Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Farewell Sweet Perfect Raven

I write this with great sadness and with tears streaming down my face. Nicole had to let her perfect sweet baby girl go today. Two months ago, X had a pool party and Raven, the water lover, had a great time. The morning after, Nicole could tell something was very wrong. She rushed Raven to the vet. Raven had ruptured her spleen and was diagnosed with the dreaded C word. Raven was only 11. If you have ever been blessed with a Border Collie that is your partner in crime, you know the bond that Nicole and Raven shared. There is just something special about a Border Collie that knows your every thought, can predict your next move, and can laugh through life with you. Raven was Nicole's partner in crime.

Raven had a rough start in life. She was a sickly pup and was diagnosed with autoimmune issues as an adolescent.  She was on a lot of meds, steroids and even lost most of her hair. It did grow back though -- Raven was known for her crazy curly hair!  It was her signature characteristic. Even though she was sick a lot, she learned to play flyball and never lost her fighting spirit. She was an awesome flyball dog.  She might not have had perfect structure for flyball, but she had all the heart in the world. She learned flyball with a flexi-lead and wore a harness in her early years but still ran 4.0s!  That's still fast today, but ten years ago that was lighting fast! I met Raven in her later years but she was still a super solid flyball dog. She could run in any position and run for anyone. And she packed a powerful punch when she hit the tug.

Nicole has told me Raven was quite naughty in her early years and during her flyball training.  She's the BC who would bite your crotch when she heard the camera shutter, if you were not fast enough to stop her. She did eventually mellow out and become a picture-perfect model. Nicole could tell her exactly how to pose and she would pose perfectly.  She loved being in front of the camera and getting her photo taken. In fact, if you were taking photos of other dogs, she would push her way in front and demand to have her photo taken. She never grew out of trying to attack whoever was brushing her or trying to kill the hair dryer. Since she had crazy curly hair and shed like a beast, she wore PJs to bed so she wouldn't leave massive amounts of hair on the bed. She never minded her PJs and looked very cute in them!  Raven's most favorite activity was chasing birds.  Nicole would only have to say, "Raven where are your birds?" and she would run off and flush them out or stare at them in a tree. She would stand on her rear legs and walk around, stare and bark at them. I imagine the first thing she did in heaven was chase the birds and find a tree to bark at.

This loss is especially hard for X because Raven is the first of our "Queen Bitches" to leave us. We each have our own Queen Bitch at home -- our very own old lady dog who rules the house and was among our first-ever flyball dogs. Our Queen bitches are the heart of X. To lose Raven is like losing a piece of our heart. Casey, Sage and Qirra give you a royal farewell, Raven and promise to keep the youngsters in line. X's royal court won't be the same without you, but we know you are tearing up the flyball lanes in heaven.  Rest in peace sweet girl. There will never be a girl as perfect as you.

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