I originally wrote this on and tweaked it throughout . This post has sat in draft for many months.
For seven years our world centered on two times: and ; this was when we needed to give Corrie her medicine.
All of my morning rituals revolved around that . I would wake up, shower, brush my teeth, and head downstairs with Corrie and Ollie. Ollie would walk over to the cabinet and look up expentently at the frisbees. Corrie would head to one of her beds in the corner and wait.
I’d grab the frisbees, two yellow ones, also seven years old. Ollie and Corrie would make to the front door. I’d open the door and Ollie would budge past us all and Corrie would trot down the few steps. From the porch, I’d throw the first frisbee. Somehow both of them had once and forever agreed that Corrie got the first throw.
With that first throw, Corrie would chase and catch it. Then I’d throw the second and Ollie would fetch the frisbee.
Seven years ago, Ollie was the one who taught Corrie to return the frisbees.
Before we had Ollie, we had Corrie. She was then a 2 year old dog with ample energy. We were training her with a clicker, practicing agility, and working hard to correct her two foibles: not returning toys and coming inside when called.
She loved toys, so I would go back into our field with three frisbees. I would throw one wayback into our field to start the game. She’d chase after it, on occassion catch it, and then as I walked up she’d keep the frisbee from me.
I would then catch her attention with a second frisbee. She’d drop the first to give chase to the second frisbee that I threw. We’d repeat that game until I was ready to go in. But I had to be sneaky, because she loved the outdoors.
I would approach as though to throw another frisbee and lunge to get a leash on her. She started to understand that game, and began playing keep away from me. We might then spend the next thirty minutes trying to herd her inside.
Often times we had to rely on Rocky, our neighbors German Shepherd, to come out and play. He would listen to us and while playing with Corrie would help us gnab her and bring her in.
Realizing that Corrie needed a companion, we got Ollie (our now seven year old blue merle border collie). We’d take Ollie and Corrie outside to play.
For awhile, Ollie would just watch Corrie play, but as he moved into that awkward juvenille state, he showed an interest in catch. One day, I went out with three frisbee to throw with Corrie and Ollie.
I threw the first frisbee. Both Ollie and Corrie gave chase, but Corrie was then much faster, and easily got the first frisbee. I then threw the second frisbee close to Ollie. Corrie dropped the first frisbee and quickly nabbed the second frisbee. Undeterred, Ollie went over to the first frisbee, picked it up, and trotted towards me. Meanwhile, Corrie sat twenty feet away, proud of her spoils.
Ollie dropped the frisbee at my feet, and I threw it away from Corrie. Like a bolt of lightning, Corrie dropped the second frisbee, chased and caught the first frisbee. Undeterred, Ollie went over to the now ignored frisbee, picked it up, and brought it back to me.
I threw the second frisbee again. Ollie gave chase. But this time Corrie, with the first frisbee in her mouth came back to me. She didn’t drop the frisbee. When I reached for it, she pulled away. I’d reach and she’d back pedal.
Meanwhile, Ollie had chased and picked up the other frisbee. He turned around and brought it back. Corrie dropped her frisbee and went for Ollie’s. I picked up the frisbee Corrie dropped and threw it. Corrie, right by me with frisbee in her mouth looked on as Ollie gave chase.
Once Ollie got the frisbee and began his trot back, Corrie dropped her frisbee. I picked it up and threw it. She gave chase, caught it, and began walking back towards me.
Seven years ago, Ollie was the one who taught Corrie to return the frisbees. And a game frisbee became part of our morning ritual. After that first round of frisbee, I’d say “Time for medicine.”
Both Ollie and Corrie would then come back with their frisbees, relieve themselves, and trot up to the door with frisbees in their mouth. I’d open the door. And we’d go administer medicine. At first with peanut butter then later with marshmallows.
But Corrie died felled by liver cancer.
A few weeks later, we opted to help foster four border collie puppies and their mom. And in that time, one of those puppies chose us. And we swear that as Corrie was passing to the beyond and Lacey arriving to this land, they shared a few secrets.
We weren’t planning on having another black and white border collie, but when Lacey chose us, we listened. Here’s hoping that Corrie told her all the best secrets.