"Hi Kenny, I wanted to let you know that Dutch had to have his spleen removed, it had tumors in it, hemangiosarcoma cancer. It was hemorrhaging into his abdomen. They said the survival rate is an average of two months, he is moving slowly these days. Not sure we made a good decision for him, we just were not prepared to say goodbye the day we took him in. I thought you would want to know. He is a real trooper, still wants to go on walks even though he can't go far, and he is still hungry all the time."

Dutch was a puppy born from Clancy and Dutchess.  He was named after his Mom and was the apple of everyone’s eye and a spitting image of his Dad Clancy in every way.  Dutch was very special to us, and because he lived in the same town as us, we saw him often.  He would visit the farm for a play day and visit us and his Mom and Dad when his human parents would go on vacation.

Dutchess and Dutch
As time moves on, addresses chance, but the love for a dog is always there.  While we had great pups and loving homes, we now encounter a time when the families also face difficult decisions concerning the health of their beloved pets, something I never thought about.

Me holding Dutch
It is a very difficult time when you lose one of your own pets when "that" time comes, but when you hear about losing one of your pups, it all comes back again.  It was standard with us when a new owner would pick up their new Border Collie, I would schedule a time for pick up and told the new owners to expect my "come to Jesus" talk.  It took nearly an hour, and I told them what to expect with their new bundle of joy.  When the session was over, and as they would be getting ready to leave and as they were getting in the car, I told them, "it might be your dog, but it will ALWAYS be one of my pups," and they are.

Elaine and I tried to be good and responsible when it came to our pups.  We always contacted the owners, watched their dog when needed, had play days at the farm, and even had 3 puppy reunions that lasted an entire weekend.  We did it for the dogs because we loved and cared for them.  When they were young and had been weaned, I would go to the kennel every night and get on my knees and sing to them.  All of us would come to love this, and as I put my head close to them and started, they would lick my face, and it was Heaven, truly Heaven.  Their little faces would turn from side to side, and soon, they would go to sleep.  Little did I know how bonded I was with them.

I got this last night...

"Good afternoon, I can barely write this note to you because we are so sad and heartbroken, we had to put Dutch to sleep on Wednesday, his pain medication was just not keeping him comfortable, and we could not stand to see him that way, he's a tough guy though and never let out a Yelp or whimper, he was just happy to be with us. We can't express enough gratitude for you letting us take care of him for the last 12 years and eight months. It has been our honor. Thank you and Elaine for what you do for this great breed."

Run Free Dutch, run to your dad and sit by his side, and know that soon all of your friends and humans will meet you and I will sing to you again... Dad

If I had words to make a day for you
I sing you a morning golden and new
I would make this day
Last for all time