The New Old Guy

Sachairi out for a walk

August, 11, 2000-February 6, 2016
Much missed, but free now to visit all he loves!


 Updated March 2016 

Sachairi on bedSo we wanted to get another “farm dog” type to hang out with Gleann off-leash in the yard and woods , a young one, as the pack is all middle aged now and probably female, although that didn’t matter as much. A friend on FaceBook, who we met through Greyhound stuff many years ago, contacted us as she knew we were considering another and she had a friend desperately looking for a good home for her Australian Shepherd/Border Collie cross before she left the country. And the dog was 11. Well, so much for young or female. But he needed us.

He actually was 10 when we met them on November 26, 2010. There is a certain scariness in taking an older dog, you know that there won’t be a lot of years, you know what your setting yourself up for. Of course, you never know how long you have with a  young dog, or other animal, either, shit happens and it happens far too often. So we met them and who would even know this dog was 10? He came out of the car into the park we were meeting at at a run, barking and demanding that everyone around throw something for him.
Sachairi in snow bank by old Mini barn
He also has Lyme Disease and we were warned about not letting him overdo. Which really can be a problem, he’s go-go-go all the time. Our vet’s assessment is that the Lyme Disease is in total remission, don’t worry about it unless he shows fatigue issues. He hasn’t. We can take him for a run and he’ll expect to play fetch immediately after ward.

Given his face, and some of his behaviors and looks, he has a good bit of some sort of Spaniel in there too. When a fetch object is involved it seems he can give that BC intense stare-down combined with soft Spaniel puppy eyes that will melt your heart. It just doesn’t seem that could be combined but it is most effective to get someone to throw something for him. He lives for the fetch, btw.

He is so small compared to our two 70+ lb boys and at least 65 lb bitch, weighing in now at about 33 lbs. Yet he’s the one who denies any ability to be a lap dog. He’ll cuddle, but does not like to be held on the lap or to be picked up while I think Cù would be delighted if we would carry him around in are arms 24 hours a day. 

Orlaith snuggling Sach on dog bedDespite his small stature, Sachairi has blended in with the pack very well, his personality is plenty large enough to make sure he has his space. He’s turned out the be the, nearly, perfect farm dog companion for Gleann (he did have a little accident with a chick, but typically is fine with the chickens). He’s the best at going after small critters which might be going after the chickens, having tackled rats, weasels and minks. He, however, is a bit overly obsessed with squirrels.

Sachairi is also a talker, making various sounds as he interacts with us. He’s keenly concerned with our emotional state as well, getting into our faces when ever there is some drama going on and checking in with us. We also will never have to take a shower or go to the bathroom alone. He feels that the room is quite dangerous if he is not there to defend us.  Or that I might perhaps escape without him knowing.

At other times, he just guards the boots to make sure we don’t get out without him knowing.
Sachairi head on a boot

March 2016

I hate that I haven’t written more here, But it gets harder and harder to remember to update here.  We use FaceBook so much more now and a few months ago made a page for the animals. Only recently have I given the animals their own page there, however.  Sachairi was changeable, some of the above ceased to be true. When I (Saigh Kym) left my job Sachairi stop feeling that he should keep watch on me when I showered, he got use the fact that I stayed home. In fact, one thing about Sach is that he’d often start a habit and the change. I suppose it depended on what he needed.

Our relationship with Sach was in many ways a different one.  Our hounds had all had homes of some sort before us, none of the racers were directly off-the-track.  Not all their past homes were bad, but they were not the right homes for them.  Some were perfectly great ones for other hounds, I know this was true for Òrlaith‘s, but even those just weren’t a good fit.  Ours was. We were home.  But it was different with Sachairi

Sachairi on path jumping fallen treeSachairi had had a great home with his former person, Nonie.  They loved and adored each other.  But she was unable to take him to her new home because, like many island nations, absolutely no dogs can be brought into it, not even with a quarantine. He missed her, as I know she missed him.  Even though he grew to love us, we were a second love.  And sometimes it was clear we didn’t do things quite as well as she did. Hopefully, we got the toothbrushing right, because next to fetch I think it was his most favorite thing. And one he could still enjoy when he wasn’t up to fetch.

Sometimes Sach would spend a lot of time in the bedroom during the day by himself or with the cat (who also came from Nonie).  I could feel like he was distancing himself from us. Other days he was never far away.  Other times he’d isnist on snuggling up to me, but only for a short time and then get up and find another location. He had his own way of loving us, but needed his own space too.  But when I was upset, he’d show up and put his paw on my shoulder. When I left the house he’d be the first to greet me and, when I’d sit to take off my boots, he’d plant his feet on my knees and bark his greeting in my face.

Sachairi was our little hunter. We started to suspect based no his features (which isn’t always that informative with a mix) and his hunting enthusiasm that he might have had some sort of Spaniel in with his Aussie and BC.  This led him to sometimes wander off as he got older and a bit slower, oddly enough. Oh, more, as he slowed a bit we let him lag behind on walks and so he could sneak off behind our backs.

This landed him at the emergency vet one night after he caught himself a baby porcupine (based on the size and softness of the quills and that he got them way in the back of his throat.  That was the night we discovered he had a heart murmur, which led to concern with sedating him to remove them. He did fine.  He continued to try to wander off when on walks, so we got better at watching him. 

Saigh about to toss ball for SachSaigh tossing ball while Sach stares at it

But he was still spry and at 14 (when the photos of me playing fetch with him were taken) he was still really into the game.  A year later, when he turned 15,  however, it became a slower game.  I’d throw or even roll the ball for him to chase and he’d go after it but seldom bother bringing it back, instead just stand over it and bark.  But we played when he wanted. But that was less.

And less.

He began eating less, the vet first putting it off to the hot weather of the summer of 2015, when he turned 15.   By winter it was clear that that was not the reason.  He liver disease, possibly a tumor.  Operating wSachairi with toyasn’t an option, what with very little chance that it could help and the far less chance he’d survive the attempt due to his heart.  His big, loving, but misbeating heart.  He got meds for pain and to try to regulate his liver enzymes, we kept exploring new food options to entice him.  It worked for awhile. ….not not long enough for us. 

By February it became clear that his “belly” was hurting, he was not interested in eating at all and he wanted to be free of his aging, sick body. On February 6, 2016 we took him to the vet to help him let go.

We always feel our dogs (and other animals) around us. Sometimes we do get confirmation of their spirits from others. Of course, in Sachairi’s case, it was Nonie, who after lying down to nap heard her husband speaking to someone outside. Getting up she was introduced to Zachary who was visiting nearby, a man with soulful brown eyes that were so familiar   Her Sachairi, our Sachairi, is no longer barred from the island, he no longer is constrained by his body. He can visit in any form he chooses, including one who can speak our language. So, we miss his little physical form we know, which was always puppy-like right to the end but we know he can be with us all now. <3

Sachairi on couch

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