Concharty Heritage Acres

A Home For Heritage Breeds Of All Kinds!

   Nov 28

Tragedy at Concharty Heritage Acres

Last month, we lost two of our bestest dogs (I know it’s not proper grammar, but they were the bestest dogs we ever had)…

In early October, Feather was hit by a car and passed away. I had stopped by the house at lunchtime and had played with her. A little after noon, Karen texted me that Feather was missing. My best guess is that Feather followed me to the road (I didn’t see her do it and she’d never done it before) and then tragedy struck in the form of a car.

Before Karen and I had actually met, we were friends on an internet forum.  I had mentioned that I had always wanted a dog (I’d had them in my youth), but that it wasn’t in my cards. I was a ship captain and being gone all of the time precluded me from having any pets of my own. So, Karen offered to let me “have” Feather. In return for the bargain basement price of just $25 per month, she would call Feather my dog and would send me pictures and humorous anecdotes about her behavior while I was offshore… and they were numerous… LOL. We never sealed the deal with $25. But, when we finally met and I was introduced to Feather, she immediately became “MY” dog. When I was gone, she’d stay in my chair and when I got back, she would stay with me… in MY chair.

Feather was super intelligent and while she might not have been a “herder”, she was a companion dog without peer.  She had some tricks that none of our other dogs ever mastered, and some funny behaviors that were unique as well.   She never failed to make me happy to be with her. Her only flaw was that she didn’t like french fries and would turn her nose up at them, while gagging (it was soooooooooooo funny to watch her reaction to french fries). I forgive her for that (and quite frankly, they weren’t that good for me, either).

I miss her every time I think of her.  Despite our other dogs, the house seems quite empty without her.

Libby was known as QOTFU…. Queen of the Freaking Universe. She was the epitomy of the “bossy” English Shepherd. She was Karen’s right hand for years, and the enforcer of all the rules.   At 10 years old, she was respected by all the dogs as the pack matriarch and was still the boss of all the animals on the farm. When puppies might get out of line, she would discipline them and put them in their place. THEY MUST FOLLOW THE RULES! She was our best cattle herder and a little nip at the heel would make any errant bull take his rightful place… behind the gate.  There are so many things we could say about Libby, but more than anything else, Libby was a great momma.  She wanted to mother kittens, human babies, pups born to other dogs, and even baby rabbits.

We would’ve never considered breeding Libby again, because of her age.  We thought that her 2007 litter had been her last.   But, McRuff found her to be in heat before we did. And, before we knew it, we were blessed with a small litter of puppies from our two  best herding dogs. Karen had commented more than once that she wished she had planned better and kept another female from Libby.  Her sister, Renee, had likewise wished she had another from her Melody (McRuff’s dam, who had to be spayed due to a medical issue).  Never did we imagine that both would get the pup they wished for by this accidental breeding that incorporated both sisters’ dogs.

When Libby delivered the puppies, one was stillborn, one was a runt (Karen called her Pinto Bean. But, I called her Binky Bear). The other four, two females and two males, were fine and with so little competition for milk, they grew very fast. We immediately decided to keep the tri female who we named Legacy (Lacy, for short) and Karen’s sister claimed the other female and named her Amelia.  The males are Levi and QTπ (Cutie Pie…lol. What can I say?)

Libby was so very happy after her pups were born.  The years fell off of her and she looked and acted like she did at four years of age.  The only difference was that rather than being stern with any of the other dogs that came near her babies as she always had before – she was proud to show everyone what gorgeous babies she and McRuff had made.

A few weeks after giving birth, Libby took a fall when a strong gust of wind caught our back door and it swung into her hip while she was going down the stairs.  She landed on the corner of the stairs very VERY hard. Karen saw it happen and asked her if she was OK.  Libby seemed to shake it off, went on down the stairs to go potty, got a drink and started eating.  We thought everything was fine. But, as we would find out too late, she had severely bruised her liver.  At some point, the hematoma ruptured and she began to bleed internally.

She weakened slowly and we both started to notice a difference in her manner. On Oct 28, Karen had an appointment to take her to the vet to see if they could determine why she had become lethargic over the weekend.  When it was time to leave, she asked Libby if she wanted to go for a ride.  Libby rose to her feet (riding in the truck was one of her favorite things), then collapsed and passed away at Karen’s feet.  Karen took her to OSU in Stillwater for a necropsy – thus we discovered the damage to her liver and internal bleeding that could only be explained by her fall.  (They had initially thought that the internal injuries must mean she was hit by a car, but we know for sure that did not happen).

The blessing of having a last litter from Libby now feels like a God thing.  The pups were 6 weeks old when we lost Libby.  They were among the six happiest weeks of her life – and while we never meant for it to happen, we are so happy to have her babies to carry on her legacy.   We see her in them every day.

I can’t express the sadness that I feel as I type these words about the loss of our girls. I have to stop from time to time and wipe the tears from my eyes. Even weeks after all of this happened, it is still hard. The puppies are doing fine. The sable and white female, Amelia, has gone to Karen’s sister.  Levi and Legacy(Lacy) are staying with us.  QTπ has not yet gone to his new home.

Feather and Libby both deserve a memorial. This is it. I stand by my original words. They were the bestest dogs we could have ever had and we miss them terribly.



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  1. Ahhhh! Tears! So sorry for your loss.

  2. Megan Whitmer says:

    awww, You write about her so well. Makes me feel happy for the puppies and sad for you all of you at the same time.

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