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  1. "While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it." Samuel Johnson
    Tomorrow would have been Doug's 3rd birthday. I still can not believe what has happened in the last few months, and that he is gone. Time heals they say, but when you are hurting it doesn't feel that anything will ever heal the pain...... but eventually it does.
    Dairin and I sat looking at photos of Doug the other night. We had a few tears - nothing new for us at the moment! - but we had a lot of laughs as well! He brought us so much joy and happiness and now that the initial grief is easing we can remember those fun times........ The team Dash, going G6, winning a G6 agility! And then in the house - curling up on our knees at night, being led by the tail in to the kitchen by Lily! Falling asleep whilst sitting up! All in 2 years.....
    Our friends have got some great memories of him as well - which helps us.
    The last few weeks I have not been able to think about very much at all, and being emotional is very tiring! Dairin and I are like walking zombies - craving sleep. But now we are starting to move away from the raw pain and as my opening quote says - amusement is necessary.
    Since we got Doug I have always said that I would never go back to only having Collies - and now I know why. Life is so calm! I love my Collies, and could never be without them - but the small dog added to and enhanced the pack. So I am looking at puppies. We badly need distraction and something happy to focus on..... The last 6 months - and 'due'dates looming - have taken their toll, we want and need to be distracted / amused!
    Watch this space!
    As for my other wonderful woofs? They are all very very well. Kye especially has bounced back to being a younger happier dog - Doug was really wearing him down and its now evident just how much. The others are all ok - just coming back into full training after an extended break.
    Maid is the only one who hasn't had as much of a break as she is still gearing up to competing in April. She is now doing all the equipment  - just got full height jumps to contend with! I think she will come out and compete nicely - not set the world on fire - she will need to gain ring confidence as she has hardly worked anywhere with other dogs or in other venues.... we shall see!
    As for SWAT - busy as usual. Lessons have been lots of fun and lots of clients seem to be making real progress at the moment - its great to see people so animated about their training achievements - not just their show wins!
    I have also been teaching at other clubs this month - S Devon, Nottingham, and Leads. Good fun, and always an eye opener. Interesting to talk to other people and learn about how other clubs train.
    So, off to sort out judges contracts..... Schedule is nearly ready to go live :-) Thankyou to everyone for your support this last month - i really don't know how we would have got through without you all...... I feel very grateful to have such wonderful friends and even acquaintances who took the time to contact me. Thankyou xx
  2. On Friday evening Doug was put to sleep.
    This is the Hardest decision Dairin and I have ever made - and we will probably never be sure that we were right. At the moment the guilt is crippling and we are struggling to deal with it. I can not go into all the details that led us to this point - at the moment it is just too painful.
    Doug has had huge impact on our lives and we miss him so much. He was an amazingly cuddly and cute pup when we got him at 5 months and the first year was such fun. Since then we have still had a wonderful time but Dougs erractic behaviour has got worse and we know that he was not happy - on the outisde he was as manic and healthy as ever - but we knew that not to be the case.
    Our decision was based on what was safest and best for all - including Doug. We could take no risks with Lily and didn't want Doug to be in turmoil and sadness any longer.
    But now we are in turmoil and sadness instead - We can't help wondering if we were too panicky - would he really ever attacked Lily? was he really escalating as much as we felt?  We will never know - and that is something we have to come to terms with.
    Losing a dog is always hard - but when they are so young, its not their fault and you have to make the decision ........ then its the worse case scenario.
    And its our first...... being an adult these last 6 months has sucked - oh to be 3 again!
    Hopefully time will heal, at least a little, and soon we will be remembering Doug for the fantastic dog that he was - on and off the agility field - without the guilt.