December 2003 to Friday 6th April 2012

I am writing this for two reasons one to celebrate the memory of Moss and two to warn anyone who does not already know the dangers ticks hold for our animal friends.

Moss came to us as a reject from a neighbouring farm in mid Wales; he had been kept back as best of litter from a champion mother but developed fear for the sheep he was supposed to control and preferred to chase sticks rather than sheep. This made him perfect for us; we were surrounded by sheep and wanted a dog that would not bother them.

Moss turned out to be much more than perfect he became a best friend always around with Fiona or I depending on which one was working quietly and more actively. Ever ready for the next adventure or activity he preferred to be with us or near us even if that meant sitting in the car rather than be left at home, which we did only when we had no other choice.

I know we will not be the only ones who have fond memories of Moss as he has shared his love and loyalty with many of our friends, visitors and volunteers. Many thank you letters we have received after visitor have gone home included a mention of Moss and his eagerness to fetch sticks or any object you could throw for him. Moss would play fetch until he had worn out your arm and then find someone else whose arm could still manage to throw him something to fetch.

Today as I write this it’s just 8 days since Moss died and it’s the first day I have felt I could write about him without being overcome with the loss of such a great friend. He is now buried in view of our back window in the middle of our biggest field with an oak tree planted by his head to remind us his boundless energy and love as he is taken up by a tree which reflects the size of his heart.

So to the warning Moss died of a blood parasite called Babesia it’s transmitted by ticks from dog to dog, in just four days Moss went from fit and active to dead. Despite the best efforts of our vet who gave him drugs to kill the parasite and a drip to help build his blood volume and antibiotics to take care of potential subsidiary infections Moss give way to the infestation around 7:30am on the Friday morning. Our lack of knowledge of the existence of this parasite undoubtedly contributed to the parasites ability to take Moss’s life.

Above Moss just a week before he died picture taken by Alun.