Friday, March 12, 2010

Pip, a really good border collie

I can't believe that he's gone, really. My friend Tara got pip almost exactly one month before I got Buttercup. Pip came from Cape Breton. He was part of a cruelty case - he had been thrown out of the back of a truck and left for dead - his back left hip was pretty much broken and had just been operated on, it had 3 pins in it and was immobilized so he was on 3 legs. It was one of those immediate fosters - he needed a home that night because he couldn't be in a shelter and he was on his way to Halifax. So Tara took him in. His fur was all matted and brown, he looked gross. He was food aggressive, cranky, dog aggressive, pulled on the leash, was iffy around children, but was such a lover - with beautiful eyes.
And I think he changed Tara's life - she went on to start Border Collie rescue for Nova Scotia, and has saved tons of border collie's lives because of him. And really, Pip was a perfect border collie. He was made for sheep - it's just too bad he lived in the middle of Dartmouth. I think that Tara did find him some sheeep though - so Pip was a happy dog because of her, and he also became healthy because of her. She also worked with all his issues, and did so well that she's now a dog trainer. Isn't it amazing what dogs can do for us because of what we've done for our dogs?
This is Pip with his brother Karma - Karma was another "project" - but somehow, when Pip came along, Karma started to calm down, even out - and within a couple years - I saw Tara and Karma at an SPCA dog jog - and if Karma didn't have such an individual look - I wouldn't have recognized him - his mannerisms were so different. Pip's smooth, calm, soulful personality had rubbed off on Karma and transformed him into a canine good citizen - something I never thought he'd be. I was amazed.
But in 2008 Pip got cancer - it was awful. I remember when it happened. Tara searched everywhere for ways to treat it. He had most of his thyroid removed and they thought they'd caught it all.
In June, 2009 it came back though - and they removed the rest of his thyroid, and they thought that with thyroid replacement therapy he'd be better than he was before - but I guess that didn't happen, and he got worse
It is so unfair that dogs have such short lives - and dogs that have had horrible lives before we've gotten them have even shorter ones. Pip had a great life with Tara - he blossomed under her, and her life was transformed because of him.

Today she let him go with dignity and grace. If only we could all go that way. The rescue world will miss you Pip. There is a group called "Atlantic Canada Rescue" - and the header at the top of the page has paws at the top of the page - those paws are Pip's and Karma's paws - great examples of the cause. Tonight we are all in mourning.


  1. Janet Chernin & CCCrew11:12 PM

    Oh Joan - what a lovely tribute to Pip and Tara...thank you so much for this post, his and her story highlight the bond of true love. The last picture has 'karma' on many levels..those that had the priviledge to know Pip - are mourning his passing while knowing he overcame so much with Tara's love and care. RIP

  2. thanks Joan. I think Pipp would want everyone to give their dogs an extra hug and kiss from him. He must have been a pretty accepting boy to love me with that horrible orange frizzy hair too :-)

    tara, karma, scully and the ninja, missing Pipp terribly.

  3. Beautiful tribute Joan, Pipp has touched the lives and hearts of so many of us. Dogs change us, for the better if we learn how to let them in- they live on this earth for a short time, but inside us through the positive changes they make forever.
    RIP Pipp and hugs to Tara

  4. RIP Pipp.
    I was so sad when I heard the news :(
    Although I've never met this noble dog in person, just from the pictures Tara took you could see he was a unique and amazing dog.

  5. Joan such a great tribute! Pipp, who had been so abused, through love and patience and diligence was still able to become an amazing dog! Proving the resilience of man's best friend. Tara facilitated all of this and they learned and grew so much together. They are and always will be inspiring. Pipp's spirit will live on through Tara and all she touches with her skills as a trainer and her understanding of dogs that Pipp intiated in her.

    Really lovely post - thanks!

  6. Well done Joan - great tribute to a great man! Tara & Pipp were my first real experience with Border Collies - and likely because of them (meeting Pipp, and Tara being so open about the unique qualities of BC's) I now have two BC of my very own!

    Thank you Pipp for showing me the way of the Border Collie - you were beautiful inside and out!

    Maggie - Echo & Abby

  7. Nikki8:56 AM

    Your tribute is beautiful. I know Pipp was loved and I know he will be missed. Tara is a great person who will continue to do great things! We are all lucky to know Tara....even if its through the internet world.

  8. A very touching tribute for a courageous boy - and an even more courageous Mom.

    Dogspeed, Pip.

  9. a sad and happy story.. thanks Joan. Run free sweet Pipp!

  10. Joan, that was beautiful.

    Melissa and Bear

  11. So lovely dogs. I love to ready your story. Thanks for sharing with us.