VM8054 Veterinary Histology

Meg (May 10, 1996-September 12, 2010)

Author: Dr. Thomas Caceci
Meg (a/k/a"Westover's Meg" ABCA, FD, FDX), was a Border Collie, and anyone who's ever had one knows what that implies. Like all Border Collies, she was nuclear-powered and never ran out of energy. She was born on a farm in Gordonsville, VA on May 10, 1996, and came to me at the age of 7 months through the kindness of the late Dr. Bernard Feldman of the VMRCVM. Bernie knew everyone in the Border Collie World, and he owned Meg's sire, Burkett's Lad, a national sheep trials champion. Lad is a dog of whom sheep speak in hushed tones among themselves. Her dam was Sandy Keg's Kate, a working sheepdog and field trial champion in her own right. So even though Meg looked like the average Cairo street mutt, she actually had impeccable bloodlines, being descended from many generations of Border Collies of distinguished heritage in Wales and Scotland. Well, being Nobility doesn't mean you have to be beautiful: just look at the British Royal Family.

To her parent's disappointment, and to my great good fortune, however, Meg hadn't a lick of interest in sheep; she opted out of the traditional family sheep-chasing business in favor of a career chasing Frisbees. Her sole interest and ruling passion in life was THE FRISBEE, and she'd chase one until she dropped from exhaustion. Her complete dedication to catching a Frisbee and her disdain for those wooly things in the pasture led to her not making the cut for herding and coming to me instead, in December of 1996. In her heyday she would chase 40 Frisbees a day, more if we'd have let her.

For a while she played Flyball as a member of the New River Express team. She enjoyed it, and earned two certifications, but made it clear she'd like it better if it involved Frisbees. When she quite Flyball I took her through basic Agility training but she got bored with it. Chasing tennis balls was OK, but again, she regarded them as only a pallid substitute for the Real Thing.

She had two speeds: Sound Asleep and Flat Out, nothing in between. As is true of most Border Collies, she was crazy as a bedbug, utterly single-minded, and somewhat timid. But she loved people, I think because she regarded them all as potential throwers of FRISBEES. Whenever someone new visited she'd gets hers and bring it to them with an invitation to play. She wss the sweetest and most loving dog I've ever had, without exception. If you click on the image at left you can see her in action.

As she aged she lost some of her physical ability but never her unflagging love of being near me and my wife. At a little over age 14 she turned up lame, and as it worsened we brought her in for a grim diagnosis: osteosarcoma of the distal radius. A couple of days later she was in great pain despite heavy-duty analgesics; her bone developed pathological fractures, and it was clear that the day had come. Dr Marta Downey of Companion Animal Clinic was kind enough to come to our home, and we said goodbye to her on our front lawn, on a beautiful day. Her head was resting in my hands and her eyes gazing into mine when the light went out of them, and a great hole was torn in my life and my heart.

You only get a dog like this once in your life, and then only if you are very, very lucky. Meg was, quite literally, The Perfect Dog. She had no flaws, and in truth I can never remember having to correct her, not once, in all our life together. She laid by my feet when i worked, and slept next to me at night; nothing is so empty as a home where a dog this wonderful has left. It has been said that "All dogs go to heaven," and I hope that's true: because if there are no dogs there it can't be heaven. And if there ever was a dog who earned entry into Paradise, it was my beloved and gentle Meg. Sic transit gloria mundi.

 

Dr. Caceci's Bio Sketch

| Susan | Tycho | Meg | Tessa | Toby | Tucker | Dante | Penny |

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VM8054 Veterinary Histology