Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Friday, June 26, 2009


May 5, 1997 -- June 23, 2009
Goodbye Beautiful Girl

Little Ariel, you are missed greatly. Just the other day you came to visit for awhile, as I kept you for your breeder. Just for a few weeks. But you never left. You became Jody's pesky little sister, and a member of the family. What a silly little dog--you enjoyed the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, sometimes all in the space of a minute. You could run like the wind, and used that to torment Jody, who would knock you flying if she caught you.

We went to obedience class when you were a few years old, just to have a bonding time. You were the star of the class, most of it old hat to you. While we were being instructed you would roll on your back, feet to the sky and 'rest'. What a ham. Your big treat after obedience and on the way home was french fries. Your addiction for french fries never went away. As you got older you very conveniently forgot all that obedience. Really you didn't need it, you were smart enough to do what you had to do.

You collie girls saw a steady stream of animals come in around here, and never offered to bother anything. Sheep were cool--you thought they were okay, but Jody adored them. Lambs were enticing and needed to be sniffed over carefully. Cats loved on you obnoxiously and you would walk off when tired of it. You and Jody shared a yard with two chickens for several years and I didn't think twice about leaving you alone with them. Good dogs. Very good dogs.

In your younger days you were a consummate thief. Anything not nailed down was fair game. Tools were a particular favorite. You had a voice that would make a grown man cry, literally. It could send me over the edge in zero point two seconds when you were really revved up. Collie barks tend to be shrill anyway, but you get the prize. Watching you and Jody race the fence barking at loud cars was always interesting. Without fail there would be a meltdown in the system at some point, and you both would turn on each other. It sounded and looked horribly fierce, but if you looked a little closer, you could see it was all an act. Exposed fangs and clacking jaws only rent the air. Then you both would untangle and race on like nothing every had happened, only to repeat a short moment later.

Then age crept up on you, and you lost your best buddy. You slowed down and became frailer each day. You put up with boisterous Boone and forged your own unique bond with him. Finally your body gave out and it was time. The light still shown in your eyes, but you were tired, in pain and confused. It was hard to make that choice for you, but your last day was peaceful and full of the things you loved. My life has indeed been blessed by your silly Arieyberry self for eleven and half years. My blessings are many, and in grateful return, although difficult, my gift to you is a quiet, pain free end, cuddled in my arms.

Three pictures of Ariel at her 12th Birthday.

Ariel being silly--she was a teeth clacker.

Ariel exploring---never take the easy way, when there is a harder route to venture through

Jody and Ariel 2006

Ariel--winter 2006


Because we choose to open our hearts to love our animals like family, we open our hearts not only to joy but to pain. Even if we are blessed to have them for a 'long and healthy' lifetime, their lifetime is painfully short. However, not having them in our lives is not an option. Because the pain they bring, when they pass is far outweighed by the joy, laughs and love they shower us with.

I can't imagine a life without my critter family. I am blessed to have such a welcoming committee every time I come home. They inspire me to get up and get going even on the worst of days. Lessons can be learned from them. Enjoy the moment; don't be afraid to be giddy about the ones you love; every minute is a new minute; run fast, play hard, sleep deep; enjoy special treats, a ride in the car, a long walk; know whats important; cultivate friendships, even if you are nothing alike; enjoy quiet time; don't stress over the irrelevant.

Losing one of the furry family is hard. There is a gap, an empty space, a void that their presence filled. You see them out of the corner of your eye, you continue to do the special things they required, only catching yourself in mid action. It's difficult to see the other animals look for their lost friend, to be unsettled and lonely. Animals do grieve and deeply. I've witnessed it and have no doubts on the matter.

Time moves on, and eventually it's easier to think of the happiness they brought than the sadness they created when they died. Sometimes there is a sense of relief because you aren't worrying about how they are coping or feeling with their failing bodies. Life is different but it continues.

Still, just yesterday you were a pup........


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

My eyes are leaking for you and your lose, and for me and mine....

Nancy K. said...

For Ariel and Rocky and Buddy and so many others... you said it better than I could have ever hoped.

Thank you for sharing your sadness AND your joy with us.

RIP beautiful Ariel...

Anonymous said...

It's always hard to lose a friend, and the hairy four-legged kind are no exception to that rule. I'm so sorry for your loss.

RiverBend Farm said...

There are no words to follow what you so beautifully wrote in your post. I'm very sorry you are having to go through the pain of losing Ariel.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Ariel was a beautiful girl. I'm glad I got to "know" her. I always felt a kinship to her through old Boo. I'll carry a bit of your loss for you.

phylliso said...

You have said it so well,my heart is breaking,phylliso

Star said...

I was ok til that last sentence, but now, the tears are flowing. You are lucky, yes you are, to have had that friend in your life. She was a beautiful colour too, most unusual. I wish I could have a dog, one day, when I'm not working, hopefully, when I can give it the attention it will need. Like you, I'll put up with the pain because the joy overrides it.
Blessings, Star

flickerslair said...

What a very beautiful tribute to a very beautiful puppy. You and Ariel were so lucky to have had each other.

Pat in east TN said...

What a wonderful post to your beautiful friend. I am in tears now ... what a bond you two had and what grand memories you will have.

The heartache of loosing my past couple of furry friends/children had me saying, "Nope, NO more .. I can't go through this ever again", yet here is Wally in my life and he's got me hook, line and sinker.

Vicki Lane said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely, Tammy! What a beautiful remembrance of your beautiful girl.

Tina T-P said...

What a wonderful tribute to your friend. It is so hard when we lose our furry friends - they give all they have with no expectations - my eyes are leaking and I too am sorry for your loss. T.

Kara said...

Oh Tammy I am so sorry for your loss. In my effort not to blog as much I missed this news and news on other blogs too, but today is rainy so I was catching up on reading a few. Hang in there, hugs.

I need orange said...

I am so sorry.

I had to put my own boy down on June 14, so my grief is raw, as I know your is.

It is always so hard when we must send them on without us.

Sharing your sorrow, Vicki

Kathy said...

What a beautiful and endearing tribute to your friend, companion and confidant, Tammy. I have been holding you and Ariel (and the other "critters" there) in my heart as you've had to go through this.

My eyes are leaking as well. As hard as it was for you, I know that Jody was there to show Ariel the way to the Rainbow Bridge.

Blessings to you all. I wish I were close enough to give you a hug. You have friends and many shoulders to lean on.