365:41 Frisbees for a Great Dog

365:41 Frisbees for a Great DogYou may have to bear with me a little today.

Messier object M[b]41[/b], a magnitude 5.0 open cluster in the constellation Canis Major (The Great Dog)

According to [url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1135968/]Dean Spanley[/url], his dog Wag was: “[i]One of the seven great dogs. At any one time, there are only seven[/i].” Well, I reckon that Suzie is one of The Seven too, and if I could get her to sit still long enough she would be my subject for today.

Suzie came to live with us in 2000, and was then around 18 months old. She was a cruelty rescue case and we adopted her via the RSPCA. She had issues, still has issues and baggage. When she was rescued she had been locked in a travel cage in an empty house with her brother, without food or water for at least 5 days. She almost starved to death. There had clearly been other cruelties and we deduce her beatings from the way that she cowered. She had no notion of play and did not chase a ball or a stick or even chew on a toy. We had to teach her all these things, along with behaviour and coping strategies.

One of the things that we taught her was how to[url=http://www.digitalrev.com/photo_detail?id=27485291] chase and catch a Frisbee[/url]. This involved a great deal of visibly wild enthusiasm and running about on my part. She got it. She got it so well that she became obsessive (she’s partly Border Collie) and she has played Frisbee virtually every day of her life since then.

To the best of anybody’s knowledge, Suzie is 15 now. She has a heart murmur and a very arthritic hip and is on daily medication. The vet says she has to have a quiet life and leashed exercise only. Suzie has other ideas and we find it difficult to deny her. She had a bad start in life so we want her to have a happy end. If she dies of a heart attack in mid-air, I shall be a happy owner. So, every day at lunchtime, Suzie picks up her frisbee and takes it to the door and asks very nicely if she can go out and play now.

She doesn’t play for long nowadays and chooses to pick up her frisbee and bring it back indoors when she feels that she has had enough. I remember a time when we could never tire her out.

We get through a lot of Frisbees. Cheap ones last no time at all, so we buy the best. They see a lot of use, they get taken away by the Orkney winds, they crash into stone dykes and break… at one time we bought them 10 at a time. The five that arrived this morning will most likely see Suzie out. It’s a heart-breaking thought, she has been our companion for along time.

Anyway, here’s three of them.