My friend Lori had bought Piper, a border collie who turned out to have nervous problems.She was afraid of everything.When left in an outside pen she constantly dug. Lori had made her a pen in the barn. That was no life for her, so Lori was looking to rehome her. Fuzzy had been begging for a dog for ages. I went to Lori's one day and, as happens a lot when I go there, I came home with an animal. On our way to her house Lori was trying to pump up Piper's good points. I asked how big this dog was, and Lori assured me she was "Homie sized", Homie being the small basenji/shetland sheepdog mix dog my family had from the time I was a kid to my early twenties. I got attached to the idea of taking Piper before I saw her. When I did I saw that she was not "Homie sized". Instead she was a huge dog,almost regular collie size. And she wasn't finished growing yet. But I had gotten used to the idea that I was taking her, so I did. To this day "Homie sized" is used around here to describe something huge.
I brought Piper home shortly before her first birthday. (Actually, I came home with two animals. I also brought home our bunny Gabriel that summer day. Luckily Ken was indisposed when I got home, throwing his guts up in the bathroom. So I didn't get yelled at too much.) Piper was our first dog as a family. Emma and Fuzz were in elementary school, and Ivy was just a toddler. So the kids grew up with Piper.
She was a sweet dog that seldom barked, and was afraid of strangers despite her size. When we first brought her home, Pipe hid under furniture for two weeks. Over time we learned that she did not play fetch, but she liked to tussle. She liked rough play. When she got really excited during play, she would stray off to quickly but lightly bite a pillow or piece or furniture, before jumping back in to play.When she played like this her face looked so fierce, but we knew she would never hurt us. She was so smart that when she was told to 'go to the kitchen' or 'go downstairs' she just did it.
|Piper went camping with us.Here she is, comfy with Ken.|
Piper had a stroke last November. She actually didn't eat for most of a week after her stroke, and wasn't able to walk for 2 weeks. We figured she was on her way out, but she was in no apparent pain, so we were letting her go the natural way. After about 4 days Ken was able to temp her with some chicken and Ivy got her to eat some cheese. She was on her way back. She wore doggy diapers for a couple of weeks and had to lay on pee pads. Yes, it was messy, but if Pipe was prepared to make the effort, so would we. After a couple of weeks Pipe was back on her feet. She had some hip trouble anyway, so it was rough going for her. I bought her some joint medicine for elderly dogs, and she did improve. She was moving pretty well for a couple of months, but then her health began to decline again. Finally, we had to let her go. She would have been fourteen this month.
|Piper last April, before her health began to fail.|