The hard decision...

This is Brynne at about 4 months old..that was over 12 years ago now..she was a lovely puppy and she went on to do so many things in her life. I am so blessed in my dogs in general, they have accomplished so much more than the average pet dog. But that time is coming when I have to decide how many bad days vs good days Brynne is having ? Sometimes I look at her and I think she is so far removed from the dog of a few months ago, and then when we are outside she picks up a stick or a ball and wants me to throw it for her..I can't do that anymore as she will fall over and cannot get back up unassisted. She doesn't seem to be in pain, but other than when, outside her life is about laying around, not because she is sleeping or wants to, but because her legs don't hold her up anymore. I do not think I have seen her sit for a few weeks now. She can only slide into a lying position. Why is she deteriorating so fast? we just don't know, is it fair to put her through a ton of tests to tell us why? I don't think so, because I do not think knowing will alter her life now. It won't make her better, there are no medicines that will help her walk, will make her legs strong again. For those that have been through this, you know how very hard this decision is..I would never keep a dog going for my sake, ever, but nor do I want to end her life prematurely. Do I believe she will tell me? I know Cam did, but she is not Cam..but she is a Border Collie and they hang on as long as they can. Let me tell you a little about Brynne's life..she came from Michigan and came to me because of another Red dog that a friend of mine had in flyball. I had always liked Red border collies, so I put my name on a list. When she was born, I knew from the start that she would be special, I knew in my gut, although I did not actually meet her until she was nine weeks old. The flight was tough on her, and she acquired an odd illness that stumped my vet, all of her joints became painful and swollen, she cried when we tried to pick her up. I did some research and all I could come up with as giving her very high doses of Vit C to ease the inflammation, within two weeks she was back to normal and since then has never had any illness until now. I trained Brynne for Flyball, in which she excelled..she was what we call the "clean up" dog, she ran fourth and her official title was "anchor" dog..where she got to finish the race and beat the last dog on the other team..she loved running fast. She was also in a few commercials, one of them being in Vancouver for Mike's Hard Lemonade..that was a very fun commercial. She got to fly to Arizona for Cyno Sports for Fly ball..she received a medal there..silver or bronze, I cannot remember right now. We dabbled in Obedience, she was lovely to work..and she was very precise all of the time. In her later years, once I joined the SPCA, she became a Humane Education dog, she did this for a couple of years until I retired her this year..she educated and was loved by so many school children, she visited hundreds and hundreds. She even did SPCA Kid's Camp for three years running, giving children the opportunity to do dog agility with her..she loved them all. She even had her picture in BC SPCA's BARK magazine for visiting Aboriginal Children in a school in Seaton Portage. They got to do tricks with her, these children had never met a dog like Brynne before. She could say "hello" and "wave" goodbye to them which so impressed everyone.

So, now we are on the home stretch and knowing that our days with Brynne will be numbered. I watch every day for signs that this will be one of her last. But I also look for all of the good things in her life still. Her brother Shae, greets her every morning, he touches noses with her, or he will sit next to her and put his paw on her head..they will both bring their heads close to each is very touching to watch as I have rarely if ever seen this exchange in any of our other dogs. But they are from the same parents although three years apart and I remember the day Shae arrived how Brynne loved him from the beginning and "mothered" him, that has never changed. I hope he doesn't pine for her when she is gone..Will his heart be broken like ours..Beautiful Brynne..we treasure everyday we have left with you, so while the sun shines, let's take those walks, let's pick up sticks and let us make more memories..

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