Bruce emailed me that he had to put Brisbee down today, struggling with dementia and mobility. He was 17.5, he would have turned 18 in May. It’s not unexpected, but it’s hard to think of him, and all the old crew, are gone now. Poco, Fenwick and Brisbee were a force to be reckoned with, back in the day. They all taught me so much, we went through so much together – and Brisbee was especially challenging. So very smart, and so very, very worried about the world. No other dog taught me more about working with a fearful, stress filled dog.
Brisbee had his happy side though, he LOVED to run – not with any of the other dogs, or to chase a toy, just by himself … just running for no reason other than the love of it. That’s when I feel he was the most happy, and I’m so glad he got to stay on the property that and continue to be active in a place he knew. Even before the divorce he was having issues with dementia and neurological problems, it was important he felt comfortable. Though Brisbee just loved his comfort in general, that boy loved the softer things in life, and he was a perfect companion for Bruce – he was happy to just lay around all day until it was time to go for a run.
Brisbee’s agility career was not so much about agility as it was building confidence. I never cared about him qualifying, but enjoying the process – and there was certainly a lot of highs and lows with Brisbee. I think it helped him learn to cope better with the world, that it wasn’t so scary and that he could be brave and adventurous. He was really fun to run … when everything was going well. Agility was not a huge part of his life, but he came a LONG way.
He was such a part of my life for so long, they all were – I will also think of those three as a group, and I hope they are happy together now. End of an era, three exceptional dogs with exceptionally long lifespans. I was lucky to have them as long as they did, and I’m sure they had a wonderful life with Bruce after the divorce. I miss them, they very much shaped where I am today and they were such incredibly good friends and companions. I very much miss them all.