Saturday, November 16, 2013

Essex - 13 October 2003 - 15 November 2013

Essex's Holmhaven Puppy Picture
Exploring Her New Home
At a Hotel in Her Old Kennel

December 2006 With Deacon
Deacon and Essex
Hunting the Red Baron
Watching the World Outside the House
Sherman and Essex
Last Picture of Essex - 12 November 2013
Part of my healing process is to write a tribute.  This tribute is for my beloved Essex.  When I write my eyes get misty, so I am glad this isn’t paper.  I appreciate all the prayers and well wishers  It all helps far more than you know. 

What was my Great Auntie Essex’s story? Essex was born 13 October 2003, a Monday at Holmhaven Collies in Florida.  It was a tough time for Lil, our breeder. Lil’s 99 year old mother had broken her hip in September.  Lil was visiting her twice a day.  It was during this trying time ten collie puppies came into the world.  It was Holmhaven’s “X” litter and the attendants at the rehab helped Lil pick names beginning with an “X”.  Essex was at Holmhaven, when Lil’s mom crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 14 December. 
Well, one by one the puppies left until only two remained, Essex and Buddy.  Buddy stayed behind to sire several litters, before leaving Holmhaven in 2010.  It was during this time Dog Dad thought about getting a rough collie puppy.  He searched the Internet and stumbled on Holmhaven.  He called Lil and exchanged e-mails.  On 31 December 2003, Dog Dad drove from Key West to Holmhaven Collies and back with a beautiful collie puppy.
When it came to choosing Holmhaven, the Great Dane must have guided Dad.  For Dog Dad was truly blessed to have found such a wonderful breeder.  Myself, Great Auntie Essex and Uncle Deacon have been smart friendly collies. 
Essex was a very reserved collie.  She took her time to know and trust people.  Once that trust was earned, she would greet you with a prance and a great sweeping tail or she might even nudge you with her nose.  That trust could take days, months or even a year.  Essex decided early on that fence patrol was her mission at Angel Paws Dog Park.  She rarely played with other dogs. 
If we approached a stranger during our walks, she would stay near Dad.   When there was a new dog or cat she would approach calmly and slowly.  She was so calm, it was amazing.  If a pup got out of place at the park near her or interfered with her fence patrol mission, she would quickly and firmly resolve the matter in seconds, and let the offender go.  Essex helped Dad make many friends over the years.  She taught me the way of the collie too.
= = = = = = =
Dog Dad here: I will think of Essex sitting on the Papasan Chair intently watching the outside world.  She would bark at the mail truck or when strangers came close to the house.  I would joke with the mailman, telling him Essex was my PAS, Postal Alerting System.  If a person she knew approached our house, there was silence and a wagging tail. 

At bedtime Essex would sleep at several places.  Sleeping on the couch or just outside the bedroom door were her two favorite spots.  If I was sick, Essex stayed in the room watching over me.  When we got ready for our morning walk she seemed to smile. 
I will miss her loving gaze.  Essex was not a Velcro Collie, she was her own dog.  However, Essex had a special bark that said “Dad I want you to let you know I love you, please come pet me and let me go through your legs.”  I could never refuse those infrequent requests.  When Deacon crossed the bridge, she stayed near me, it was like she wanted to console me.  She was so in tune with me.  Essex was extremely intelligent, and there were times you could just see her thinking about how to do something. 

When it came to taking a treat, Essex was the gentlest dog I’ve ever met.  You could barely feel her gently grabbing the treat in her mouth, even if other dogs were around.  If I asked her to jump up on my chest, the jump felt like a feather on my chest, not a sixty pound collie.  She was a lady.

On the way to the dog park, I will miss Essex looking at me excitedly from the front seat during the drive.  Many passing by Angel Paws will miss the “Secretary of Da Fence” patrolling the fence line.  Essex barking at evil golf carts, bicycles and other offensive things.  She would go down to the opposite end, wait for them at the far end, all the while bouncing and barking.  The words “Somebody is sleeping on the job” would send Essex rushing to check the fence line and barking at the offender. She would give gentle collie kisses to those she knew, and preferred fence patrol to treats.   

She was called Essex, Ressex, and Res.  It hurt to see her slowing down and started to gimp this year.  I hoped Essex would be around another four or six years.  I loved her and in many ways Essex saved me.  She brought an aloof man, back to a world full of people, dogs and added so much to my life. 

A great collie crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I am sure she is guarding the gates of heaven with St. Peter.  She will be at the gates telling St. Peter that it will be okay to let me in despite my faults when appear at those gates.  The night Essex crossed the bridge; I kissed her forehead before going to sleep.  I told her I would love her furever.  She will be furever in my heart.    

A heavy rain came through during the night and early this morning.  I like to think that the angels in heaven were crying.

Dog Speed Essex, my gift from Heaven.

Dog Dad


StevieGrrrWonder said...

Essex always and ever will be in our hearts and minds....sorely missed but very happily remembered!

StevieGrrrWonder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arran, Arthur and Mum said...

Oh Dog Dad and Sherman, we are so so sorry to hear of Essex's passing. She was a wonderful example to collie kind and we hope Sherman will take up the patrolling of dafence.

It will be sad for a long time, but you will see her again.

Love Ludo, mum and Arran.

Diane said...

There are no words that could make it easier on you. I think she was sent to you to help learn her calling and once God knew she was ready, he brought her home to guard the gates to heaven. Without a doubt, for raising such a beautiful lady, you will get the red carpet treatment. You will be jumped by at least 3 collies - Essex, Deacon and Lady II. You were there for me when I lost Lady II, I am here for you for your loss again. We know I will be lucky to get Lady I to her 14th Birthday and when the day comes that she is called home I will be needing my collie guy!

Jake of Florida said...

Joe, You brought me to tears again with your beautiful tribute to Essex. I am so sorry Jack and I never drove down to Key West to meet her (and you and Deacon and now Sherman). That will have to change!

Whether 60 pounds, or 23 pounds, they leave such a huge empty place in our hearts when they leave us. I hope your sweet memories of Essex will help comfort you as the days go by.

Joan and Just Harry

Cowspotdog said...

The perfect tribute for a perfect lady.

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

Woo done good -

But of khourse, I'm sure there were some Angel Khollie paws helping!

PeeEssWoo: Hey Angel Essex, how's it going?

How Sam Sees It said...

I'm so sorry. She was beautiful.

Monty and Harlow

Pippa Sheltie said...

Dear Dog Dad and Sherman,
I really am heartbroken about poor Essex. She was such a lovely lady, and I just loved reading about all her stories. My peeps know it's upsetting to lose a doggie, they used to have heaps of collies, so I feel so much sympathy for you just now.
Essex will always be in my heart, I'll never forget her, and maybe one day we'll meet again!
Pippa woof

ThePainterPack said...

So very sorry for this loss. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Painter Pack Mom

Jans Funny Farm said...

A beautiful tribute to the lovely Essex. We're so sorry for your loss. :(

Timothy said...

Hope you guys are doing well! What a nice tribute you've written for your dear Essex. Lil told me that there may be a special mating of Ramses and Charm next summer. That means all tri-color babies... Stay well! I know you are taking good care of each other.

Brian said...

I saw your note at Jan's Funny Farm and just had to come by and tell you how sorry we are to hear about dear Essex. Such a beautiful girl and I wish we had known her. We send you our very best love, purrs and hugs.

Dianne SS said...

A beautiful tribute for a beautiful and special girl. May your hearts start to be healed by all the wonderful memories you have of Essex.


Unknown said...

I came over from Reilly & Denny's blog. I am so sorry for your loss.

Dawn said...

Awwww Joe. She was such a lady. I wish I had met her, but reading your tribute I guess I would have made her nervous, being a stranger. Still, I feel like I knew her just a little by reading about her for so long. How is Sherman doing? I know you are broken hearted. Hugs. (And Sheltie kisses too)

Jans Funny Farm said...

A lovely tribute to Essex. It's always hard on those left behind. Purrs and pawtaps.

Unknown said...

Karma's Mom and Dad will forever keep PAS Essex in our hearts. I must say I am honored to have been one of the few who Essex would go between the legs. Her trust meant a lot for me. She had an awesome dog dad.