My leave over September and October was one of the hardest I think I’ve ever had emotionally. We had to say goodbye to four of the dogs. It’s always hard, but this time doubly so, not just because of the number of dogs, but because, while for two of them the reason was old age and ill health, for two of them it was primarily due to behavioural issues and concerns. For Larick and Broch, we knew in our heart of hearts that it was a physical release from pain for them, but for Cieba and TwoPaws (Toobies) it was an emotional release for them and us.
26th September we had to say goodbye to Broch.
Broch was rescued from a shelter in Trinidad, Colorado, by Melisa in 2008. He had been picked up as a stray, and the people at the shelter estimated that he was around 10 months old at the time. He was with us for eight and a half years, first in the mountains of Colorado, then in the woodlands of Michigan. He had problems with his hips, even as a young dog, and old age did nothing to help that. He was a huge and fluffy dog and when Melisa and I took him and Kizy for walks around town in Colorado we must have been quite a sight! Broch guarded the animals occasionally when we were in Colorado, but most of the time his main concerns were the other dogs and, of course, Melisa. He was one of the few dogs that guarded ‘up’ and on a number of occasions chased off birds of prey that may have been intent on trying a snack of border collie. As he grew older, it became apparent that he was in increasing pain from his hips, which were never right, even when he was young. He soldiered on bravely when we gave him medication, but his condition was deteriorating and we knew that he was having more ‘bad’ days than ‘good’ days and was becoming increasingly grumpy with the other dogs. It was time to let him go.