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.

Two go and One arrives- Tessa Jane, Domino, Llama cria

Two go and One arrives- Tessa Jane, Domino, Llama cria

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 was a sad day and a not so sad day.

 

Tessa Jane (December 31, 1999- September 22, 2015)

 

 

Tessa as a pup

Tessa was my first Border Collie ever.  Charlie and I had been married about 2 months and he had to go offshore for his very first trip offshore after we were married.  Being on my own was no big deal, however it was a bit different being that I was in Scotland and knew next to no one.  He was only gone for about five days that I recall but I got Tessa during that time.  She was just 8 weeks old.

Hector, Charlie’s Da, holding his Tessa

 

My sister Jessica came to visit later on when Tessa was a bit more grown and gave her the middle name of Jane, and Tessa Jane she was forever after know as.  Tessa was a blue smooth border collie.  She had blue eyes until she was about 5 months old when they finally settled to the darker color that they were the rest of her life.  We never got our next border collie, Abbey, until Tessa was 18 months old.  So she had Charlie and I all to herself for that time.

Hector, Charlie’s Da, adored Tessa.  He never really forgave us when we got Abbey our second border collie until we got our third border collie, Prue.  Than it was not so much that he forgave us, but that he gave us for lost.  Apparently we were crazy.  Charlie never figured out why he was so stand offish with Abbey until he saw a photo of Teddy, Hector’s child hood Border collie.  Abbey was the image of Hector’s Teddy.  Abbey of course is an intelligent border collie so she eventually won Hector over by bonding with him watching Aberdeen and Celtic footie game.  We had made a VCR tape for Abbey of bits of the game and bits of Animal Planet and she and Hector watched that tape for hours together.  The TV would be off and Abbey would find Hector in the sitting room.  She would go and sit pretty in front of the TV.  Pause and wait.  Turn and look at Hector.  Turn and look at the TV and repeat until he turned on the TV and popped her tape in.  Abbey trained Hector to turn on her tape and all was well between them.

Tessa at Aden Park, Mintlaw Scotland

 

Tessa never did watch Footie with Hector and Abbey.  She did have Hector wrapped around her paw equally but in a different area.  Tessa was afraid of heights, specifically bridges and horribly so with bridges she could see through.  When she stayed with Hector, they went for walks daily.  Upon coming to a bridge in Buckie on their walk, Hector would pick her up and carry her across so her paws didn’t have to touch that scary old bridge at all.

Charlie and I took Tessa frequently to Aden Park for walks and outings.  Aden Park is a stunning location in Mintlaw, Scotland.

She always enjoyed meeting new dogs and the bigger and stranger they were the more that she wanted to play with them.  We walked at the beach in Peterhead, Scotland or down at the dunes frequently.  Tessa never seemed to have much interest in small dogs, but those great big snarly boisterous tough dogs had her attention from first woof!

Rolling in dead seagulls was another favorite pastime of hers as well as drinking the sea water in order to throw up all the way home in the car.  You will be missed Tessa Jane.  She had reached 15.75 years old.  A ripe old age for a Scottish Border Collie.

 

Domino (? – September  22, 2015)

Domino was a double merle Australian Shepherd, Aussie.  We adopted him in summer of 2006 but I first heard of him December 2005 where he had been dumped by his previous owner into a kill shelter in California.

Domino, on the Colorado Ranch

I called the shelter from Scotland and they said the owner stated Domino was 7.5 years old.  He was adopted and returned the next day and later adopted by an Aussie rescue agency.  The agency foster homed him for about 6 months and we got him after moving back to the states summer of 2006.

 

Domino

Domino was with our family for a little over 9 years.  We know that he was probably at least 4 years old by the time that we got him but don’t know if he was really as old as 7.5 years.  Either way, he wasn’t a spring chicken when we let him go.

A double merle is a breeding that should never be done.  It breeds a merle to another merle in the mistaken hope that they will get a litter of all merle pups.  Usually this is done to try to get more money as Merle pups are in higher demand due to the public liking the color and pattern.  The problem with this is that you don’t necessarily get more merle pups in the litter.  You do have a 1 in 3 chance of getting a deaf pup that may also be blind and have a lot of other genetic mutations and abnormalities.  Domino was mostly blind and he was deaf.  Towards the end we had to do eye drops for him every day for over a year.  One morning he had woke up with his blue eye all yellow orange because it was bleeding inside the eye and I couldn’t even see the blue any longer.  Once we got the swelling down and the bleeding stopped after a few months, we did eye drops for maintenance to try to stop that every happening again. This was some of his genetic problems due to being a double merle.  One of his eyes was smaller than the other, had very little color and was his mostly blind eye.

 

Domino was all bull moose!  His idea of fun and play was to run over the border collies and he loved a good tussle.  He loved being outside as well as inside by the fire on a cold wintery day.  Oddly enough, Domino and I didn’t get on as much as I had hoped.  We did have an understanding and got on most times, but he decided from the off that he was Charlie’s dog. He loved Charlie through and through.

He sat many times next to Charlie and would drape his front paw over Charlie’s hand and just rest it there.  Or he draped his front paw over Charlie’s ankle if Charlie’s feet were up on the settee.  He was happy and content to just sit there with his paw draped over Charlie as if he was holding hands and that was all that he required.  Now if Charlie wanted to pet him, hold him tight in a death lock and love on him….who was Domino to ever say no.

Domino and I had quiet moments where he draped his paw over me as well when we were alone.  With no one around, I could give him a little treat and he took it from me ever so gentle.  I was always amazed at how white he was in color and how soft his fur was…superbly soft.  Many folks have bought some of Domino’s fiber to spin in their projects.

Domino you are missed and now you are free from pain.  Whatever age you were, you had a full and long life.

 

One Arrives (September 22, 2015)

I did say that we had two that left us Tuesday and one arrived.  During the time that Charlie and I were letting Tessa and Domino go and burying them in the pet cemetery with our other dogs, we had a new arrival here on the ranch.

Glenda, our black llama mama, had an all black male cria.  He is ever so long legged and scrawny looking.  But look at all those curls stop those stilts for legs.  Baby is doing well so far and up and moving around this weekend.

Glenda seems to be settling into motherhood as this was her second cria.  She lost her first cria in CO a few years ago due to a dog interference.  We were unsure if she would bond with this baby after her last traumatic experience but she has done well.

We still have a few llamas that we believe are pregnant but with no idea of their breeding date we won’t know when the crias will arrive until they are here.  The first cria lived for 10 days and that all happened while Charlie was offshore.  This is the first llama we have ever had born that Charlie was able to see.

Cria baby with mom and another llama

Two left and One arrived.  What a surprise that made a very sad day just a little bit better.