Monday, April 6, 2015

Me and You and Dog Named Blue!

So Many of you knew him. So many of you loved him. 
Our dog named Blue!

It was about 12 or 13 years ago that a fellow dog rescuer called in tears explaining she found 3 dogs and they keep getting out of her Atlanta property. She had been in Murphy North Carolina, driving on busy 4 lane, Highway 64, when she saw cars swerving the 3 dogs running down the highway. She couldn’t leave them to get injured or killed so she managed to get the 3 skinny, mangy mutts into her vehicle and headed home to Atlanta. She had a well-secured, fenced yard that her other foster dogs enjoyed so she was quite surprised when her neighbors called her at work every day to tell her those 3 dogs were out and roaming the neighborhood. Not knowing where they got out, she decided to leave them locked in the basement so they’d be secure. When she arrived home after work, the 3 dogs were out and they had literally eaten through the door and drywall and escaped her basement. That’s when she called my sister Michele, a dog rescuer also, and begged for help.

Michele and I drove to Atlanta to spend a Sunday checking her fences and after observing the 3 dog’s behavior, we decided it was Blue who was the problem. I call him a “Don’t Fence Me In Dog”. He was a Lab/Husky/ hound type mix with beautiful blue eyes. He weighed about 120 pounds and shed like crazy!

Blue getting dressed up!
Blue caught steeling food

I brought him to the rescue farm and we put him up for adoption. It didn’t take long before a wonderful family met Blue and fell in love. He loved them and their children, too. They had 2 fenced acres and offered Blue a loving home. I told them about his ‘Don’t Fence Me In” issues so we thought 2 nice acres would suit him well. About 3 months later, they called and said Blue was not happy being fenced in and they couldn’t stand him being unhappy. He came back to the farm to wait for the right home.

About 2 months later, a perfect home on a dead end road with 5 acres welcomed Blue to their beautiful home. He loved the children and their whole farm. I told them about Blue being a “Don’t Fence Me In” dog so they left the gate opened and Blue stayed. At least he stayed until no one was at home. Then he wandered down the street into a neighborhood where he found people. He only wanted company. Phone calls came every time Blue’s family left the property. Worried neighbors said Blue is out. The people finding him thought he’d get lost or hurt, so Blue’s family would escort him home. So, again, Blue came back to the rescue farm as the family gave him a teary good bye. They loved him, everyone did, but he just wasn’t happy.

Blue loving the kids

Blue lived here at the rescue for 12+ years. He was happy and was well loved by all the volunteers over the years. He still was a ‘Don’t Fence Me In Dog’, though. On two different occasions, he was accidentally locked into a room in the barn. He took out two windows, frames and all, and just laid down by the barn like nothing was wrong. About 4 years ago, we put in an extra gate at the driveway, even though he could walk through the board fences without a problem, he sat at the outside of the gate for 2 days, daring me to lock him in. He never ran away, he knows he lived here. He has taken many foster dogs under his authority and taught them the do’s and don’t of living on the rescue farm. No killing the pesky Chihuahua’s no matter how annoying they are, No killing chickens, turkeys or ducks, pigs either. No biting or chasing horses, well. Ok, just a little when no one is looking. He protected the hamburgers on the Bar-B-Q grill at each event here at the rescue farm. He checked out all the lunch boxes left unattended. He’d quietly carry them off and help himself to the goodies. All in all, he was a good dog, with an extra good sniffer. He knew the word ‘No’ and obeyed it being shouted at him 99% of the time.

Blue caught  looking for donuts on break rood table

Last year Lucky dog, a local street dog, came to the farm and after a few months, decided to make it his home. Street dogs are homeless dogs that are dumped in the country by people who somehow believe if you dump a dog in the country, it will find a home. Lucky was a lucky one. Many are hit by cars, shot or starve to death if coyotes don’t kill them first. Blue became Lucky’s mentor. Lucky loved Blue. He always wanted Blue to go on an adventure. They’d go for an hour and come back.

Last picture taken of Blue, Saturday, Thank you Darren. 

When we came home for a family Easter Dinner about 7:30. I mixed the dogs food and Blue wouldn’t eat. He’d lost a little weight lately but seemed normal. At his older age, I thought losing some weight would be better for his bones anyway. I gave him some good supplements and this was the first time he ever didn’t want to eat. He laid down and seemed tired but at midnight, he barked to go out. I thought that was a good sign, she Blue and Lucky went out an adventure but didn’t come back after the usual hour. I called and called, and it wasn’t until 4:30 am the came back. Blue came in a laid down in his bed. He looked hurt but I could see any injuries. First thing in the morning, Blue walked around but looked uncomfortable. His breathing was labored. It was a struggle getting him into the back seat of the truck but I had to get him to the vet ASAP. Natalie, our future horse rescue veterinarian, (she’s still in college) hopped in the truck and we hurried to the vet’s office. By the time we arrived, Blue was too weak to even stand. We carried him in on a stretcher. The Doctor immediately did radiographs. She called us in and said she had never seen anything like it. It looked like a huge mass, so huge it had pushed what looked like his stomach to the top of his back. She wasn’t sure but offered to do an Ultrasound to see if she could find an answer. She said she thinks Blue would die within a few hours. She said it may have been cancer. His breathing was now very shallow. He didn’t respond to touch, his eyes didn’t blink. I think his spirit was gone, just waiting for his earthly body to pass. There was no need to do anything but let Blue go in peace. A small injection from the vet let Blue take his last breath. He never moved nor made a sound.

Lucky mourning the loss of his buddy, Blue.

We carried him back into the truck to bury him at his farm, his home. When Lucky saw us coming down the driveway, he was so happy. He jumped on the side door of the truck to welcome Blue home. We opened the door and let him see Blue, smell him and help him understand what happened. Lucky watched us dig a deep grave and gently lay Blue to rest. Chris, who is an ordained Minister, said a special prayer for Blue at his grave. Lucky just quietly laid under a nearby tree. He just laid around the house most of the day. We lost a good friend and he lost a best friend. Blue taught him so many things we will never know about. Say a prayer for Blue and Lucky, Give Lucky a special love pat if you see him at the farm. 


Anonymous said...

He was an awesome boy and I will miss him.


Anonymous said...

Even I shed a tear for this good fella. Prayers for him and you all!

Erin Flanagan said...

Oh Auntie, I'm so sorry. Your tribute to him made me laugh and cry.
Love you and all our friends up at the Rainbow Bridge.

Prashant Khaitan said...

really sorry to see him go, heart melts reading this.

Lisa Flanagan said...

Aunt Cheryl,

What a beautiful tribute to a fine fella. Made me cry, too. They give us so much. Glad he found you and the farm and had a good life :-)


Chris Carter said...

What a moving and lovely tribute to a special friend. As I recently told someone, anyone who finds a home at the farm will find a loving place. So glad he found you.

Anonymous said...

That made me cry a Lil.

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