Thursday, September 14, 2006


More about Sassy, My border Collie

A good thing happened last night and this morning.

My Border Collie, Sassy has refused to come into the house in over a year. When I first lost Walt, Sassy would stay in the Laundry room and whine every time she entered the hall that runs between the Laundry room and the Dining room. She acted afraid to come thru the hall and past the front room doorway. After almost 2 years of this whining and her fear of the other room, she just started staying outside all the time. No coaxing or treats could convince her to come in the house. At first I thought she might be smelling that Walt had died in that room. So, I scrubbed everything and opened the door and windows to air out the room. All this work accomplished nothing. She still refused to come into the house.
Last winter I worried a lot with her staying outside in her coop- even in the coldest part of the winter. My neighbor picked me up some hay to put into her coop to help keep her warm. But I still had trouble sleeping due to worrying if she would be alright out side. I used to check on her every time I awoke all thru the coldest nights.

Now, here it is, over 4 years later. Yesterday one of my sons , along with his son went with me to the vets where Sassy got her tetnus booster shot so I could renew her license. When we arrived home Sassy surprised us all. She was still on her leash and my son asked if I wanted him to hook her back up on her chain. I told him, lets see if she will come into the house. She followed my son inside and he walked all over the house with her following him everywhere he went. We were all so surprised. After 4 years she suddenly decided to lay down in the house without whining.
When my son and grandson were going to leave, my son asked if I wanted Sassy chained outside. I told him, lets see how long she will stay in. After they left she went to the side door like she wanted to go outside. I pretended to ignore her and was waiting for her whine to go out. She never made a noise, just headed into the laundry room and laid down. She ended up staying inside all evening and the whole night. The next morning she went to the door. I fed her just a little before letting her out wifh hopes she would want to come back in to finish eating. But she just went into her dog house and laid down.
It took a lot of work to get her back inside. A short time after she finished eating I decided to give her a bath. The white around her neck area was dirty looking. Have you ever tried to lift a dog that weighs over 60 pounds to put her into a tub when she doesn`t want to go in? Boy! is she heavy. I pushed some steel wool into the drain to prevent any dog hair from going down the drain. By the time I was finished, I think I was wetter than she was, if that is possible. After toweling her as dry as I could, I used the hair dryer to dry her some more. She doesn`t like the noise of the hair dryer. When finished and the tub was cleaned and scoured well, I had to mop and clean the whole bathroom. A lot of work just to have a clean dog. But she is so pretty when she is clean.
Then she wanted to play. You wouldn`t know she was ten and a half years old the way she was wound up. She stayed in the house till 11 am this morning before she again asked to go outside. Now she is laying back outside in her dog coop.
I am hoping this is the beginning of her again coming into the house like old times.

I keep wondering what she might be thinking. Is she afraid that if she stays in the house that she might disappear like Walt ? Did it take her 4 years to accept that he is gone? Did she sense his being here? So many questions, but no certain answers. I only know how good it felt to see her walking thru the house and being willing to spend the night inside with me. I hope it continues and that once the furnace starts she doesn`t want out of the heated house.

She is starting to look older with her face hair turning gray. The thought that I might someday lose her is beyond what I want to even think about. I feel so protected with her here. She was worth all the work training her not to jump, not to nip like all sheep dogs do, and how to sit when the little ones want to give her a treat. She is one smary dog.

Wish me luck! I hope she will want to keep coming inside with me again like old times.

I hope shes inside the house beside u, by now!!
I hope she has a few moe good years with you inside the house, especially winter time.
Thanks valu nair. I wish I could tell you she was laying down beside my chair like she used to do. She used to keep nudging my arm with her head whenever I tried to type. She would keep my arm popping up and down till I was laughing and making so many printing errors that I would stop and play with her.
Me too HillGrandmom. I sure would feel lost without her after all these years. My Beagle lived to be 14 years old and my Collie/police dog lived almost as long. Dogs and horses are my favorites. Had to stop riding horses and motorcycles when I broke off my tail bone years ago. I loved doing both.
I am hopeing Sassy changes her mind again and starts coming inside thru the cold winter. Only problem is that staying in always caused her to shed an awful lot , while staying outside her coat thickens to keep her warm in the cold weather. Maytbe she realizes this. Guess i shouldn`t complain as long as she keeps running to meet me and wanting to play. I just worry too much in the wost winter nights.
this might sound crazy dot but the next time your son is over see if sassy will follow him in to the house again. if she does give your son a small towel and let him rub the towel on his arms and let sassy smell the towel. if your dog lays down in the house let her smell the towel again and lay the towel next to her. after your son is gone and sassy does not want to come back in the house go get that towel and let her sniff it and hold the towel and see if she will follow you in to the house. if she lays down in the house lay the towel next to her. if it works do not wash the towel and use it to coax her in the house. this may not work but it is worth a try.
Thanks Mr haney. You never know, it just might work. I am willing to try most anything to get her back inside.
I almost went flying yesterday when she came running around me with her chain. Luckily the small shed I had built beside my side porch was there for me to grab hold of. That is my only worry, that her chain will trip me up when I am walking past her. She loves playing and I just tire before she does. She is so full of life and such a wonderful companion. I just moss her coming in.
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