Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ode To An Old Collie

My mother's dog Tag was a beautiful and athletic dog.
Nirvana's Taggus McTaggert
My mother had wanted a collie of her own for several years.
She told me she wanted to do agility with him so I figured I better find her a clever one.
I found a breeder who still bred her collies to work sheep and my mother picked out her favorite pup.
Tag was a great herding dog.  He had rare talent for his breed.  Often, I would only take him for a week or two before we tried a new level in competition and he learned so fast that he would always get a new title.
7 month old Tag learning his herding basics
My mother always enjoyed him in agility.
Whenever they qualified, they always came home with a blue or red ribbon.  There was never anything in the middle.  It was all or nothing for Tag and he lived his whole life with gusto.
Tag practicing his agility jumps
Tag's enthusiasm followed into his home life too.  Anytime I came to visit, he barked with joy and ran to get his favorite toy for me to throw.  If you didn't pay attention to his insistent collie barks, he was likely to untie your shoes or steal something you might need.
Tag stealing my father's slipper

We thought he would never slow down, but as he approached the twilight of his life, he didn't run as fast or jump as high and it was time for retirement.  He hated staying behind while my mother took the younger collie out to do the agility he used to do. So she would sometimes take him with her to just fool around when the "serious" dogs were finished with their lessons.
Although he didn't move the same, he still had his sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye.
Still stealing stuff at 12 years old
It happens to all of us who own pets.  They can't stay with us forever and this morning, Tag told my mother he was ready to take his last rest.  He didn't want to be sore and confused anymore, and so with great regret, and many tears, they said goodbye.
It's a good thing my mother's other collie is a certified therapy dog.  She'll need the comfort.
My mother and Tag at 12 years old.
I was hoping I could see Tag one more time when I visited again this fall but I understand.
I'll see you another time, Tag.


onecollie said...

oh so sad, 13 is old for a collie for sure, it is never enough time however, never,
Rest In Peace Tag ♥

Monique said...

<3 no such thing as enough time with a true friend. Sympathies.

Donna Brinkworth said...

I am so sorry! I teared up reading this because as you know, I grew up with Rough Collies too, and my first collie Beau died at age 13. I love the picture of Tag at age 12 still stealing things. What a great life he had; kudos to you and your mom for letting him shine. He will shine on.

Camp said...

your mother is beautiful. I believe that smile she has is partly due to wonderful Tag. Crying while typing, this hits close to home with me and all of us who have a "best friend".

Joan said...

I'm really sorry to hear about Tag. I remember seeing him at DR a long time ago. Not fair the short time we get to spend with them. Your Mom is lucky to have such great memories though.

Ryker said...

What a wonderful companion Tag was. Your mother was very blessed. I wish them both well.

Koping Weims said...

Lovely tribute to an obviously lovely dog...sorry for the families loss


Sarah said...

i was so sad to hear about Tag, what a beautiful boy and you can tell how much he was loved.

Anonymous said...

awww.... my condolences to your Mom and you. I am honoured to have met Tag.


Cathy said...

I'm sure I am not the only one who got a little choked-up reading this. We love our loyal pets and it's so hard to see them go.

thecrazysheeplady said...