Today is a day for remembrance. For reflection and for celebration of the lives lost…
I have been asked numerous times who the dog is in our logo, or is it just a random photo. I believe a logo should have some history, a reason for being, and should represent what it stands for. If someone asks about a logo and it has no real meaning then it’s just an advertising symbol, and for animal charity I feel it should be a lot more than just a symbol.
In 1995 a bitch was brought into my care due to give birth and clearly very poorly. At the vets she gave birth to 4 pups but another 5 had died in her womb. Despite all the best efforts she could not be saved, so I had 4 pups to raise and one that was so weak it was going to be a fight to keep him alive. During this time my Megan who was my work and trial girl seemed unwell. A vet check found nothing concrete but I knew something wasn’t right, however after watching me struggle to feed and top and tail the pups she got in the bed with them and began to nurse them. Within a few days Megan’s coat glossed up, her eyes became bright and she came into milk and took over nursing them, between us she and I kept the little weak one going. At just over four weeks old I offered them some mushy pup food and they tucked in. That was the day Megan stopped caring for them and the day after she was on my bed struggling to breath, I rushed her to the vet who examined her and told me she had a tumour and her lungs were filling up. I asked him to follow me home where she checked in on the pups and then lay on the blanket I put down for her. With her head on my knee she began her journey over the Bridge and the vet looked at me and said ‘I’ve never witnessed this before but she put her life on hold to give you a pup that could walk in her footsteps’. I cried buckets and I called her gift to me Hope.
He grew to be a big strong lad and as stubborn and wilful as could be. His breeding was all ISDS with a lot of champions in it. He was an amazing work dog and would have been a good trial dog but he injured a front leg when working the sheep (doing his own thing and not what I had asked of course!) and his career as a full time work dog was over. But he could work part-time teaching people how to work a dog, doing our sheepdog experience team building sessions, and showing young dogs and rescue dogs how to behave. He was on the programme Dogs with Jobs and featured in a lot of articles and programmes on collies.
Hope was my best buddy, he saw me through some dark times and he would lay beside me on the bed until I was asleep. He was fourteen with a heart murmur when he fell and dislocated his hip, a hip that was as stubborn as him and refused to go back where it belonged. So I maxed out on my card to take him to a specialist to get his hip pinned, he was only away from me for one night then I spent 2 weeks sleeping on the floor with him. Every morning Hope would look at me and smile that lovely smile of his. His heart wasn’t good and he only went on another 4 months after the op but he went when it was his time to go, and he went smiling at me.
Hope by name, and hope by everything I would wish for this breed. He was by breed and nature a sheepdog, he was stubborn and would argue with me but he was also gentle, kind and so very loyal. He was the epitome of a Border Collie, and as such his history and his life as Megan’s legacy are the Hope we have for FOSTBC which makes our Logo a very special one.