This morning we received the news from Australia we had been expecting for a few weeks, that Moss, the much loved dog of my son and his family, had been put to sleep. He was nearly thirteen years old - a Border Collie.
When I was over there with them this time last year my son said that he felt that Moss was slowing down. I put it down to age but S was not so sure that that was completely the case.
Here they are together during one of our walks in the forest in March 2008.
In September, when I was there again, it was becoming more obvious that there may be a problem. The vet had been keeping an eye on him and in November he diagnosed leukaemia, giving him, possibly, 6 weeks. Well, he had a little more than that, maybe 10 weeks and yesterday S and DIL made the decision that he had had enough. They took him this morning, whilst the older children were at school. The vet gave Moss a titbit to chew on and S and DIL stayed with him until the end.
I rang when I got up this morning to ask how they were (they had already told me what was happening). To hear their distress was very upsetting, they aren't even close enough for me to give them a hug. We know, once they get over their initial grief, that each day will be easier and they have some wonderful memories of a very special "best friend".
They "rescued" him when he was about 1 year old. He had had a difficult 1st year and they had a few problems with him initially but they persevered and he became very loving, not just to them but to all family members. When they decided to emigrate 5 years ago there was never any doubt that he would go with them and in fact Moss was the first to arrive in Australia (only by a matter of hours). They are in Adelaide but he had to fly to Melbourne for his 30 day quarantine period. OH and I were there when he was reunited with them. He was in excellent condition, his coat glossy and silky. He didn't have his bark, presumably because he had been barking to keep up with the other dogs in the quarantine kennels, but he soon got it back again.
He hated any loud noises and would not venture outside during thunderstorms or if there were fireworks about. There were many times, whilst they were still living close to us, when S had had to carry him to our house while he went to get his car because Moss would not walk another step because he was aware of thunder.
He loved his walks and got very excited when he knew it was time to go out, particularly when he was going in the car as that meant they were off to the forest. When they first arrived in Australia S always kept him on the lead but eventually, after a year or so, let him run free and Moss had great fun chasing after rabbits and occasionally, kangaroos. How many dogs can say they have done that!
So they have lost their lovely Moss and they will miss him. We all will. Sleep peacefully, old friend.
The thin end of the wedge
5 days ago