Monday, July 29, 2013

The End Came Quickly

Sunday is our day of rest…

..our day to chill out...and enjoy life.

However, this Sunday did not work that way.

You see...

One of our farm dogs never woke up on this particular Sunday morning.  

Sometime in the night, Jed’s big ole heart beat for its final time.  That really changed the atmosphere of our Sunday. That's putting it lightly.

I can’t quite describe the feeling of finding a dead dog on your porch.  I won't even try. He just looked like he was napping next to the kitchen door…just like always. I really thought if I called one more time his tail would start wagging and he’d wander on down to the barn. Except I knew...

He had a number of health issues over the years, and he wasn’t what you'd consider young anymore…so, it didn’t come as a total surprise.  However, the exact cause remains a mystery and that is a bit worrisome.   I find myself feeling a little apprehensive over the health of the rest of the animals here on the hill. We’ve seen what seems like more than our share of unexpected death this year, and although this is in no way related to our lamb losses...I still feel apprehensive.

Yesterday he had seemed so normal, bothering the FedEx guy and barking, chasing the neighbor down the hill…

Since Jed was a working animal and not really a pet, we don’t feel that grievous loss that we have when dear pets have passed away or disappeared.  However, he was part of the farm team far longer than any other dog we have ever owned…so there is a sense of strangeness if for no other reason than he was part of the landscape.

He had more than his fair share of annoying, destructive habits that couldn’t be broken…so, in some ways it will make things easier.  The Boss can work toward filling in all the holes that Jed felt it necessary to dig when he was in need of a cool napping place or shelter from an impending thunderstorm. We won't miss his strange, random, relentless, pointless nocturnal barking.  However, he was one of the characters around here that lent to the atmosphere of the place.  I must admit, I will miss his weird and massive presence.

All in all, Jed had a good life here on the hill. We granted him years of care and comfort.  He added to the ambiance and atmosphere of the place and we learned a lot about dogs, sheep, predators…and ourselves in the time we spent with the big old lug. I must admit…I’m feeling just a little sad.

Everything felt rather different...weird...out of sorts...vaguely sad and strange.

Ellie Mae seems to sense that something is different, she has been skittish and alert all day.  As Ellie will need the companionship and teamwork of another dog, it is certain that we will get another dog to work as sentry and guard around the place.

The Boss is already looking for puppies…
Baby Jed

Oh my goodness…puppies…I DO love me some puppies!


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