FRIEND: I wish I could speak Border-Collie…


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I wish I spoke your lingo, dear suffering dog. I know you hurt somewhere; I know you pant with anxiety or pain. But I cannot catch the language in your breath-related anguish. I do not know what to do for you, how to comfort, how to soothe.

You stand there, frantic – with a need I cannot read. I try all sorts: Stroke your fur, which makes the panting worse; touch your back, which you pull away from; open the back door and let you out…and there you stand, in early morning light, a lost canine soul, unsure of your world, unmoving, breathing harshly to be let back in again.

I wish I could converse with you, my lovely friend, Jumble, in words or sounds we both understood. I wish you could tell me what ails you so that I could do something – other than the drugged hit-and-miss nature of Tramadol – to ease the ravages of age and soreness.

I wish I were fluent in Border-Collie…

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32 thoughts on “FRIEND: I wish I could speak Border-Collie…

  1. I know exactly what you are saying and I feel for you. I wish I could speak Cocker Spaniel for the same reason. I carry ours upstairs then carry him down. Tramadol deadens the pain, we hope the metacam and cartophen injections will take the pain away for we dread the day, as I’m sure you do, that the pills no longer work.

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  2. Jumble will try and read you too and will be able to see your sadness and it is important to stay positive so that he does not think he has done anything wrong. When he still finds enjoyment in his day and has some quality of life you can spend quality time with him before you let him go – you will know when the time is right. Sending love your way from all of us here xxx

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  3. Sounds like Althea is right…..the time is near and I’m sure Jumble knows it too. It all comes down to quality of life doesn’t it. Perhaps you could get the opinion of the vet? It’s awful really, our furry family are all too precious and it’s difficult to say goodbye….Looking at RIpley at his peak and having just excelled at dog training, it’s hard to ilmagine him at the end of his life and is such an awful thought, but something we will face one day…..☹️🐕🐶xxx

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    1. Thanks, Dean, and I absolutely agree. I have taken him to the vet twice in the past month and the feeling is that he still has some quality of life and his heart/lungs are fine, so it is very much a play it by ear and by day game. I think I’ll know when he has had enough. He is slowing down and his mind is not sharp anymore. If he reaches fifteen, I shall be delighted; but I am not going to keep him going past his choice just for that. xxx

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  4. Know where you’re at and where you’re coming from Ali.
    Maggie is 12, and feeling the heat, especially at night so we ensure the bedroom door is left open so that she can come downstairs where it’s marginally cooler. In our own home, we would have a bowl of water in our room, but here she knows it’s in the kitchen. Mags is also feeling it in her joints, and we give her a half dose of metacam if she is really stiff though not every day as it can affect the liver and kidneys apparently in the long term. The vet says that we are doing the right thing and if she needs permanent medication, then she will perscribe something else.
    Our beloved furballs can’t tell us what’s wrong or where it hurts. All we can do is love them to pieces, smooth their fur and soothe their minds with gentle words. And let them knw we’re there.

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    1. Absolutely agree with you on this. Letting them know that we are there and that we love them is key. That is soothing and comforting in itself and transcends the limits of language. Thank you for this lovely comment. xxx

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  5. Oh dear Ali, I know well your pain. Perhaps you speak the language more than you realize? My Daisy told me six months before I finally let her go that she was leaving, and there were many signs she gave to me during those six months. I don’t think she held it against me that I didn’t listen to everything she was trying to tell me and show me, but they do speak to us in their silent ways, it’s just so hard to listen when we have such strong attachments and a deep love for our pet companions. Much love and hugs. xoxo ❤

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    1. Thank you so much for this heart-warming, and heart-breaking, empathetic response, Alethea. It doesn’t matter how many pets one has, this particular journey gets no easier, does it? Yes, Jumble is speaking to me in the silent language – and I am reading him. xxx

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    1. Thank you, Liza. It came from the heart. Jumble has been in the family since he was six weeks old; now rising fifteen, and declining fast, he may not last much longer – but I want to make his remaining time as happy and peaceful as I can. xxx

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