Some wonderful stories there. We lost our Max last year. He was 15 and we had to have him put to sleep because his arthritis got so bad that he couldn't walk anymore and keeping him alive was just being selfish. He left us with some great memories though and was such a joy to the family. He was our first kid actually, a little fat ball of fur. Part border collie part lab part whirl wind.
We got him from the pound. They had a whole litter and we were having a tough time choosing. So we decided to go away and think about it as the pound was closing. As we went to leave this little guy came running/waddling out from the back and latched himself onto Andrea's (my wife) coat tail and wouldn't let go. Well that did it. He came home with us.
He was so smart. He used to herd the kids in the play ground and keep them all in the area where the swings and slides were. The neighbours loved it because they knew when Max was there the kids couldn't stray. It drove him nuts if they took off in different directions. He loved to go on the slide and would line up with the kids, taking his turn. He was able to climb the ladder and then slide down the slide. We have it on video tape and the kids still love to watch him.
He liked a little Guinness from time to time and so I'd pour some in his bowl and he would lap it up. When there was just a little left, I would say, "now knock it back", and he would lift the bowl in his mouth tip his head back and swallow what was left.
He was though a great companion and I always felt that he sensed when you weren't in the best of spirits and he would sit with his big head (he had the body of a lab and the colouring of the border collie) in your lap looking into your eyes as if to say I'll worry for you.
I don't know if he liked folk music but if I played a certain frequency on my tin whistle he would nudge my elbow with his nose. So much so that I was unable to play...or maybe he just appreciated good whistle playing.
He will always be remembered.
We have since looked for a dog but we keep looking for just a little something of what our Max had he was just so much a member of our family. Den