Even sunny 80-degree weekends in a rain forest can be
bad. Stacy was off on Saturday and I was at work. Our
daily routine was as normal as any other day. When I
arrived home from work on Saturday afternoon, Stacy
had mentioned that Seamus wasn't feeling well and had
been drooling and had some mucus he was coughing up.
I didn't think it was anything to get alarmed about.
Seamus was getting up there in years and had been
having old dog issues for a while.
Early that evening we observed that he was really having
trouble getting up and didn't have an appetite. He did, however, go and drink some water which is usually a good sign. As the evening progressed Seamus was panting constantly, this is something he has done his entire life and usually passes. Stacy scrambled up an egg to see if he would eat it, and he did, another good sign.
Saturday night was a very long night, we got all the dogs rounded up and Seamus walked to the bedroom where they all sleep. We could here Seamus panting and coughing throughout the night. By morning we noticed Seamus had moved himself in the night and was laying in the middle of the bedroom floor. There were pieces of the scrambled egg he had coughed up scattered about the floor. There were wet spots on the carpet from him drooling all evening. We were now a bit concerned about his well-being.
There wasn't much we could do, it was a Sunday and we are in Juneau where Veterinary services are few. We debated calling our vet, who happens to be the emergency vet in town, but after discussing it and watching Seamus we realized he was dying on us. Rather than spending an ER visit for them to tell us what we already knew, we stayed with him and kept him comfortable in a familiar place, his bedroom.
We had been up with him since 5:00 am and at 11:45
am Seamus took his last breath with us by his side.
I buried him later that afternoon. He would have
turned 12 years old in December.
We got Seamus from the Lawrence KS Humane
Society in March of 2003, he was 12 weeks old when
we took him home. I was working for Verizon Yellow
Pages at the time. I was in my office and Stacy called
me asking me if I wanted another Border Collie.
I had surprised her with Keegan, a Border
Collie/Shetland Sheepdog mix a year earlier.
I asked her what do you mean?
She explained that the morning news had a Borde Collie mix on the adoptable dog segment, but he was in Lawrence KS (Lawrence is about 45 minutes from where we lived). I told Stacy that if we went and looked at him, we were coming home with a dog. We were still undecided and hung up the phone. I sat at my desk for about 5 minutes, went to my boss and said I had to rush home, (family emergency), I was at home almost before Stacy had hung up the phone, or at least it seemed that fast.
We hopped in the car and were off to look at (get) a dog. We were just over half way when Stacy told me the BC mix was mixed with a St. Bernard. I thought wow, this is going to be one large pooch. When we met Seamus he was in his cage with 2 siblings, we wanted all three but knew we had no room for all of them. We filled out the paperwork and headed back home. We picked him up the following day. We were proud owners of a 28-pound, 12-week old puppy.
He made the ride home on Stacy's lap. He was so full of energy he didn't sit still the entire time. Stacy's arms and legs looked like she had been in a fight with a large cat, she had red scratches all over from him moving around. We introduced him to our other dogs and the cats, all was going well. Now we had to decide on a new name because Max, just wasn't going to cut it. We had a long list of names over the next few days, we even almost named him Ted Koppel. Yep, after the news anchor, that came about because the US was at war and every evening we would watch the news in bed, when Ted Koppel would come on the air, the new pup would stop what he was doing and watch Ted on TV. We ultimately landed on Seamus.
We often wondered if he was really a St. Bernard mix, he looked nothing like a St. Bernard but he was a huge puppy. He had the classic black and white Border Collie markings. We often speculated, every time we would see an animal that looked kind of like him, we would wonder if he was that breed. In time, we would find out.
In 2004, we started a pet magazine and through our status as media we had the opportunity to have our dogs DNA tested. Seamus was a Border Collie, Siberian Husky, Afghan Hound and wait for it... Great Pyrenees mix. Knowing your mutt's DNA really explains a lot about him or her. It helps you as an owner understand why they do, look and act like they do.
In the 11 1/2 years we had Seamus, he had been on 3 of our magazine covers, was the face of our billboard ad campaign and was taken on many adventures. We moved him from Kansas to Missouri and ended up in Alaska. Seamus was a great pooch and will be missed.
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