We've not had a good week. Last Thursday Pip had a stroke and we spent the last 5 days giving her 24-hour care; camping out with her in the lounge as it was the only room without any steps out to the garden. Yesterday we sadly watched as the vet put her to sleep. For a very active dog to go virtually blind and to lose her mobility so suddenly was extremely distressing for her and for us, so we decided we needed to put an end to it.
The house seems very empty this morning.
Pip and her brother, Kit (died in Canada, 2010), came to us from a rescue centre when they were about 6-7 months old in 1999. They had been starved and beaten and they always remembered this. Pip would stash food in hiding places around the house in case she needed it later ... and she only ever ate what was in her bowl when she was sure we were home for the day and could fill it up again. Really not typical dog behaviour!
But then Pip wasn't your typical collie! She loved sitting like this on the stairs.
And tennis balls were her favourite toy ... Kit got to keep all the chew toys (which he promptly tried to destroy - even the super strength kongs!), but the tennis balls were always Pip's. Walking round the house could be a bit of a nightmare - either Pip was being a trip hazard on the stairs (you try walking downstairs with a full washing basket .. I fell over her more than once) or running into her tennis balls strategically placed to entice us to throw them for her or treading on piles of food from her stash!
We had a great time with both Pip and Kit. Now that they're both gone we're going to take a while to adjust. We definitely aren't planning on having any more dogs - moving house so much wasn't planned when we got the dogs 13 years ago and it is really unsettling for them, plus it turns out that I'm allergic (long story - hard to believe I didn't know that until 6 years ago!). So we're going to have to get used to an emptier house and find new ways to exercise. It'll take a while.