About a year and a half ago, I saw a picture of a sweet dog that needed to be rescued. The man was getting married and his fiance didn’t want dogs (he had more than one). One had already been adopted, but the other, a gorgeous Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix had not. My husband and I drove to Tennessee and came home with our sweet Tova.
First day out, we took her out for a walk and, as soon as she was on the porch, she took a leap, did a half-gainer and was out of her collar and off like a shot, scaring us witless. We searched everywhere only to find her waiting on the porch when we came home, the nub of her tail twitching in happiness. We changed collars.
But, that didn’t stop her. On one outing, a squirrel crossed her path and, like a flash, Tova was halfway up the tree before she stopped, looked back at me, and wiggled her way back down. I had a serious feeling that was not the first time she’d treed a squirrel.
Three months later, we noticed weakness in her hind legs and some twitching. Trips to vets proved fruitless. Another three months and she couldn’t use her hind legs. Neurological studies showed nothing. They presented us with a condition which could only be determined when everything else was ruled out. Sadly, it is the equivalent to ALS in humans.
Her condition grew progressively worse physically while her mind and attitude remained unchanged. A harness and a cart gave her freedom and she continued to enjoy chasing squirrels. One of her favorite activities was watching over her domain from the front porch, as long as one of us sat with her. Being a herding dog, she insisted we be corralled at all times.
Unfortunately, the disease remained slowly progressive until about two weeks ago, when the twitching moved toward her head and weakness began to show in her front limbs. She crossed the rainbow bridge yesterday. Our hearts are broken and there is such an emptiness in our lives. One thing is for sure — we wouldn’t have traded having her in our lives for anything. Tova was love personified and the joy she freely gave will be with us always. I know she has joined our other beloved fur-babies and can now romp and cavort like she once did.