JUDE, our dear canine friend who was given 6 months to a year to live, clearly chose the year and almost to the day, it was time for him to go and so he did, on 6/6/22.
A Glen Highland Sanctuary resident at age 10, he arrived in horrible shape as a stray being heartworm positive, having had a stroke creating odd mobility and having anal cancer…nothing was treatable. BUT, that didn’t matter to Jude…he was a powerhouse willing his body to go on and though he had the sweetest personality, this guy was so darn stubborn sometimes about what he wanted and didn’t want, it made for some funny moments. His life force energy was quiet evident, no matter the prognosis.
Another BIG personality and spirit, he found his way to us just in time to make this one year really count! He loved hanging in the yard with the sun on his body and watching all the antics of the other dogs, even joining in for a bit of herding himself. He also absolutely loved a real meal each day, savoring each bite with real gusto. And, he just loved to walk up to anyone and give his big grin and then his side-ward fall indicating it was belly rub time…of course that little action won the hearts of everyone who met him. Little did they know that was actually Jude’s default position to indicate ‘I’m not moving, so don’t even think about getting me to go anywhere’…he knew how to control the humans around him!
Though as soon as bad weather hit or it was night, he was all about curling up inside warm and cozy, nothing like he had for his life prior to arriving at Glen Highland. He truly thrived against all odds with a gorgeous coat, the brightest eyes and the will to go for more living! He was impressive and loved his new custom life designed just for his happiness!
Yet Saturday things started to feel different. He was not moving well at all and sleeping all day without much interest in anything. Sunday’s meal was snubbed and his eyes were really changing..the spirit was fading. We were set for a vet run monday to let him pass but he had other plans…his body went into seizures at 6a and he needed quick help to let go. A race to the vet provided the calm and peace again and off to spirit he traveled.
Death is a hard experience to watch even for us who go through this over and over and over again…ten years running a Senior Sanctuary to be exact as well as with our own personal aging dogs…but for us and for any of you reading this…
PLEASE REMEMBER… IT’S NOT THE END THAT IS THE LIFE A DOG FOCUSES ON… IT’S ALL THE LIVING… ALL THE LIFE FORCE TO BE IN THE WORLD HAPPIER AND HEALTHIER THAN BEFORE…
Jude, Sadie, Hunter and all the others who have joined us at Glen Highland had a great time living life in a Border Collie world totally designed around them…short or long, they are amazing at jumping in to make the most of it!
Resident JUDE is estimated to be 10 years old though his health conditions would make him more like 110. He arrived 6/21 to us from a nearby Virginia shelter picked up as a stray. This gorgeous boy quickly had a list of BIG problems to be solved: Heartworm positive; lyme positive; ehrlichia positive and with a neurological deficit that made him barely capable of walking. The shelter started basic diagnostics and gave him the best month they could until a VA border collie lover reached out to tell us he was right in our backyard.
Most of what is wrong with Jude you can’t even see until he begins to move and every limb is disconnected from the other. He struggles valiantly to right himself and carries on hoping to enjoy the outdoors. Diagnostic findings from neurology testing concluded he has full spinal spondylosis as well as a cervical disc issue, making his body so painful that any walking would be and will become awfully hard. He’s possibly had a stroke or has a tumor in his brain because Jude, while alert, is not really clear thinking…he’s more disconnected and delayed in all that he does mentally, even knowing where his food bowl is each day.
A tough, long visit at NC State Vet Hospital revealed more strikes against him - a cancerous rectal tumor that has likely metastasized to his lungs. We are heartbroken to know this very, very sweet guy has a very guarded prognosis of months. There is no remedy for this type of cancer.
Spending a minute with this heroic Border Collie makes your heart ache because we all would love to have helped him so much earlier when things could have been turned around. But, here we are, rolling out the red carpet of Glen Highland to give him tons of love; plenty of pain relief and lots of good days outside...he loves a big roll in the grass…quite a charmer anyone would adore to have as their friend.
We are grateful to meet Jude and trust the grace of this time. Love is the only available medicine.
Jude absolutely loves the warm weather and will happily nap outside for hours and not want to come in..of course bad weather is different..he loves being cozy to nap inside!
His mobility has worsened so he will drag his front left and back left legs but he honestly does not care…he goes where he wants when he wants!!!! On we go with the nicest Border Collie around!
Jude is eating great and fairly similar in strength as he was on arrival…his outside time is limited in length or he truly is too tired to do much so we’re tailoring things to match his level of energy and he is loving it. When he’s done too much, he can barely get those back legs in sync with the front to go far at all. Sometimes it seems like it’s time to let him go and then he hauls his rump somehow faster along and clearly says NO, NOT YET!