27 March 2007

It's Sure Been Sad Around Here Today

I've been picking up all of Neil the Collie's things today. Dog beds, water dishes, food dishes, treats, shedding rakes, and so on. He had quite a collection of things and they were scattered all over the house, although a lot of it was in the kitchen. I'll probably pack up all the food and take it to a nearby shelter.

I sure do miss him. He wasn't a noisy dog ever and he'd slept a lot in the last couple of years, but still it's way too quiet now that he's gone. I keep expecting to look up and see him and he's not there.

I called the woman who bred his sire, Spif, to tell her the sad news. She was sorry to hear it, of course, but glad he hadn't been in pain or anything. She also suggested that I check with a breeder near San Diego, who has one of Neil's half-brothers. He may have a litter bred by him.

Incidentally, it's Spif's name, Narnia's Intrepid Spaceman Spif, that led to Neil and Buzz's names. They were born the year of the 25th, silver, anniversary of the first moon landing. Not only was their sire a spaceman, but their dam's call name was Silver. We didn't need any omens to convince us to get these two puppies, but it sure did make naming them easy. They also each had personalities a bit like their eponymous astronauts. Neil was reserved and dignified and Buzz was outgoing and extroverted.

Here's Neil on his dog bed last year. It was in the corner of my office, right across from my chair. It was Neil's secure place and he slept there and carried special treats there to eat. This photo was probably taken last winter or spring, before we went up to Lancaster for the summer.

I can't quite tell what that is on the floor in front of him. It wasn't edible, though. Neil loved to eat and he would never have ignored a tempting bit of food like that.

Here he is dropping off to sleep. He'd start out like this, not quite curled up, but he'd usually end up on his side, stretched out. He fit just exactly on this bed, nose tip at one edge, rump at the other.

Here are Neil and Buzz in our first Palm Desert house. probably about four years ago. Buzz was up in the chair because I'd been trimming the hair on his feet. Normally our dogs don't get on the furniture and Neil took this rule so much to heart that he was very uncomfortable even when I'd lifted him up and was right beside him. He'd get down at the first opportunity. Buzz, on the other hand, was willing to hang around, given the chance.

Incidentally, Neil was a beautiful, perfect collie. He really met the standard and would have done very well had he been shown. Buzz, on the other hand, wasn't quite so perfect in his looks. See how his ears are set close together on top of his head, for example. He was still a handsome dog, just not quite standard. It didn't bother him, or us, one bit.

No comments: