Today our much loved Australian Shepherd, Fly left us.
Fly had been battling for the last three weeks and last night he told me he was done fighting. He slept outside one last time to oversee HIS dogyard before Mark and I drove him to the vet this morning.
It is really hard to summarize what Fly has meant to us over the years. Like the Siberians, our relationship with him was special because he honestly worked for a living and we relied on him. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year for over 11 years Fly has run the dog yard. He greeted visitors, looked intimidating to uninvited strangers (including 2 lost police officers that wouldn't get out of their car until I came out to greet them), announced feedings, supervised hookups, broke up fights, negotiated treaties, led puppy walks, kept wildlife away from the dog yard, and much, much more. The peaceful, calm atomsphere that so many comment on in our kennel (of course, not at hookup or feeding time - but the rest of the time) is in no small part thanks to Fly's presence.
The stories our crazy Aussie yard dog are many - and each one brings a smile to our face in memory. He was a character, for sure. We were the perfect situation for him - and he was the perfect dog for us.
As we helped Fly into the van this morning for his trip to the vet, his 120lb geeky protegee, Cricket rushed over and stuck her ample snout in the van to share one last word with her mentor and pal.
As we pulled out of the driveway, Cricket ran along side us to the gates - something she does not normally do. I know that everyone of the Siberians in the yard was doing the same in spirit.
Every soul here at NorthWapiti mourns his passing.
There are not enough words in the world for Mark and I to thank Fly for everything he has done for us, so we'll just steal a favorite line from the movie where he got his name.
"That'll Do Fly"