WOMBAT - 1999-2014
This post may take me a little while to write, but I really want to do it. The time-consuming part will be reaching for tissues from time to time. You see, today we had to make the hard, heart-breaking but necessary decision to take our 15 year old brainless-but-loveable Border Collie, Wombat, for his final trip to the vet. He had been struggling with bad arthritis in his back legs for some time, was deaf and going blind, slept a lot and missed a lot of happenings, but he still seemed to darn cheerful that we put off today's decision. But in the last week, he's been in increasing discomfort and we knew the kindest thing was to let him go to doggy heaven. But oh, it has been so hard today to let him go!
Wombat joined our family about this time of year 15 years ago when we visited a friend who was breeding Border Collies ... she had just one puppy from the litter left needing a home. I said no (we already had a dog at the time) but my soft-hearted Beloved Geek Boy said 'yes' and Wombat came to live with us. I might add here that we didn't name him ... my friend did. Apparently he looked like a fat, furry wombat when he was a day-old puppy. I would have renamed him with something that sounded a little more dignified ... but it wouldn't have suited him! :0)
We were renting a house on a farm at the time Wombat came to live with us and he was definitely GB's dog ... he went to work with GB who was working on a cotton farm and Wombat would spend hours every day running along beside the tractor (he ran for MILES!!) or riding in the back of the ute ... wherever GB was, Wombat was nearby. When most people think of Border Collies, they think of sleek, intelligent, hard-working sheep dogs full of grace, poise and skill. We have always joked that Wombat was hiding behind the door when all of those attributes were handed out, because he has always been a bit of a clumsy goof-ball ... but oh-so-loveable! :0)
He LOVED to chase the ball and play on the beach ...
He loved to swim and chase the splashes and waves were even more fun cos he didn't have to make the splashes himself before he chased them! :0) When we lived on the farm, there was a small dam that he spent hours swimming in, but he really liked to have company. So he would tease our small flock of geese to make them chase him, gradually leading them down to the dam where he would swim while they sunbaked. He hated storms, skateboards and green peas (I swear he licked them clean then spat them out again!) , loved his ears and tummy scratched and he loved when his 'Grandma' visited, cos she spoiled him with scraps and treats when she was cooking. :0)
He was so good natured and loved everyone, that we always joked he was a 'watchdog' ... that he would watch burglars come and he would watch burglars go! :0) But he proved himself to be a true guard dog a few times when we moved into town.
He hadn't moved quickly for quite some months and slept a lot of his days away in the sun or at the back step so we'd trip over him as we went out and let him know something was happening. It was so very hard to say goodbye to him, but we couldn't stand to see him in pain any more. It would have been selfish to let him keep deteriorating as he was. I couldn't face the vet's office, so said a tearful goodbye to him in the backyard ... I think he knew I was distressed, cos he just snuggled in for a cuddle and an ear scratch. GB told me he was fine until he was coming out of the vet's clinic from leaving Wombat behind and saw a Border Collie puppy in the waiting room that looked just like Wombat did 15 years ago when he came into our lives. Even tough guys cry when they lose a friend. But it was sort of a comfort, too, showing the wheel of life turning - as the world lost one lovely Border Collie, another was just starting his life's journey. I hope that little puppy is as well-loved as Wombat!
So ... this is my little tribute to a loyal, funny, loving friend who will be very much missed. There is a vacant bed and an empty dish in our laundry ... and a doggy-shaped hole in our hearts. Goodbye old friend, sleep well and enjoy being a bouncing, energetic puppy again in doggy heaven.