Run Free

freda-running

Gosh, the last two weeks have been full of highs and lows. I know I don’t write much about my personal life here but I want to tell you about our friend Freda.

It seemed like just a month ago when I was taking pictures of our pets after making my kitty-puppy dress, and thinking about the best way to shoot her. Shortly after that, Freda suddenly fell ill with a serious illness that the vet thought was lymphoma. We thought it might be something like kennel cough that goes away in a couple of days–nothing like a death sentence. We kept hoping for the best, and hoping she would improve enough to have some proper tests.

Freda has been our companion since 2004, since our first apartment in Austin. We travelled a lot back then and took her with us everywhere we went. She got to visit Belgium, Germany, New Mexico, North Carolina, most of it when she was young–it was so hard to leave home without our first kid!

freda-herding

She was a very special border collie, bred from working stock dogs, and had all the sought-after qualities in herding collies. Even from eight weeks old she was already herding leaves in the yard. But Freda was so much more than that–I have never loved an animal so much. She was our friend, our favorite “child”, a free spirit and one of the most intelligent dogs I’ve ever known.

She loved fetching and hunting for frisbees, balls and even socks, but nothing held a candle to a plain ole stick.

freda-puppy

I’ve had many pets throughout my life but after Freda, there was no greater dog than a border collie! (Okay, Aussie Shepherds are pretty cool, too.) She took care of her baby sister Pearl (they came from the same dame)…

pearl-and-freda

They were BFFs until we got our third dog Jakey, a wild energetic guy keeps everyone busy. This was one of our “family Christmas photos”–the only time we were able to get all three of them to sit still. Jake was still a puppy so he was easy to grab!

family photo!

After our initial vet visit she improved for a week, thanks to steroids, and we were able to have a few more fun days of playing all kinds of stick, ball, frisbee with her… but sadly, last week she took a sudden turn for the worse. We were in and out of the vet with infections and all sorts of worries. By the weekend, she just couldn’t hang on.

I’m sure those of you who have lost pets know how difficult it is… I’ve been trying to keep my hands busy but everything is a trigger right now. Freda “talked back” to all the neighbor dogs and every time there’s a barkfest in our neighborhood I’m a mess… Freda brought so much joy to us. So much love. We are thankful she didn’t suffer long but it was very shocking to lose our companion so suddenly. She was only nine. Life is so short… so short.

Run free, Freda… may the fields rise to meet you…

freda running

36 comments

  1. Katy says:

    Amy,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I had tears in my eyes while reading your post. I know how hard it is not to be selfish when “fur babies” get sick, and need to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I hope you heal and find peace when you’re able.

    Love, Katy

  2. Angela says:

    So sorry:( We lost our little dog Penny this past summer under difficult circumstances. It was a shock because I expected her to still be my companion after my kids grew up and moved out. Grief is the hard part of love, I think.

  3. Muriel says:

    My condolences to you and your family for the loss of your loved one. The article you posted is a great tribute to the joy Freda brought to your lives. I know you will miss her, but she is never truly gone. Her spirit lives on in your heart .

  4. Jill says:

    Amy – I’ve missed your posts lately and am so sorry for the reason. What a sweet puppy to have had and be loved by. Sharing in your grief.

  5. Ginger says:

    Oh, Amy, I’m so sorry. My dogs are my family and I am so sad for you. Dogs have an amazing capacity to bring us joy, and it’s so hard that their lives are so short.

  6. Lindsey says:

    Freda sounds like she was one of a kind. It’s wonderful she had such a loving home and joyfilled life with you.

  7. Michelle says:

    My heart breaks for you. Reading this, instantly takes me back to the day I lost my Dory and the overwhelming sadness I felt then. I hope that you all can find comfort in each other until you are on the other side of grief.

  8. Sallie says:

    Oh Amy… I’m so so sorry. My heart is aching for you guys right now. All animals, but especially dogs, hold such a special place in our lives. Freda sounds like she was a very beautiful companion, and I know gave her a wonderful, happy life.

  9. Kelly says:

    Oh, Amy, I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine how hard this is – I got a cat just three months ago and already I’ve had the thought that I don’t know how I would go on if I lost him. Freda was just beautiful, and these photos show that you gave each other wonderful lives.

  10. Liz says:

    Your beautiful post honors Freda with your love. Know that she will always be in your memories and in your heart. With my deepest sympathies, –Liz

  11. Kimbersew says:

    What a beauty. I am so very sorry for your loss. The grief is hardest because the love is so great. What an honor and joy it must have been for you each to have had each other for as long as you did. It is clear to me in your brief post how well you loved her. I have no doubt that it was clear to her as well. Do take good care of yourself through this hard time. I feel as though every thing I can think to say is very cliche, but it comes from the bottom of my heart- with a dog on my lap and a few buried out in the blueberry patch. hugs-

  12. I’m so sorry to hear this – losing a pet is devastating. 10 years on I still get a twinge when thinking about the lab x staffy I grew up with, although he did live to the ripe old age of 17! I love the ‘family’ photo on the couch – so gorgeous. Rest in Peach Freda 🙂

  13. twotoast says:

    Oh, that is so sad. So sorry to hear your news – we have an old girl that will likely not be with us much longer, but as long as she can wag her tail, and run to meet us when we get home, life is good.

    Special thoughts for Freda who is now at Rainbow Bridge and to you and yours x

  14. kitty says:

    hugs, dear. I am so sorry to read this.
    You wrote a lovely tribute to a gorgeous Freda. I’m sure she is thankful for having shared her time with you.

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