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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Night night Mr Mousie dog!

A sad, sad day, On friday we had to say good bye to a dear friend.
Moel Mick the Mouse- only 10 years old was released to the angels on Friday. It was so hard to say goodbye to him, even though now we can take comfort from the fact that we have taken his pain away.

Mouse came to us at about four months old.   A sheepdog in every sense of the word, he was scared, and timid and he spent the best part of a week running under the side board! Mouse was a very large - quite over grown dog with an over shot jaw which made him look like a mouse when he smiled- so he was named 'Mouse!'
I have to say, this dog caused me more tears than any dog I have ever owned- he was in reality, a herding dog- probably would have been a good one too if his antics on the farm was anything to go by- he herded everything! Cats, birds, sheep , dogs in fact anything that moved, or that might move if he stared at it long enough¬!  Despite his herdy gerdy tendencies, he was very loveable and kind with the nicest temperament.

He was a very difficult dog to train,  A very driven dog, yet his spatial awereness and co ordination  was a bit of a challenge, as he rarely seemed to know what his back legs were doing-  many many grids and laddres later, Mousie improved, but boy was he hard work! I have to say that Mousie challenged every moment of my training and made me question my methods, my ability and from a training perspective, tested my patience to the absolute limit- However, we never gave up on him , and his amazing drive and bidable nature kept us plodding on- and I think its fair to say, this dog taught me more than any I have ever owned, or trained. I learnt humility, I didnt have the right to have a 'good dog', a 'winning dog' or indeed an easy dog! He taught me to understand far more about  how dogs learn, about stress in training and how to read a dog- I searched the world of sport for help with proprierception, balance and skill exercises, and spent hours trying to work out what it was that made Mousie tick!  He really didnt seem to retain information - going from one training session to the next we found  that there were huge gaps in his understanding so continuous re mapping of simple skill exercises was done on a weekly basis.  Mouse never became the most consistent dog in the world- his problems with understanding and seeing weave entries continued his entire career- but we did manage to have a great deal of fun! In his early days when he got it right, it was fantastic and he won - managing to get to g6 and even 1 win towards 7 and some great rounds and alot of fun! His achevements were so much more valued than with any other dog I have had- purely because they were so very hard to achieve-and for a round to be clear, everything (including my handling) had to be spot on! His movement sensitivity was incredibly unforgiving and even a twitch in the wrong direction resulted in a pole or a run by! Latterly he ran for my daughter Nia, and they shared a great understanding between them- 
10 months ago, I noticed Mousie start to slow- and his chest seemed enlarged  and with this came erratic breathing and no stamina. Mousie was then diagnosed with chronic heart problems and Dilated Cardio Myopathy. Most probably a congenital disorder, I do wonder if maybe this accounts for some of mousies problems ? I guess we will never know- In the past 2 weeks Mousie lost weight and his symptoms deteriorated- I think we knew that this would be his last trip to the vets- so we said our goodbyes and thankyou's for sharing his life with us and teaching us so much.
Mousie is now  resting and peacefully sleeping with his friends in the field, Run free my friend- Life is so quiet without you xx