So, yesterday we had to say goodbye to Jinny. Jinny was my first dog – as I kid I badgered my parents for lots of things (mostly animals!), sometimes they relented (hamster/gerbil/HORSE!) and other times they didn’t. I can remember my dad telling me it wouldn’t be fair for us to get a dog – we lived in Leeds and both my parents worked full time – I thought he was so mean but looking back now he was totally right, we didn’t have the time or resources to give a dog what it would need.
Jinny was supposed to be my sheepdog when I worked on the farm. Let’s be frank – Jin was possibly the worst sheepdog ever! She had little to no interest in working 🤣 but she was great company to have on the farm. Here’s a picture of her back in her youthful farming days.
Jinny didn’t have the greatest sense of self preservation. Accident prone is probably an understatement – when she was still a puppy, she ate pig food and gave herself copper poisoning (although until we got her tested at the vets we thought it was rat poison!), she sustained a number of injuries at the farm from getting caught on fences and in gates, she ran head first into a moving land rover, she tried to catch a round bale of hay as it was rolled off the truck 🙄 we had at least 1 major trip to the vets each year! And even at home she would manage to injure herself – usually football (breaking her tooth) or stick (impaling her mouth) related!
Jinny has been through so many life moments with us – a wedding, 2 children, 2 house moves, retraining and a career change for me. When I fell pregnant with Oliver, lots of people were worried – apparently collies are snappy and not good around children. But what Jinny lacked in sheep herding skills she certainly made up for in child herding skills. She has always taken child care very seriously – often worrying about them more than me! When Ellena came along it was like they had both found their soul mates! Ellena loves Jinny so much and Jinny would literally let Ellena do anything – their cuddles are something to behold!
Jinny was first diagnosed with arthritis in her back legs just before we finished at the farm – when she was about 8. Then, a couple of years later I noticed that after long walks or lots of football she would get inflammation and swelling in her left carpal joint. In 2018 she really started to slow down and a check at the vets confirmed my suspicions that Jin also had arthritis/degeneration in her spine. She coped very well for a long time – a combination of treatments (massage, mctimoney and laser) and management kept her sound and happy. However this year we also started to notice further changes – the vet suspects cognitive dysfunction and we were also unable to keep on top of her pain, even after the vets added rimdyl to her treatment plan. Over the last few weeks her cognitive dysfunction has accelerated to the point where day to day activities/events/noises were causing her a great deal of anxiety. We had to take the decision that it wasn’t fair to keep asking her to deal with the level of pain and anxiety she was enduring each day.
There are so many emotions associated with saying goodbye – writing this has been quite cathartic and is a good reminder of the happy times. Jinny, our house will be a lot less noisy and a lot less hairy without you in it, but you will be missed more than I can say!