Lou crossed peacefully to the Big Field on June 8. I hope that Wick and Bear were the first to greet him, followed by all of his relatives and friends that went before him. It’s the end of an era; the last of my condo dogs from my city days has passed.
Lou was my first working border collie, and he literally put me on his shoulders and taught me how to work sheep. I had never run in anything more than a fun arena trial when I bought Lou, and after just a couple of weeks of working him, we went to the post for the first time in Pro Novice. I think we ran in two PN trials and then I moved to Open the next trial because I didn't want to run on the Monday. He was such a natural dog, the sheep loved him, and no matter how many wrong flanks I blew, no matter how many times I misjudged the panels, or got in the way in the shed, he would put everything back together for me. I never knew what to call that quality he had until recently. My mentor told me "He has mental fortitude." The rare time a sheep tried to biff him, he stood his ground, neither threatening nor retreating. He only gripped off twice, both times at the Calgary Stampede. He had a sense of style.
Off the field, Lou was the most chill, unflappable dog. Almost everyone who met him loved him. He enjoyed staring at cats, having his mullet groomed, playing with the hose, and napping. He was ridiculously popular at agility trials, given that he never really did agility. He came to work from time to time, which he enjoyed because everyone had food. He loved my family, most especially my niece, and was endlessly patient as she braided his ear hair or painted his nails. He has been my shadow for so long and he took an enormous part of my heart with him when he left. He truly was the most perfect creature to ever walk this earth and while I did not deserve to have such a great dog, I am so glad he drifted into my life. I hope to see him again one day on the really big field.