On October 4, 2014, we traveled to Pueblo, CO where we met Buckskin Joe who was one of 10 Collies who came to Colorado from Texas after he and his brothers, sisters and others were taken from a woman who keep over a 130 Collies in small kennels and neglected to take care of their every need. Buck had a friendly disposition and readily accepted us as his new foster parents. We were excited to have him join our pack! He did not know how to run and play. He was a nervous observer at first. He often paced and lacked confidence that he was safe so that he need not jump at every little sound or movement. He struggled to see, but he managed. The doctor described his sight as how you would look through window blinds. He wore a harness for the first few months to help him be secure. He seemed to be fine the first few days he was with us, but within a few weeks, he slowed down. We discovered he had a tick borne illness that was specific to the Texas region. He was treated for about 20 days and when his blood work came back looking good and he gained 16 pounds. He learned to navigate stairs, even with limited sight. He always wanted to know where HIS people were. Every once in a while he’d try to run, but really he bounced. He never quite mastered the art of running, but Buck did learn to love sleeping on the couch and chair…if anyone tried to sleep in his chair, Buck would comment! He was a funny guy!
Then late in November while Steve and I were out, we received a phone call from our kids saying that Buck was having a seizure, by the time we made it home, Buck had stopped seizing but was disoriented. He appeared to be ok. We called the doctor, but really there was nothing to do but wait and see if it happened again. We celebrated Christmas, Buck got toys and a bone. He seemed like the green lamb chop and learned how to squeak it. That was fun to watch!!!! He found his big boy bed in our bedroom. He seemed to love his spot! He had two more seizures, but came out of it. He continued to eat and fill in. We joked that soon we’d have to put him on a diet.
On March 30, 2015, I called Rocky Mountain Collie and Sheltie Rescue and declared, ” Buck was a foster failure!” Buck was Home and he had been since the day we brought him to live with us! A week or so later I noticed that Buck wasn’t eating as much and that he stopped sleeping on his favorite bed and curling up on the couch. I thought something wasn’t quite, but could not put my figure on it. I found a lump on Tuesday April 22 and made an appointment Friday April 24. The Doctor found other lumps throughout his lymphatic system and he shared the news that things didn’t look good. Mostly likely cancer with secondary problems…while we waited word from the cytology report, Buck’s calcium levels were sky high.
Everyone should have a Buckskin Joe in their life… He overcame so many obstacles and challenges. Imagine living most of your life in a cage, not being loved, feeling hungry and afraid, not having a warm place to lay your head or a place you relax and call home. That was the life Buck left behind in Texas, his old life! But then Buck was rescued and was surrounded by many people who loved him from the minute volunteers went to rescue him! Once Buck got to CO, he hung out at RMCSR headquarters awaiting his new foster home. We showed up and choose Buck to be our foster/forever dog! Although his time was short with us…Buck taught us that through adversity comes hope and in the end peace. As we helped our dear Buck cross the rainbow bridge I can’t help but think of the words from the song, “I believe”! Buck, I believe today you will learn how to jump, play and see! Buck, I believe you can fly and run free! Be at peace Buck! Mama, Dad, your human and fur brothers and sisters LOVE YOU!