Casey was born as Rodeo, a working dog on a farm in Mulkeytown, IL on May 13, 1995. He was from a litter of 8, and was 10 weeks old, the last puppy still outside with his mom. They wanted $110 for him, but all we had was $108. He rode all the way home from southern Illinois on my lap. We stopped at McDonalds and he had a cheeseburger. He had never been in a house and was afraid of our tile floor!|
He was such a sweet puppy. He was house trained in no time. He was so good, when we took him visiting, he would hold it until he got back to his home. He loved the car and would jump in any car with an open door. He scared several people that way. He loved rides so much that one day, he sat in the van and wouldn't get out until Bill drove him around the block several times.
I told Bill I thought he wasn't very smart because I couldn't get him to catch a tennis ball. It would just bounce off the top of his head. All of a sudden, he got it! He'd play fetch with you for as long as you could still throw. At the steam engine show, a grandson asked if he could play with Casey. This 12-year old boy came back saying doesn't this dog ever stop. Bill replied that he'd play until your arm fell off, and then he'd want you to throw that for him!
Then Casey found the frisbee. For years, that was the "F" word in our house. We kept the frisbee on top of the fridge. He'd sit in the kitchen, look towards the top of the fridge, look towards you, and back to the fridge, saying, "Let's play, come on, it's up there!" He was very passionate about everything he loved. He broke all his bottom front teeth between his fangs going for the frisbee. He never complained once.
In April, 1996, we noticed he was limping when he came back with the frisbee. He had a broken piece of cartilage in his shoulder joint and needed surgery. We had to keep him from jumping and running for 3 - 4 weeks. That was nearly impossible, he had so much energy! He recuperated just fine and was back to his old tricks in no time. Those tricks included saying please so softly, he would only move his lips, no sound would come out. He also did a very dramatic "play dead." We would shoot him with our finger and say "Bang." He'd fall down (the way only Border Collies do), roll onto his side, and, just for effect, wait a second before his head would hit the ground. What a great actor!
Then we found the doggie park. He loved to go there and play with us. He was so excited one time that, when I pulled into the parking lot, he jumped right out the window! Luckily there were no other cars in the lot! He was never very interested in the other dogs, just his beloved frisbee, and there was always a stray tennis ball to be found.
In July, 1998, at the doggie park, someone told us there were some Border Collies at Save-A-Pet. We took Casey there and found Bogey, a Shepherd mix. We thought Casey was getting a little chubby and maybe a playmate would help. Bogey took the Alpha role, but they became fast friends. Casey took responsibility of all Bogeys' training. Bogey couldn't have had a better role model.
My two boys enjoyed trips to the doggie park on a weekly basis. Casey would start barking when we saw the water tower. He knew exactly where we were going. On September 11, 2001, after work, we took them to the doggie park. With all the fear we were feeling that day, we knew the only place to see pure joy was in the eyes of our dogs at the park.
Later that year, Casey looked at me and his eyes rolled back and he became wobbly. I yelled for Bill and the fear in my voice made Casey open his eyes again. We rushed him to the emergency vet. The diagnosis was an under-active thyroid. His heart was at 45 beats per minute. This was while he was lying on his back on the table in the vet's office. I can't imagine how low it was at home. He began taking thyroxine twice a day. He was such a good boy, I would just tell him "open wide" and he'd open his mouth so I could give him his pill. He did this twice a day for over 7 years.
Unfortunately, he was never able to lose the weight he had gained before this diagnosis. He never let it stop him though. We still had to force him to rest at the doggie park. If we wouldn't throw the ball for him, he'd find another ball or a frisbee (or a water container lid, anything) just so he could run after it. He'd bring the ball to total strangers and drop it at their feet. He'd go into the Border Collie stare and wait for them to throw it. He loved everyone. And he thought that everyone was good. Through his eyes, every person, every dog, every animal, except Weeks (our Persian) was a friend. We had Weeks before Casey came into our lives. This 10 lb cat was the boss. He would sit to the side and a little behind Casey. Casey would know that Weeks was there and you could see he would start to get nervous. He'd look at Weeks, look away, and look again. Finally, when he couldn't take it anymore, he'd stand up to leave, and Weeks would slap him on the butt. Casey would never try to retaliate, he was glad to get away with just a slap. Casey was a very mild-mannered dog. If another dog took his ball or frisbee, he'd just follow him around until he dropped it. He was very patient; and focused. He knew eventually, the ball was his!
Through the years, Casey was content to go for rides in the car, go shopping at Petsmart, go to the doggie park, and play frisbee and catch. His enthusiasm for life never waned. He'd greet us excitedly at the door every time we returned, even if we were only gone 5 minutes.
He began to have trouble getting up after resting but we thought it was just a natural part of the aging process. When he began to have accidents in the house, we took him to the vet. It appeared that he had arthritis at the base of his tail. This was causing him to lose feeling in his back legs. The puppy who would jump for every thrown tennis ball whether it was necessary or not was now having difficulty walking, getting into the car, getting up the step to the deck from the backyard. He tolerated the indignation of his progressing handicap for 19 months. I made an appointment with the vet because I feared there was blood in his urine, and was afraid that the diapers were harming his tummy.
We knew this day would come eventually. My happy baby was no longer able to do the things he loved because his body was failing. But his heart was as big as ever. He said hello to the french bulldog and her partner in the waiting room. He even gave kisses to Dr. Sherden and the technician. He gave mom and dad sweet little kisses.
We let my sweet boy go to the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. It breaks my heart not to have him here. So much love in those eyes. Please forgive us. Casey pup, we will love you and miss you always.
Mom and Dad
My Dear Casey Pup,
Mom was talking to some other friends who have puppies at the Rainbow Bridge. I haven't visited you here very often since you left. You know that I talk of you often, and think of you more. Daddy's still so heartbroken, he can't consider adopting another dog. We miss you so very much baby dog...please keep catching that frisbee and the tennis ball until we can come for you. Because, you know, if you aren't with me, it just won't be heaven.
Hugs and Kisses
My Dear Casey,
It's almost impossible to believe that you've been gone for a year now. I was just telling the "newspaper" story to someone on Friday! He told me that I have some great stories...and I do. You gave us so much during your 14 short years with us. I still miss you every day. I still by the Border Collie calendars, but you're still more handsome than any of those pictures. I miss your smile. Bogey still acts up when we leave the house, without you here to keep him in line. We have another new kitty, but Daddy still won't consider another dog. You are really irreplaceable. I don't think we could ever find another dog as smart as you, or as sweet as you. I'm sending you "hugs and kisses" right now, just like we used to do. I pray that you are as happy as you made us for all those years. Take care of Weeks and all the birdies at the Rainbow Bridge, keep playing frisbee, and wait for me, my angel pup. I won't forget about you and will be there to pick you up one day.
Hugs and Kisses,
Hi my baby boy,
I really can't believe you've been gone 2 years already. I still think I see you out of the corner of my eye every now and then. And sometimes I hear your excited bark when I return home from work. I still miss you every day. I don't think that's really going to change. All I can do is send you hugs and kisses and pray that you know how much I love you and miss you still.
With much love,