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Craig

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I said good bye to Craig today. His behavior had become increasingly erratic, and he was struggling to do his normal everyday activities. He barked through most nights, and he was violent toward my pup, Meg, when she came near him. The prednisone he was taking was helping with his episodes of growling at nothing and attacking the air, but the meds made him completely incontinent. He was also quickly losing muscle tone. A friend and I took him for an easy hike this morning, and he stumbled several times. My vet suspected a brain tumor, and Craig was rapidly becoming another dog entirely before my eyes. I knew in my head it was time to let him go, but every time he looked into my eyes, I questioned my decision in my heart. He went quickly, and ultimately I think he was very much ready to go. He was kind of a pain-in-the-butt sort of dog, but I will really miss him.

 

3370769591_1e6d06441d_z.jpg

 

Everyone who knew Craig thought he was a strange dog. Even by border collie standards, he was quirky. When he first came to live with me, about four years ago, he wouldn't go in his crate. This was news to his former owner, who often had trouble getting him out of his crate. It was Kathy Knox who taught me how to earn his respect so that he would start listening to me. He worked the other dogs, especially Taz, mercilessly, and he would not tolerate any dogs splashing water around or playing with balls or sticks in his presence. He hated any kind of rhythmic sound and has nipped the butt of more than one person pounding a t-post. He refused to drink water unless he was alone, and you had to order him to pee or he wouldn't go. If you took a cactus spine out of his paw, he about thought you were going to kill him, but then he was so grateful he'd lift straight up on his back paws and gently lean on you and nuzzle into you.

 

When I got him, he was a retired "sort of" open dog. He'd run in a couple of open trials but apparently had never finished a course. But that was not for lack of talent--he could move anything and yet sheep liked him. He knew just where he needed to be, though I often allowed him to be too pushy. He was confident and almost always in control (often when I should have been the one directing the action, but then he had way more experience than I did when I was running him). Craig gave me my first taste of success on the trial field. It wasn't until I ran Taz last year that I realized how much Craigor MacGregor had taken care of me out there.

 

That'll do, Mr. Craig. I will always be grateful to you for the lessons you taught me.

 

3978417763_25854a66d8_z.jpgThanks to Anda for this photo.

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I am so sorry that you lost Craig. He was a very handsome fellow. It is the most difficult thing we can do as guardians of our dogs and we often second guess ourselves. It sounds like Craig had a great life with you and was well loved.

 

Rest easy Craig...

 

"There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who chose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings or walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible. Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive;our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given." Suzanne Clothier "Bones would Rain from the Sky"

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Oh, this breaks my heart, having just put down our Scooter three weeks ago due to a probable brain tumor. Please accept my deepest condolences at the loss of Craig.

 

Pam

 

"Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned." -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Your description gives me a sense of who Craig was; how could you not miss such a character? I'm very sorry for your loss.

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I am so sorry to hear this, Laura. Your loving and honest tribute says it all. You were both very fortunate to have each other.

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run free lil man. Now he can be the boss of his own show!

Hugs to you Laura

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So sorry to hear about Craig, Laura. It sounds like he was a wonderful teacher for you. I wish you and your pack peace. Run free, Craig.

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Oh Laura I am so sorry for your loss. My heart dropped for you when I saw his name in this section. ((Hugs)) Run free Craig.

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Thanks everyone.

 

Oh, this breaks my heart, having just put down our Scooter three weeks ago due to a probable brain tumor. Please accept my deepest condolences at the loss of Craig.

 

Pam

 

"Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned." -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

Pam, it was your heartbreaking experience that made me realize I needed to be vigilant with Craig in the last weeks of his life. And the generosity and honesty you displayed while telling your story helped me make the tough decision that was best for Craig and for my other animals. Craig and Scooter are both free of disease now, and the dogs we remember before they became ill are waiting for us to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

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I'm sorry Laura. I understand the war that goes on between head and heart at times like this. I think you did the best thing from Craig, and that's really all we can do, in the end. He'll live on forever in your heart.

 

J.

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I got to the gate of Heaven today,

After we said good-bye.

I began to miss you terribly,

Because I heard you cry.

 

Suddenly there was an angel,

And she asked me to enter Heaven's gate.

I asked her if I could wait outside

For someone who would be late.

 

I wouldn't make much noise, you see,

I wouldn't bark or howl,

I'll only wait here patiently,

And play with my tennis ball.

 

The angel said I could stay right here

And wait for you to come,

Because Heaven just wouldn't be Heaven

If I went in alone.

 

So I'll wait right here, you take your time,

But keep me in your heart,

Because Heaven just wouldn't be Heaven

Without you to warm my heart.

 

- Author Unknown

 

Vaya con Dios, Craig.

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Laura,

I'm so sorry to read about Craig. Even the pain in the butt ones leave a hole in your life when they're gone. It sounds like you gave him a good life and he was a good teacher to you. Be happy and pain free Craig.

Laura

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Laura, I am so sorry for your loss.

 

I've had the pleasure to meet Craig and he was a wonderful dog, full of love and admiration for Laura, always ready to be hugged and stroked, gentle and yet strong. He had the softest fur I've ever touched on a Border Collie.

 

Time to rest in peace, beautiful Craig.

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I'm so sorry, Laura. I think this says it all in terms of how you and Craig felt about each other: "It wasn't until I ran Taz last year that I realized how much Craigor MacGregor had taken care of me out there." Run free, Craig...

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I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how tough of a decision that would be, but I'm sure you did the kindest thing for Craig. My heart goes out to you.

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Just saw this. Laura, I'm so sorry but what a beautiful tribute you've given Craig here. I also feel like I know him much better. "could move anything yet the sheep liked him" - sounds like a good, good collie to me.

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