Despite the gorgeous weather and the abundance of birds at Malheur Monday, I only stayed there for about four hours before I turned around and drove the 400+ mile home. Skye who finally seemed able to travel after visiting a new veterinarian had a sudden relapse that evening and kept me up the whole time we were camping. Finally, at midnight I decided that I needed to return home and get him back to the vet. It’s a good thing I did because otherwise I might never have gotten him home.

Although the Prednisone made him feel better temporarily, he relapsed as soon as the drugs were reduced, relapsed to the point that he couldn’t walk up the stairs and had trouble getting in and out of the house. After much thought and much agony, I finally decided that it wasn’t fair to try to keep him alive because I was going to miss him so much. So, I had him put to sleep today.

The reality is that he has been my closest companion since I retired a little over ten years ago. Most of the time we’ve been in the same room or linked by a leash. Since Leslie’s still working, I spent more time with him than with anyone else.

The highpoint of our adventures together came at Malheur last year,
and Skye, who never liked to get his feet wet, seemed particularly at home in the deserts of Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington.


I bought my new Honda Element because I thought it would be the perfect camping vehicle for the two us and had planned several trips this Summer before he became ill.

Malheur is a wonderful place, and I’m thinking of returning next week for a few days, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to bird there without wistfully remembering the wonderful times Skye and I had there.

10 thoughts on “Skye”

  1. Loren,

    Sorry to hear about Skye. We lost three dogs from April of last year to March of this year, so I know how you feel. They are truly man’s best friend. Thankfully we have a new young dog that has captured our hearts. Perhaps the same will happen to you. Take care.

  2. I stumpled upon your blog looking for something on robins – poem or saying . . . I am not very familiar with Emily Dickinson . . . after reading your posting on her robin poems I need to go to the library tomorrow to find her “Complete Works”. Thank you!

    I am sorry about your Sky. Such a companion is a absolute unnamely great loss.
    May God bless her.

    We have a labrador – she is so much part of the family, my 13 year old daughter (only child) refers to Jessie as her dog-sister. Jessie prefers to sleep in front of our bed but these days (she is 10 years old) it seems that the floor is to uncomfortable therefore my husband makes her bed on the couch. She lays at his feet until very late each night while he is working (translating, editing, etc) on the computer. And they both go to bed at the same time.

  3. I’m sorry to see this Loren. He was such an eager dog. I could never get a ball past him. Think of his life after the shelter. He couldn’t have done better. Thanks for posting the photo of him.

    1. Skye was the ultimate warrior, am, for better or worse.

      I was never afraid when he was with me, though it crossed my mind a few times that he might not have the sense to run if we were being attacked by a grizzly and I would have to stand and fight with him.

      I would never have abandoned him, and I’m sure he would never have abandoned me.

  4. Loren – I’m so sorry to hear of your loss – it’s one of the most painful decisions a pet lover can ever make.

    It looks like he may have had a good bit of Australian cattle dog/Blue Healer in him and they prefer hot/dry to wet – Yoda our cattle dog won’t even get her belly wet.

    Take care

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