Thursday, December 12, 2013

Good Bye, Sweet Blaze.

We had to say good bye to our dear friend Blaze today - Farmer Man's best friend.  We knew it was coming but somehow you're still never quite ready to lose a pet.  He'd been slowing down this past summer and fall; he no longer followed either of us anytime we left the house, he slept more, he ate less.  We knew he didn't hear much anymore and suspected his eyesight was going.  Then, two days ago he just seemed to lose the use of his back legs.  We found we had to hoist up his back legs to get him to walk, he'd stagger outside and just lie down even in frigid weather.  We'd have to go hoist him up again to get him back inside.  He couldn't, um, lift-his-leg to do his business and would just fall down into whatever business he had done.  It was time to say goodbye...he could no longer function as a dog.

Blaze, a Border Collie cross, came to us through our pal Molly.  Almost twelve years ago Molly was a very young lady working for the summer at the Clear Lake trail riding ranch, which also held the Clear Lake/Wasagaming pound.  She had called home to her Mom saying that a lovely dog had come into the pound and was due to be put down and she just couldn't let that happen.  He had obviously been on the run a while and was a mess, but seemed to have a beautiful disposition.  Molly worked on finding him a home and when his time at the pound was up, Mom Nancy supported Molly's call and took the dog out of the pound.  Thank you, ladies!

Molly eventually got in touch with us, knowing that our farm dog Nicky was very elderly.  We had always loved the breed: Jes had always been interested in frisbee sports and a Border Collie would be a great match.  Farmer Man wasn't in town but I went over to Nancy's to meet the dog and fell in love!  I brought him home and Blaze was a bit of a surprise present!  Our vet, Dr. Sherry at Wheat City Vet, estimated he was three to four years old at the time.

It wasn't easy at first!  Blaze wasn't well socialized and we had the big farm dog (a Malamute) and we had little Teddy Bear, the diva.  Blaze also didn't like cats at all and the old farm cat Peanuts had to scratch his face a few times to teach Blaze some respect.  Because I didn't know the dog and was still working on walking him and teaching him simple commands, when I was working in the gardens early on I would tie him up someplace close by.  Soon, he was chewing through the rope to be free to come lie down beside me, where ever I was working.

Blaze really became Farmer Man's dog: Jes was always up-and-out earlier than I was.  Blaze would be with him every minute of the day.  When Farmer Man was working on the tractor, Blaze would find a place in the shade and just watch the tractor go up and down the rows.  At potato planting, when the speed is a little slower, Blaze would follow the tractor, up and down the rows. If the farmer was hoeing, Blaze would be lying someplace close.  He might take some time to go swim in the dug out, smelling bad for a time after, but he was never far for long.

When we acquired Grizzly Bear, Blaze and the puppy developed a special relationship.  I don't know if it was because Grizzly was the youngest, but he would groom Blaze intensely, licking his ears, face and even his teeth!  I wonder if Grizzly will miss him?  Blaze eventually became the most accepting dog, showing no problems with visiting dogs, barn cats, chickens and goats.  Even though he absolutely had Border Collie in him, he never showed any inclination to 'herd' anything, but that's okay.

Blaze was the kind of dog that didn't care about toys or treats - he just wanted love and pats!  Oh, he'd chase a ball or frisbee, sometimes he'd bring it back.  But what he loved most was getting his tummy rubbed and his ears scratched.  He was always a hit when we did farm tours, even with children because he would just lie down, roll over and offer his tummy!

I know we'll just automatically be looking for him for a while; it will be hard to find him 'not there'.  Hopefully, he had a good life and enough love and pats!  And we'll see him again....over the Rainbow Bridge.


  1. So Sorry about Blaze, he was a great companion :(

  2. Sorry to hear about your dog Norah, they become part of the family don't they? very hard to let go. Take care and best wishes to you both in the new year.

  3. Aww so sorry to hear about your pal Blaze. I think anyone who has loved a pet understands how awful it is to lose a pet.