As what happens in our family, for reasons we don’t fully understand, our dogs at the end of their lives take their last breath under the full moon, almost all of them in winter.
$eeker died naturally and smoothly next to our Christmas tree, next to my husband, under the full moon. He lived an extraordinary fourteen and a half years surrounded by the people and the dogs that made his world complete. He didn’t really want much, just all of us and whatever it was we were doing.
As I write this, please know while he was our dog, he was truly my daughters dog. She had been coming to agility competitions with me for years, helping out and running my dogs, but at nine years of age she was very clear that she wanted her own dog, and not just any dog, she wanted a tenacious, fast, intense border collie dog. She dreamed of him, and in two weeks, there he was.
They were so perfectly matched for each other. She never shied away from his intense energy and drive, in fact it was like fodder for her intense soul. They were an awesome team, in the agility ring, freestyle, on a trail, out for a run, or in the sandbox.
My daughter worked with him everyday, took care of him under our guidance, and had super clear goals. When she was twelve they started to compete, and even though I am clearly in the Mama role, they were awesome, seamless, and moved so effortlessly together. Both with undeniable physical prowess.
My daughter knew he was nearing the end of his life, and both her and my son changed their plans to come home and be here during the last part of his life. My children have been a part of our dogs lives from cradle to grave, through all of the life stages, all of the adventures and misadventures, and all of the emotions that come with it.
They know death, they know it is the end of a life well lived, and a natural transition. They are honest, they grieve openly, and they do not apologize for loving their animals maybe more deeply than other humans. Tears and laughter are so interchangeable in our household during times of grief, good memories and loss, and it is all as it should be. They have gone through everything with our dogs and have such a rich life experience because of it.
In the wee hours of the full moon morning, my husband woke us to say that $eeker had died. We all made space for my daughter, and she wrapped him in his favorite blanket, and by herself carried him out to the pasture to lay under the full moon. Her personal ceremony was what she needed it to be. Private, sacred, and between her and $eeker.
$eeker was the final dog in my kid crew. The four dogs that actually raised my children, and that fill their memories. I am humble enough to recognize that I was merely the cook.
He is in great company now, and for that I am grateful. Nancy