left and I showed it to Abbey and told her it would be her new bed for her tired worn out fur.  I told her that SHE would be free to play and romp with BJ who passed on three years prior and that her fur would sleep here.  I told her that I would plant some flowers by her head and we trimmed up the tree branches so that we could place a glider underneath to sit.  I hung some bells and a few chimes on the big pine boughs and call them Abbey’s bells which I have to ring every time I go out to see her.  She chose to have Charlie put her final place next to Rowan on the one end and he had passed on 4 days prior.  She knew it was time but she did NOT want to leave us.  Her heart had developed a serious murmur a year prior, she was having difficulties walking and in severe pain every day…yet she did NOT want to go.  She was 15.5 years old and will be missed more than I can ever say.  I am sad when any of my animals die, but Abbey is the first of those that I just can not bear.

 

Blizzard Coming and Going

Blizzard Coming and Going

 

 

Today my heart is broke.

 

Blizzard (?-February 12, 2016)

My Blizzard died this morning at 5:30 am after a day and night of severe pain.  I know that it is better that she is gone and no longer in pain, but my heart is broke.  I hate losing an animal and know that they all have their “sell by dates” but when one goes and it isn’t an easy passing it tears at my heart even more.

Blizzard

Blizzard was a lovely border collie that we adopted in December 2006 while living out in Colorado.  Blizzard came to us that December and today it is a howling blizzard outside when she was leaving us.

She was a blue eyed double Merle border collie.  a Double Merle is a breeding done between parents that both carry the Merle gene.  There is a a 1 in 3 chance of the dog being Deaf, Blind and having genetic problems.  Blizzard was deaf and mostly blind.  This type of breeding should never be done but some breeders do it under the mistaken thought that they will get MORE Merle dogs to sell at a higher price.  We had adopted another double Merle Aussie with the same sort of problems.

She didn’t interact with people or with other dogs like a normal border collie and although it did take a long time, she did eventually bond with Charlie and I.  She was lost from her first family and was in a shelter.  I drove across Monarch Pass to the western slope to get her, meeting the shelter lady in Gunnison, CO. Blizzard and I drove back across Monarch Pass in my CJ7 Jeep that December.  It was one of my first long mountain trips to get an animal. Charlie and I had both seen her on different adoption ads at the same time and were emailing each other about her.

Blizzard

If the shelter was correct on her age, she was approximately 11 years old.  (She was with us for 9 years and 2 months.)  That would make her the YOUNGEST of my older dogs and I seriously did not see this coming.  We went into the vet on Monday because she had vomited on Saturday and wouldn’t eat anything that day.  She did eat a bit on Sunday but not like usual.  She looked bloated and was walking funny.  We found that her pancreas, gall bladder and liver were swollen.  Her blood work showed her pancreas and liver functions were not right but her gall bladder was fine.  She was also anemic.  We were treating her for pancreatitis and I had to change her diet.  She was getting cooked rice and chicken and had started to improve and was eating again.

 

Blizzard

Yesterday, I woke up and Blizzard wouldn’t take her pain meds that morning and refused to eat all day.  She did drink water but her bloated look which had started to decrease was back.  By bed time, she was starting to stagger because she appeared to be weak but still would not eat.  I called the vet and I was supposed to bring her into the vet at 7:30 am when they opened this morning, but she passed at 5:30 am.

My Darling Blizzard is gone and is already missed.