Our friend, Alfie, is a five year-old Border Collie on borrowed time.
Until he moved to the cottage over last weekend, Alfie had never lived in a human’s house, never been in a vehicle, he’d never worn a collar, never seen a television, visited a veterinary surgery…
Because of his human’s sad and difficult circumstances, Alfie has come to live here in Cumbria. In under a week he has had quite the adventure, travelling for several hours in a car, walks in new places, exploring the cottage and enjoying his new beds – by the aga and in the living room. He has met the vacuum cleaner and had a warm bath, neither freaked him out, save for sudden movements and loud noises, Alfie is chilled-out and good natured. We’ve been focused on making sure Alfie is comfortable, including getting his skin and coat in good condition with antibiotics and flea and tick treatment, his ear infection remedied with prescription eardrops and he has had the first of his vaccinations.
This morning, Alfie met the cardiologist, he has a grade 6 heart murmur (grade 1 being the least serious, grade 6 being the most severe, the murmur can be felt through the chest wall.) Other tests, including a cardiac ultrasound, have revealed that Alfie has a congenital heart defect, Patent Ductus Arteriosus, PDA, which Border Collies are susceptible to.
For the time being, Alfie won’t be on any medication for PDA, for example, he isn’t breathless or coughing, he isn’t in pain. He won’t live a long life, like our now departed Border Collie friends, Rick (17 y/o) and Poppy (15½) but we will do our best to give Alfie a relaxed, happy life and enjoy the time we have together. That’s what it’s all about, Alfie.
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
And if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it is wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above, Alfie
I know there’s something much more
Something even non-believers can believe in
Without true love we just exist, Alfie
Until you find the love you’ve missed you’re nothing, Alfie
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you’ll find love any day, Alfie