I wasn't going to put this story of
Spur's short life on the website but although it's a very sad story about the loss of my
little boy, I hope that sharing it with people will help them learn the same lesson I did
only without the heartbreak.
Dani & Spur at the ASCA Nationals,
Longview Washington September 1999
Joe Hartnagle, Spur & Dani at the ASCA
Nationals September 1999
September 1999 - Our beautiful red merle boy Spur came
into our lives at the 1999 ASCA Nationals held in Longview Washington. He has totally
captivated us with his beautiful "ghost" eyes and has shown his great
intelligence by learning and responding to new commands very quickly! He fit in
very well with Dani & Molly.
Spur and Molly and do the "morning tour" of
the farm ensuring we're all safe from coyote attacks and the three of them, Spur, Molly
& Dani love nothing better than a romp in the fields (pictured above). Spur loves
meeting new people, especially children but shows true Aussie reserve, waiting till he's
Happy lying atop a 5" high bale of
Spur went to his first dog show in Red Deer Alberta and
on Friday, November 5th, at his first ASCA show he went Best of Breed Puppy under Judge
Janet Wilcox! Thank you Judge Wilcox, this win will always be very very special as
this was the start of what was supposed to be our long and happy story of our lives
November 22, 1999 - I'm sitting here bawling yet again
over a dog. Tonight I was way at the back of the farmyard (about 1000 yards from the
house) working Molly, and my beautiful Spur with the sheep as we've been doing for about
half an hour every night. All of a sudden my beautiful boy saw something much more
interesting to herd and he took off like a flash. Spur died at 5 o'clock this evening, hit by a car. I feel this is totally and completely my fault, I've been so careful to
keep him on a leash or tethered because of his strong instinct to herd and even when we've
been working the sheep way out the back I've kept him on a long rope, until today. It was
very quiet, I thought all the after work traffic was done for the day but I made a mistake
and my poor baby paid the price when I let him off his rope...he spotted a
vehicle coming and wouldn't come when I called him back. I ran as fast
as I could after him but my speed didn't match his and he arrived on the
road at the same time as our neighbours car. Unfortunately Spur was
killed instantly. I should have known that just because he was 100%
reliable with his "come" in the house didn't mean it was 100% outside. I am
truly heartbroken over this, he was my pride and joy though I love Molly and Dani to
pieces, this boy was my "shadow", where I was, he was and he'd been that way
from the first minute I saw him. I know this is a horrible and sad story but I've learned
yet another lesson tonight and hope it helps save another pup...no matter how
"safe" you think it is to let the little one loose, don't do it unless you are
absolutely positive they'll come back no matter what or better yet that you know for sure
that they can't get out of the enclosure you're in. At least Spur spent his last half hour
doing something he loved almost better than anything, herding sheep. I know he's with my
Joey and Sheesa somewhere in amongst the biggest sweetest herd of sheep imaginable.
November 23, 1999 - We buried Spur this morning in the
middle of a stand of huge spruce and pine trees at the side of the house where he loved to
lay and look out over the valley. He's facing east where he will catch the morning
sun...this always our favorite time of day together. Now a morning will not pass that I
will not remember him and the love we shared and the laughter and joy that he brought to
us in his short time here. He was a special boy and will always have a very special place
in my heart.
Over the years I've sworn every time we've lost one of
our beautiful Aussies that I'll never get another but they leave a void, each and every
one, that we feel obligated to try and fill. Though the new generations don't fill the void,
each brings to our lives a very special joy and kinship that I know I'd never be able to
survive without. Spur is now tucked in my heart with the other wonderful Aussies that I've
had the pleasure of loving.
Rest easy my sweet darling boy, I miss you talking to
me as you'd just learned to do. The sun coming up in the morning won't be quite the same
without you...I love you.
We have a secret, you and I
that no one else shall know,
for who but I can see you lie
each night in fire glow?
And who but I can reach my hand
before we go to bed
and feel the living warmth of you
and touch your silken head?
And only I walk woodland paths
and see ahead of me,
your small form racing with the wind
so young again, and free.
And only I can see you swim
in every brook I pass.
And when I call, no one but I
can see the bending grass.
~~ Author Unknown
As a tribute to Spur and all our other wonderful
Aussies who have gone over the Rainbow Bridge, I've started an Aussie Tribute website. The
website is open to any and all Aussies who are now waiting for us. Please click on the
link below to go for a visit, and feel free to link to the Tribute site from your webpage. If you
have an Aussie fur-angel that you'd like added to the page please send me an e-mail using
the e-mail button below.
A tribute website for all Aussie owners
& their furkids
The following are just a few of the beautiful poems and sentiments
sent to us by friends round the world to honour Spur.
A STUMP FOR A TAIL
You can't buy loyalty, they say
I bought it though, the other day;
You can't buy friendship, tried and true,
Well just the same, I bought that too.
I made my bid, and on the spot
Bought love and faith and a whole job lot
Of happiness, so all in all
The purchase price was pretty small.
I bought a single trusting heart,
That gave devotion from the start.
If you think these things are not for sale,
Buy a brown-eyed puppy
with a stump for a tail.
Farewell Spur! Oh, you noble soul. Go gently
into that good night. May you find rolling hills to run and play in. Make way Rainbow
Bridge - a new little soul is among you.
I Stood By Your Head Last Night
I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you, that I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said "it's me."
You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew ...
in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning
and say "goodnight, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out ... then come home to be with me.
A long time I have lived with you
And now we must be going
Separately to be together.
Perhaps I shall be the wind
To blur your smooth waters
So that you do not see your face too much.
Perhaps I shall be the star
To guide your uncertain wings
So that you have direction in the night.
Perhaps I shall be the fire
To separate your thoughts
So that you do not give up.
Perhaps I shall be the rain
To open up the earth
So that your seed may fall.
Perhaps I shall be the snow
To let your blossoms sleep
So that you may bloom in the spring.
Perhaps I shall be the stream
To play a song on the rock
So that you are not alone.
Perhaps I shall be a new mountain
So that you always have a home.