Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Once Again, Mourning a Dear Friend

Blue, Australian Cattle Dog

Blue and her daughter, Patches

Blue and Patches

Blue passed away on the Monday before Thanksgiving. It's taken me a week to be able to write about her. It's always hard to lose a pet, but it's been especially hard losing Blue. She was with me for almost a quarter of my life and was a connection with so many of my other dogs - she came to live with me soon after I lost Tuffy, a New Boston Terrier. She was a wee puppy who immediatly fit in with the pack led by Shady, Shady's son Shep, and Ben the Dog Who Came to School. Shep and Shady lived to 16 and 17, and Spot the Puppy Who Came to School for Show and Tell, joined us. Spot did everything he could to try to get rid of Blue - one time he took her off on a 20 mile run and then left her. Another time, he took her behind the store into the woods and dumped her in a frozen pond. Both of those times it was a miracle that she ever came home. Blue had a litter of puppies before I knew she'd had her first heat cycle. Ben fathered some, Spot others. Ben and Spot both met their demise as free-running farm dogs. Then our vet arranged an adoption and George came to us. I had sold all of Blue's puppies and she seemed pretty lonely, so I gave her the puppy and told her she could raise him - and she did. She set rules for George and bullied him into following them - they were inseperable. Then one of Blue's puppies, Patches, came back to us. She'd lived the life of an abandoned wild dog for a year and had been trapped when she was killing a farmer's chickens. Blue tried to make Patches behave, but Patches wasn't easily cowed and is still a little worried about being "caught" - eventually they became very close friends and Patches became Blue's guide dog when Blue's sight was limited. Blue and I had a special bond. Even when she was blind she could read my mind. Like a true Cattle Dog, she was happiest when she was with me or close enough to watch me.