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Rainbow Bridge: U-CD, U-AGII, Ventura Will O'Wisp EZ Rider, CDX, AX, AXJ, PT, RN "Scooter"

6/17/00 - 1/31/07

Owner: Beth Krause

This is by far the hardest thing I've ever typed. Scooter died early this morning at MSU. He had been diagnosed with lymphoma about a week and a half ago. I decided to pursue chemotherapy because he was young (6 ½ years) and otherwise healthy. He began chemotherapy last week and initially responded well. This past Saturday, I got up with him in the morning and he just wasn't himself. I took him to MSU because my clinic was closed for to a conference in Lansing and I knew they had a oncologist on-call. His white cell count had dropped earlier and more dramatically than they usually see and he was septic and had fluid in his chest. After two days in ICU, his sepsis was under control, but the fluid in his chest kept accumulating despite treatment. At 2:30 this morning, the clinic called to tell us he wasn't doing well, a little while later they called again to tell us he had arrested. We chose not to have them open his chest in a last attempt to revive him, he had already been through too much. We don't know what the underlying cause of the fluid was.

I used to joke that Scooter was the dog I wasn't supposed to keep. I got him from Martha Heckman and Lauren Foy (Ventura Shelties) as a conformation prospect. I can't have more than three dogs where I live, so I didn't intend to keep a dog that didn't turn out. At the time, I wasn't doing as much agility and hadn't yet started herding. It became clear fairly early that Scooter just wouldn't be enough for the show ring, but there was something special about him, and I never did manage to let him go. He came to work with me and would sit under my desk, coming out only for me, food or when it was time to go. He had an uncanny ability to know when it was lunch time or closing time. This occasionally became problematic when I picked up a day that had longer hours than he was used to. He would sit at the office door, and a few times came looking for me when he felt it was time to go.

Scooter was the first of my obedience dogs to get a CDX. He finished his AKC CDX with two first places (one at the 2005 National) and a fourth place at the 2006 National. He loved retrieving and jumping, but could really have done without the long sit. He had two legs toward his UKC CDX.

Agility was where he was most accomplished. In spite of training sessions being sporadic at best and sometimes getting to just a handful of trials in year, he had his AX, AXJ and U-AGII. He also had 8 legs toward his MXJ. I could never work another dog without Scooter being confined, preferably out of sight. I tried working Scout on the teeter one afternoon while Scooter was loose in the back yard with us. The teeter just wouldn't tip. I looked back and there was Scooter waiting for Scout to move, and not pleased with the roadblock.

Scooter also loved herding. He took to it with the same enthusiasm that he had for agility, and life in general. He had his HT, PT and two legs towards his HSAs. I'm sure he could have gotten much farther if he'd had a better handler and more opportunities to work stock. But he'd only work for me. If someone else tried to work with him, he'd sit by the gate until I came back in.

Most importantly, he was my friend and my shadow. He was never far from my side. I feel like I let him down by not being with him at the end, but we really did feel that he would make it through this.

Goodbye, Scooter

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