August 30, 2014 was a sad day for Charlie and I.
Another of our furry family members passed. It has taken me some time to be able to write a post about Todd’s passing. Todd came to us when he was about 8 years old. I had started herding lessons with Kathy in Ft. Lupton, CO for Abbey, my red tri color border collie. During the time that I was taking a few lessons with Abbey, I met Todd and we bought Todd.
Todd wouldn’t always work for everyone. He did like to work for me. He occasionally worked for Charlie but most times he would not work for him. Todd needed a firm but patient handler and if anyone shouted at him, he shut down and would refuse to work. He and Kathy had a difference of opinion. He wanted to gather up the sheep and bring them to her, she wanted to train him to go further and drive and do other things. If the sheep or goats were moving away from the human, Todd was NOT happy. Well for us and our minimal needs, Todd’s style worked well. He could gather up the sheep and goats and bring them to us all day long so I didn’t have to go down that big steep hill on the Colorado mountain side. He understood that he wasn’t required to work every day, that when we walked even without any critters to herd I would run through his commands for practice, and that this was his retirement home. We had about 6.5 years with Todd. He adored my husband Charlie, me too, but there was a special bond with Charlie. Charlie was his playmate.
Todd started going downhill dramatically about 2 weeks prior to our decision to let him go. We did run numerous tests and our best guess was that he had a bone cancer in his back hip and some sort of spinal injury as no messages from the back end were reaching the brain. He was staggering, struggling to use the bathroom, didn’t want to eat, and in pain. It was the correct thing to do for him, even though it sucked for us. I waited a little bit and tried a few pain medications and he had some initial improvements but not any significant increase in the quality of his life.
I had hoped the medication would turn the tide and was going to give him a few days to look for improvements, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Charlie was offshore at the time but the extra few days making him a bit more comfortable with the pain medications allowed Charlie to get home to be with Todd that last evening before going to the vet the next day.
Our Todd would gather up the sheep, but he really enjoyed the belligerent stubborn goats. Those were his favorite to herd and bend to his will. He had a great eye and barely made a sound when doing any herding. It was a joy to watch him work.
Todd will be missed.