Comings and goings

Coming:  Last night when Scottie and I went for uor walk we saw swallows – the first if the season back from Africa.  We saw three along by the Viking slip.  They nest in the old Customs House.  They are back about a week early – I don’t usually see them until May.  No sign of the ones round my house yet….

Going:  I have just returned from the vet having helped Steve have Taz put down.

I gave Taz to Steve as a birthday present 15 years ago. A collie/lab cross, he was a rescue – he was left on the pier in Stromness in the middle of summer, tied to a lamp post with no food or water. Fishermen noticed has was there in the evening and gave him a drunk, and when he was there the next morning they called the ‘cruelty man’.  He spent the next two weeks in kennels at the farm where I used to carriage drive. He never stopped barking all that time, and only slept in snatches. But he was obviously a kind hearted and loving dog beneath the wariness, and I knew I could make something of him and give him a happy home.

When we took him to the vet, they recognised him as having been brought in with tales of ‘accidents’ which they did not believe, but there was nothing they could actually pin on the people who brought him in. He had had 2 broken legs and they said he would probably have problems with those if he lived to be old.  He gradually lost his fear of people and started to enjoy life. He never stopped barking when people came up to the house (which is at the back of a farm) – until he became too deaf to hear them!!

Ben (son), Taz, Steve and Ben (Scottie) last summer

He must have been 17 at least as he was a young dog not a puppy when we got him. The past couple of years he has been a Very Old Dog – perfectly happy, but growing deafer and blinder. But he enjoyed his walks when he wanted to go, and loved lying in the sea or the stream.

The past few days he has seemed a bit more confused and a bit agitated, so the decision was made. Those crooked legs never did bother him…!

Steve has Ben, the Scottie I got last year. Ben wanted to stay with Steve after I got back in the New Year, and Ben is very snuggly. Steve said that Ben knew something was up, and was trying to console him…

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8 thoughts on “Comings and goings

  1. Taz looks so like our Truffles, who was a rescue also. She’s getting to be a bit of an old lady dog at about age 9. It’s such a hard thing to do even when it’s the kindest thing.

  2. What a wonderful tribute. I can say from my own experience that there’s nothing worse than being completely dogless when one has to say good-bye to a dear old friend; I’m so glad Steve has Ben to snuggle with.

  3. I’m so sorry Liz. He looked so handsome. I too have a dog that was mistreated and then dumped in the countryside. He eventually ended up in the yard of the prison at which I worked with one of his front legs torn open. He has been a faithful companion for the last 10 years and since he is a Rat Terrier and is small enough, he has made himself a semi-permanent attachment to my left hip. When I asked the Vet what to expect of him, she laughed and said “expect him to sail over the furniture.” She was right. But now he is as old in dog years as I am in human years and we have both settled down quite a bit. Renate

  4. Your Taz looks so much like my Ben, who we lost about four years ago. What a sweetie, and what a good eulogy for him.

  5. It’s sad to have to make the decision to end the life of a pet dog or cat but it’s the humane thing to do. Taz was an important part of your life. I sympathize.

    Janet

  6. having to let him go is sad – but at least you know that you gave him a better life, when you took him in! we had to do the same with one of ours last year – and I still miss her and look at “her” spot, which is empty now. I hope our own “old lady” (who’s 14 and much calmer now that she’s going deaf as well!) will have another few nice years to come….

  7. Oh Liz, I’m so sorry to hear of this. Losing a pet is absolutely awful; I still snuffle over my cat who we lost last November. sympathy to you both.

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