Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Today is a very sad day in my life.  This afternoon I will lose a friend and companion.  For 15 years Scamp has been an important part of my life.  I purchased her for my wife, but she decided to choose me as her human; maybe because I get up early and would feed her while the rest of the family slept, or because I took her to the barn in the morning when I fed the rest of the critters, or because we just liked to sit quietly in the morning with that first cup of coffee.

When our previous collie had died we waited a long time before we decided to get another.  I still remember when she came to the house.  Scamp was born in Florida at a kennel Eloise tracked down that had collies related to a line of collies that carried the Belhaven name.  We waited for six months for a female tri colored collie to be born.  By then it was the middle of the winter and very cold in the upper Midwest.  We had to wait for the temperature to moderate enough for the airline to allow her to fly.  The night she was coming in we drove to Chicago and arrived at O’Hare before she left Orlando.  It was a very long wait, but Eloise had been without a collie for almost 2 years and it was time.  When she finally got to us we got her out of the crate and have never been successful in getting her back into one.  I carried her up the escalator and the stairs and she sat on my lap in the tram.  She sat in Eloise’s lap for the ride home.

At any rate, since I worked close to home, it was my job to go home at noon and walk Scamp and make sure she was okay.  Well that lasted for about a week and I decided that it would be easier to just take her to work.  After all I owned the company and I could do that if I wanted.  So in the car she went and off to work we went.  For the last 15 years she has be coming to work with me.  By now you can tell she is not Eloise’s dog.  She choose me.

When I was a town chairman, she went to meetings with me.  She would lay under the table until I was done and then she went home with me.  Until I gave up being the chairman she was welcome at the town hall.  When I quit they immediately passed a rule that only service dogs were allowed in the town hall.  Just one of many reason I dislike twofaced politicians.  But that is a totally different discussion.

For the last several months, Scamp has steadily gone downhill.  She now falls on floors without carpets, she cannot negotiate steps without falling.  Her body functions are starting to shut down.  When she looks at me she just looks and seems sad.  I think she knows her life is about over.  Why do we put ourselves through this sort of traumatic crisis?  Dog simply do not live as long as we do.

Last week I called Dr. Stewart and talked with her.  Then I made the decision it was time.  Last night I prepared a grave for Scamp next to the flagpole in our front yard.   This afternoon Scamp will go to sleep and never wake up.  This is the consideration I wish I could have when I get old and unable to care for myself.

Please don’t be too sad for me.  About 15 months ago, I purchased another collie from Florida.  Her name is Shawnee and she is nothing like Scamp but she is related.  I will miss my friend.


  1. Thoughts are with you. Well said.

  2. We will miss her. She managed to wrap everyone around her itty bitty dew claw. Rest in Peace Scamp!

  3. I feel so sad for you. I am glad you have another dog to care for. They truly are a mans best friend.

  4. To Jim, Eloise, and Scamp . . .
    I do not know any of you, but I do know the heartache of saying good-bye to a dear, dear furry friend. I give you a big cyber-hug!
    I hope that you know, or will soon discover, that Scamp is not gone from you forever. She lives in your memories. She meets with you in your dreams. She waits for you to join her in spirit, the same way that all of our loved ones do when they leave this earth before us. Never mind what some say about animals just being animals, or that they have no souls. Those of us who have known these beautiful creatures -- really known them -- know better than that.
    You will hold Scamp close to your chest again one day. And when you meet in spirit, she will not limp, or look ill and sad, or fall on the kitchen floor ever again. Your love for one another will prevail, past this life and into life forever.
    Enjoy your young Shawnee . . . and enjoy Scamp, too, in all the ways that you have come to know her!