Vick's Floral Art & Design Work

Sunday, August 01, 2010

A tribute to Tippy

Those of you who look in on Bobs blog will know of our sad loss. My wonderful dog Tippy has been so ill we have had to have her put to sleep. It could not have happened at a worse time whilst I was away at the Keswick Convention. A few weeks ago we took her to the vet as she didn't want to eat much and the vet put her on a rich diet of chicken and white fish, rice, eggs and her favorite rice pudding. It seemed to work for a while but she began to refuse the food more than eat any. On the Sunday morning before I left for Keswick I took all three dogs for their morning walk and this was to be Tips last not that we knew it. Robert was not well with a bad cold and chest so had the day off work on the Monday. Later that day he was aware tippy had not been about much and found her unable to walk. On the Tuesday they went to the vet and she kept her there and did some tests which the next day showed her to be quite ill with little hope of her getting over it. She was 15years old and by now was very thin but remarkably up until now could still round up Tommy when we played ball. I wanted to come home, Robert wasn't well enough to come for me, I was getting over my operation. Poor Robert and our daughter Fallon I think were very brave although Fallon could not stop crying I don't know how she drove the car. Robert took his blanket in the hope she would be able to recognise the smell and he wrapped her up in it. He then drove to his mum's and dad's were his dad had dug a grave in the small field in their garden where my dog Tara from 20 years ago is also berried. Mum and dad loved her I think as much as us and dad has made a little cross with her name on and found an old tennis ball. And mum says she can see her from the kitchen window. My heart is breaking as I write this and every time I do things. Walking the other two dog, feed time, bed time, in the way when I'm cooking, just her not being here.

One of the hardest is when I come home from work, I can barley put my bag down and have to take them all out side in the field out side our house, scampi just wanders Tom plays ball and Tip rounds Tom up. From an early age tip learnt how to catch the ball and bring it back. If I through the ball a certain way and shouted twister she would jump up twist round in the air catch the ball and bring it back. When I had have enough I would say three more and on the third catch she would head for the door drop the ball and go indoors. Then when we got Tom she never played ball again unless I took her out on her own. When tom plays she watched his every move and rounded him up with the occasional nip on the bottom.

Having a good sniff

It was a family affair when we set off to get a dog mum and dad came too. Fallon had wanted a dog for a long time, but quite rightly when we lived in Scotland we were all out all day and its not fair on a dog to be shut in all day. When we moved to the farm it was time and a working dog such as a boarder collie to help with sheep was ideal. A farmers dog had puppies and after looking at all the puppies mum noticed one that came up to Fallon. She had a white chest and paws and a white tip on her tail, that's where her name comes from. Also there is a famous dog called tip with a memorial at the derwent dam. When we got her home we were going to be like proper farmers and make her sleep outside. Robert sawed the coal shed door in half and we were going to have it as her kennel, I think she stayed there two nights!! In spring she would share her dog basket with the odd lamb was obsessed with sheep, hated to be on the lead, how she balanced on the front of the quad ill never know, didn't really like cows. She could jump any wall, hay stack and at lambing time when the sheep were in the yard she would run round the house so fast she wore out the grass in the garden with two tracks one going one way and one coming back.

Tippy's mate Scampi she must wonder where she is.

This is one of the earliest photo's we have off tippy. Its in the front garden of the farm we used to have. Up until the last four years or so before digital photo's most of the photo's of tip are of printout type.

Tippy's chair

This is one of my favorites photo's of tip. We are holiday in Scotland and she is keeping a watchful eye on Tommy who is playing ball on the beach. For the first years of tips life we always took a holiday to the very north of Scotland in May after our lambing was done. But one year Fallon and Robert had gone for a walk staying over night in a bothy and I took tip to the beach, but on my return to the car two men with guns threatened to shoot her if she threatened their sheep which were allowed to wander on the sand dunes. I tried to tell them she was our working sheep dog and would never hurt their sheep she was a good girl but they would hear none of it. We would not take the risk so the next year we reluctantly left her with mum and dad and didn't we know about it. When we came home she just ignored us it got so bad we thought she was ill and took her to the vet. She wasn't ill and soon got over it and was back to her happy self.

She was like lightning. In winter she would get so dirty I would cut all her fur from her tail and legs as she would pebble dash every cupboard door with the whoosh of her tail, she looked terrible but it was all grown again buy spring.

She loved to sit in the tractor had a sleep when Robert came in for lunch.

Rub my tummy or wriggling to scratch her back. She would lay on the sofa legs in the air, I would rub her legs and feet and tell her "oh stinky feet" and she would look all embarrassed.

When we moved to this house I was worried tip would miss the farm and farm life she was retiring but as always she adapted quickly and seemed to enjoy a quieter life.

Tippy loved to eat the raw beans we grew.

Still looking good at 12years old.

It didn't have to be a ball.

15 lovely Christmases. we always made a big fuss the dogs opening their presents.

Looking ready to get that ball.

Looking at granddad asking for a piece of chocolate cake. Tip was always a fussy eater so to make her eat her dinner there was a promise of a chocolate digestive biscuit. She did this twice a day for her whole life and of course tom and scampi do too. It is advised that dogs should not have chocolate and I'm not saying you should but tip seamed to be ok with it. She only ever stole food once. She loved mince pies, it was near Christmas and I was baking loads of them and she pinched some raw ones and was sick. She never took anything again I think she was so ashamed

The snow never bothered her and in the early days would come and sit by the fire when it was cold. But somewhere in her life when she was staying with mum and dad she would wonder into the fields where they lived and dad thinks the game keeper took a shot and with her great hearing it frightened her. After that she would never sit by the open fire as the wood would crackle so spent her resting time in her chair in the kitchen where the fire was behind glass doors. Then later would use the spare bedroom. When we moved to this house the fire in the sitting room has glass doors so we had the pleaser of her company again.

Having fun with scampi.

This is the last photo I have of her 3 weeks ago.

Walks would always take a long time with tip as she wanted to smell everything.

This was the last big walk I took her on, I was worried but she made it and enjoyed it.
This is just a small word on the life of a wonderful pet and best friend. She gave us so much joy and happiness. She can never be replaced she was one of a kind and I will miss her dearly. I began to think it was best that I was not here apart from not being with Robert and Fallon to comfort them, but coming home to an empty house (Fallon had taken scampi away to visit my sister) was awful. If dogs go to heaven I hope she is rounding up sheep, catching balls, laying with her feet in the air on a comfy sofa, and eating rice pudding and chocolate biscuits. I love you Tippy. xxxxxxxxx

Posted by Bob :: 8:18 pm :: 7 Comments:

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