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Posts tagged ‘border collies’

Adding to the family

Around three weeks ago we adopted a border collie. This year old was found wandering the streets and was picked up. He was passed along from a vet office to a few homes. We adopted him from the Circle of Friends rescue organization.

Aiden is a wonderful dog and full of energy. I think he has medium herding instincts that have made living with cats an experience. It has taken him about two weeks to be able to come up to our oldest cat, Leon, and give him sniffs and kisses. The other two cats have not been as successful but I have every hope that they will be come tolerant.

I had forgotten how much work and how much a of a schedule a border collie requires. Since Seamus, was with us for fifteen years and for the last five he had slowed down immensely he did not require as much attention as far as walking, etc.. Seamus also never really had very strong herding instincts.

Aiden likes to go for long walks but he is not completely leash trained so I have purchased a leader collar. (this has helped a whole lot.) He also likes to fetch his discs and push around a soccer ball. I hope to eventually to work with him to get him to really start doing tricks and long throws with discs.

The best story so far was when we were bringing him home. (It also reminded me that just like kids when dogs are very quite, they might very well be into something they should not…!) As Aiden was riding in the back seat he was going from window to window. We had been at our small group gathering and had received a small container of candy. (We unfortunately, didn’t know that the candy had spilled over. ) Aiden had been very noisy for about fifteen minutes and then was quite. I had assumed that he had tired himself out and had laid down to rest.  A few minutes later, Paul said do you smell peppermint? I did but I couldn’t figure out where the smell was coming from inside the truck. A few minutes later, I heard Aiden munching on something. I unbuckled my seat belt and twisted around until I could reach him. I discovered that he had a root beer candy in his mouth. We can only assume that he had eaten a peppermint earlier.

I can’t wait to see what other stories I will be sharing over the many years we will have with Aiden. I knew that getting another border collie was going to be a lot of work but there will be so many rewards. A side benefit is that I’m getting a lot of exercise. Stay tuned for more stories….


Saying Goodbye

It has been almost a month that I had to say goodbye to my baby dog. Seamus had been with me for fifteen years but he lived to be almost seventeen and a half years old. He was a great border collie that was just a part of the family. He began his life with us as my mother’s dog.

I remember the day she called me to say that she thought she had found a dog. She wanted me to check him out so we went to the Atlanta Humane Society the next day. Seamus sat at the back of the kennel when we approached but he immediately began waging his tail and walking towards the front when he saw my mother. You could tell that he had remembered her from the day before. Needless to say, she adopted him and we took him home. She had about two years with him before we had to say goodbye to her and he began his life with me.

In his earlier years, his job was to wake me up every morning. He was faithful with that chore and insured that I did not go back to sleep. He would just sit at the side of the bed and just stare until I began to get up. If I didn’t get up, he would then begin to nose me until I was up and out of the bed.  Seamus also loved to play hide and seek. He would stay put and then I would go and hide. I would call his name and then the game would begin. He would seek me and eventually find me. What amazed me about him, was he would always check the previous place you would have hidden. He would play that game for hours.

As he matured and slowed down, he would still sit with me and watch the world go by. The cats that we had, slowly began to watch over him and keep him company. Toward the end Boodle, one of our newer cats, would be constantly at his side when he was out. Boodle would make sure that Seamus was safe and sound.

Now that he is gone. I still go around the house from time to time expecting to see him. Leon our current oldest cat also is missing him. Leon will walk the house crying looking for company. He always had his friend around to sleep with if we were not there. Leon on occasion has taken it upon himself to sleep in Seamus’s bed. I will miss you old friend and even though I will eventually get another border collie to fill up the empty place in my heart. There will always be a place in my heart for you.

Several years ago, I wrote a song for Seamus when I thought we were going to have to put him down.  Luckily for me, Seamus lived five years longer. Below is the video that I created using the song that I wrote.

Letting Go

There comes a time in each of our lives that we have to recognize that it is time to let go of something. For me the hardest thing to let go are my animals. I have had two border collies in my life and both lived to be pretty old. My first collie, Spice, lived to be about 13 years old. Before she died she was blind and getting hard of hearing. She suffered from cancer but I had a hard time letting go of her. I knew in the end, that it was the humane thing to do but nevertheless a hard thing to do.

My current border collie is seventeen years old. He has suffered from kidney disease for the past four years. Over the last few years he has declined. He has lost a lot of weight and has begun to get very senile. He often doesn’t remember where he is and will start barking. He is in decline and again, I’m struggling with letting go.  How can you just say goodbye to something that has been a part of your life for so long? I know that death is a part of life but for me the decision with an animal is hard.  They can’t tell you what is wrong or if they are just going through the motions. I think Seamus’s time is coming and I must learn to let go. It doesn’t mean that I love him less but it is merciful to say goodbye when all he does is sleep and acts confused.

I just ask for strength and the love God has given me to finally let him go. How have you let go of something you held dear to you?