Friday, 6 February 2009

A tearful farewell to Moss

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.


Mean Mom said...

A very touching post, which brought tears to my eyes. I know from my own experience that, for some people, losing a pet can be very similar to losing a person. Your son's family will obviously feel devastated, but they can take comfort in the fact that they gave him the best possible life and looked after him to the best of their ability.

Lovely photos!

Jay said...

Tears in my eyes too, as someone who has all too recently lost a beloved companion - but you know that.

Moss was so very lucky to end up with a caring family who would help him work out his problems and take such good care of him right up to his last breath.

Farewell Moss. You will be sadly missed.

Denise said...

Oh how very sad Anne. I am ever so sorry and having lost several four-legged friends through the years I know what everyone is going through. A loving tribute to dear Moss, I know he will be greatly missed.

Maggie May said...

I have been there several times and it is heartbreaking when cats and dogs have to go.
I'm sure Moss had a very happy life with son& DIL and you have all got lovely memories and photos of him.
I am really sad for you all.

fizzycat said...

Moss sounded like a great dog.Your son gave him a lovely life there.They are special indeed and not one can be replaced.

Pam said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your son & daughter-in-law losing their dog. They were both very brave to be there at the end and I hope I can do the same when the time comes.
Moss was very lucky to be loved so much. Take care. Pam XXX

rosiero said...

There's nothing worse than losing a family pet. Hope your son and family are all right. It is so distressing.

Winifred said...

Yes it's a very sad post. It reminded me of my collie dog Monty and his mam Floss who did come from The Borders when my dad was in the Royal Navy and stationed in Rosyth during the war. They are very intelligent dogs and absolutely beautiful.

I hope they are comforted by their lovely memories of Moss and the good life they gave him, but it's hard. Love to them all.

Dusty Spider said...

Brought it all back to me and I'm in tears too. Beautiful photos, beautiful dog. flick xx

TSannie said...

Ohhhh, you know they have short lives, but it doesn't make losing them any easier. I hate the ending. But it hasn't stopped me from finding a new doggy to love.

Gilly said...

I nearly cried when I read about Moss. Our first dog was a much-loved Border Collie/spring Spaniel cross. I cried for a week when she had to be put to sleep at the age of 13. Your post brought it all back!

Even so, I'm pleased to have found your bog!

Kate said...

Ah bless you all - and how nice that another lovely animal was given the best ever life, even to the extent of emigrating with them. A truly heartwarming story - yes it is distressing for you all at the moment and my thoughts are with you.

Trouble with me is, every time it happens here I can't bear the emptiness - so I go and rescue another one and give them all the love I can.
Peace and love,
Kate, Max (cat) Hippie (greyhound) and Hendrix (Guinea Pig) - oh and all the urban foxes that we feed and care for in our garden!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Mean Mom - thank you - hopefully they will be comforted by their memories. A x

Jay - again thank you for kind words. I realise it is still early days for you. A x

Denise - thank you too for your kind words. All of us who have lost animals will relive those memories. A x

Maggie - thank you for kind thoughts. Moss did have a lovely life. A x

Fizzycat - thank you - Moss was special to all of us. A x

Pam - thank you for your words - I think they were brave too, to stay with him. Not an easy thing to do. A x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Rosiero - Thank you for your kind thoughts - I think they are beginning to come to terms with it now. A x

WInifred - again thank you for lovely words. It is early days but I'm sure memories will comfort. A x

Flick - thank you for your kind comment. I think most of us have similar memories. A x

TSannie - thank you for visiting and leaving your kind comment. A x

Gilly - again thank you for visiting and leaving kind words. A x

Kate - it's lovely to meet you and I thank you for your words. I don't know what their thoughts are yet with regard to another dog. But they do indeed have wonderful memories. A x

My genuine thanks to everyone for the kind comments you have left here. A x