Saturday, May 9, 2009

" MACEY GIRL", All Creatures Great and Small

Very few photos of early family pets seem to be in my collection of old ancestral photos. The only conclusion I have come to is that raising dogs and other animals has all been passed down to me. I think I make up for all the generations before me. I am the lucky one who has filled my home with enough dogs to makeup for all the ones that my ancestors did not have or did not photograph. My camera shutter rarely stops. Life, scenery, grandchildren and animals, dogs in particular- all find their way into my photos!

Our beloved "Macey Girl" is one of many family pets through the years but she was also one of our most prized companions. She was a gorgeous, smooth coat, liver colored Border Collie. Macey came to us in a round about way but was just meant to be part of our family.

Our youngest son got her from someone he knew who didn't want her anymore and who never took very good care of her. She was about 2-3 years old at that time. Jason, our son, lived in the country and Macey fit right in his new family. She loved to herd the farm cats and anything else she could find. They had no cattle so she made do with what she could find! What a beautiful and obedient girl she was, she just seemed to be thankful that she was loved and adored. Her former owner did not treat her well and she came to Jason with a somewhat fearful and sad emotional condition. Her life showed through her eyes. All it took was loads of love to show her that people really could love and care for her. In time her timid and reserved ways subsided and she gave back to all of us a thousand times more love. The light came back into her eyes!

When our son moved his family to eastern Nebraska and couldn't take Macey along we agreed to care for her until he could find a place to live that would allow a dog. We already had two other loving animals in the house, a little black cocker spaniel and a big sharpei/chow mix dog. We really did not want another dog at the time. Macey moved in with us and we fell more in love with her and never gave her back. She became my husbands pride and his best friend.

Anyone who has ever lived with a Border Collie, knows that they want to rule the roost. She bossed the other dogs and often used her eyes to let everyone know that she thought they should be doing what she wanted them to do. Our Sharpei was not thrilled by it all. Macey was gorgeous and affectionate, especially to the little male cocker at times! She never forgot to let us all know that she was thankful to just be loved and have a good home. Her only goal in life, other than herding all the birds into one bush and the squirrels into one tree, was to please us-the rest of her pack.

For 6 1/2 years Macey, our" beautiful redhead" brought pleasure to us all. She was a big dog but that never kept her from being our constant travel companion. If we went, she went along. She rode for hours at a time and never made a peep or acted wrestless in the car, she loved to watch for other animals as we went along. She was a great camper and always made us feel safe, just by her presence. I used to camp alone occassionaly when my husband was working and she was my protector. We also owned a sporting goods business and she rode to work every day with one of us. People would remark that she scooted right up next to my husband in his old truck and proudly rode there, ears perked up, just like she was his "girlfriend"-driving down the street with him. They had quite a reputation in town! At work she greeted our customers and knew many as good friends, they stopped to see her and say hello, we were secondary.

Our Macey got cancer but she persiviered on for about 3 years and she never quit or complained in her daily life. She was ready to go along right up to her last day.

By the way, our Macey Girl could really sing too. Not your ordinary dog howling but she had her own unique singing voice. She loved music and kept in quite good tune. She could sing along when all the grandkids put on their music and they delighted in hearing her. The Annie Lennox song "Into The West" from The Lord of the Rings was her favorite.

What a great pleasure it was to have had her as part of our family. Life will never be the same without her, just as it is when we lose any loved one. Our family was so lucky and priviledged to call her one of us. We never owned her, she owned us - heart and soul!

Future generations of my family will have many photos of Macey Girl and all of our beloved pets to pass down, right along with the precious photos of their human ancestors.


  1. What a beautiful tribute! I love Border Collies; they are so intelligent. I remember when my husband and I were vacationing in Britain and stopped some place where there was a Border Collie - that dog could not wait to herd us around! We laughed so hard.

  2. I especially like the second photo from the top. when you see such a completely relaxed animal you appreciate how much he trusts his master.

  3. What a beautiful and touching story! Beloved members of our family don't always have to walk on *two* legs...