Tex’s story began in early 2000, when he belonged to an older man. When Tex was 5 months old, he and another dog ran off the property and played ‘keep away’ for a while. When the man finally caught the pair, he flew into a rage and sprayed both dog’s faces with WD40. I suppose that by blinding the dogs, they would learn their lesson about running away. The man’s own family turned him in. I heard they’d been trying to get him into a nursing home and this was the last straw.
Tex and his buddy ended up wards of the SPCA. After a year or so, the man’s estate was fined $200 for cruelty to each dog. Tex was released to a private shelter where he lived with a dozen other dogs. I heard from a disgruntled shelter worker that Tex was crated about 23 hours a day and given valium from another dogs prescription. In 2004, attempts were made to place Tex. He bit his way out of 4 homes and finally came to me. He was never in any danger of being euth’d as they were willing to keep trying until they found the right fit for Tex.
I adopted Tex in December of 2004. He was wild. He knew no boundaries and he was full of young border collie energy. For the first 3 months, he would grip and hold me if I touched him anywhere other than the top of his head or along his spine. I didn’t do any rescue magic with Tex. I just gave him a regular home and a routine and eventually he settled down. During my divorce years, it was just Jo and Tex and he meant the world to me. We walked for miles and miles…it gave him joy and it kept me sane.
You’d expect a completely blind dog to be timid and careful. Tex was the complete opposite. I spent my years with Tex trying to convince him that he didn’t rule the world. His nickname was Godzilla and he roared thru life. One of his great pleasures was to move the sheep and for a blind dog, he had a great deal of ‘eye’. He was big and black and hairy and the sheep respected his presence. If they only knew, they would have cleaned his clock. He loved any sort of tracking game and his terrific sniffer got him in and out of trouble. He challenged his world, banged his head often and just kept going. I learned a lot about courage, determination and being joyful from Tex.
I met a man in 2010. He owned a boarding kennel and had raised Springer Spaniels all his life. If it was possible to love dogs more than I do, this man is that person. I left Tex with him overnight and all my friend went “oooh, this is serious, she left Tex with him” We ended up moving here to his family farm.
Tex had the ability to levitate over fences and had a cloaking device just like a proper superhero. He could be there one minute and gone the next. For a dog that moved slow, he could disappear fast. We had a big fenced house yard for Tex and I’d still lose him. He had no fear. I’d find him in dryers and compost bins, up trees, under things, in holes, stuck in things and anywhere a dog’s nose shouldn’t take him. I said “Where’s Tex?’ about 400 times a day.
Tex got sick last winter. He had a big systemic infection. It was masking the cancer that lurked throughout Tex’s body. Stephen cooked Tex’s special food and cleaned all his messes with as much love as I could have given him. I believe that Stephen was put into my life’s path to get me thru losing Tex and living without him. Tex rallied and was comfortable until the very end. He was running in the fields with the other dogs, his enormous appetite never wavered and he was alert. On the night before he died, Tex asked to come up on the bed. He lay between us and lovingly licked our hands and arms. It was a special moment for all of us.
The next morning, his tumour ruptured quickly and Tex died in my arms on a blanket in the sunshine.
After he died, I realized that more than sadness, I have a feeling of immense gratitude. Tex gave me so many gifts and I was tearing myself apart worrying that I would not be able to deal with saying goodbye. I fretted that he would know pain and suffering again.
In the end, he got the gentle release that he deserved. I’m taking his ashes back up north to spread on the farm paths and beaches we loved so much.
We had a perfect life together. I was his person and he loved me. Tex was my once in a lifetime Heart Dog and I loved him beyond all reason.
I’ve had two very vivid dreams since Tex passed. In each, Tex and I did stuff together and sat and talked. I could feel so much love between us. I woke up in the middle of the night and was filled with an amazing sense of peace and comfort. I’ve never felt anything like it. I’m okay and I know he’s okay too.