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Rescued Feb 2009 ~ Departed January 13, 2017

In 2008/2009 I had to visit local farms here in the UK, for official business. At the time, we had a 20(!!) year old rescue lurcher cross and we had decided that when she passed, we’d have no more dogs for a while.

However, on one particular farm I came across a tiny, skeletal and terrified 6 month old farm collie pup, kept alone, outside, in a filthy, ramshackle cage. She looked at me, I looked at her and I found myself asking the farmer if he’d let me take her.

He did, and all the way home, my mind was frantically thinking-where will we put her, what will my husband say, will she survive, will this be too terrifying for her, how can I feed a pup so emaciated ….

She came home, I put her in a soft bed next to our warm boiler and started to quietly hand feed her little pieces of chicken every 20 mins or so. She was so scared of people that I closed the door in between to give her peace and quiet. Every time I opened the door, I expected to see her dead, she was so ill and weak, emaciated with a swollen belly of worms.

Over the next few days, she slowly learnt we meant no harm, warming to our children first, then us, she curled up with our old dog, Hollie, and she started to learn about being free to walk around our house and garden. She had a gentle bath and had her first play with a toy. She was weighed (3.2kg-tiny and stunted) and had a blood test. The vets were suspicious of EPI (very pale faeces, pica and ravenous) but also wondered if she had dwarfism.

She WAS confirmed as having EPI and started immediately on Lypex. She grew in confidence, health and happiness day by day and eventually reached her adult weight of 10.5kg. Always such a tiny girl! People we met on walks always used to comment on what a sweet ‘puppy’ she was-even when she was 8 years old!

Some time later, she started to drink a great deal one weekend, so back for another blood test and yes…diabetes as well! Again, she stabilised really well, fortunately. Over time, she developed slow growing cataracts, and as she was down to 10-20% of her vision, we booked her in for surgery this January to have these removed.

A heartbreaking 3 days before the cataract op, she passed away in the saddest situation and we are all bereft at losing our most wonderful and beautiful little girl. She loved nothing more than a run about in the field behind our house. She was joyfully galloping along and ran headlong into the side of the old solid metal sheep trough in the field and died instantly.

We have never known such grief, yet how much joy to have had her in our lives for the past 8 years. She truly was the sweetest little soul and overcame such a terrible start.

There is a huge Pippin shaped hole in our lives, but we are so grateful, somehow by some stroke of luck or fate, to have had our little girl for the precious days we did and that we could look after her as best as we possibly could with her diabetes and EPI. She was an absolutely amazing dog.

Pippin, you will forever live in our hearts

Always, Roz and family