Little Guy left us after a month of not feeling well; he would eat less, and less, and then nothing. He was an old guy approaching fifteen (or perhaps a bit older) and that made it hard for him to fully recover from the broken leg. We are sad that he didn't make a full recovery.
“Little Guy” was a nickname. His real name is Fergus. He was our deceased former neighbor Rita’s dog. She named him Fergus after us (our last name) because it is a Scottish name and Cairn Terriers originated from Scotland. Fergus’ life has three chapters.
Prior to being with Rita, Fergus' first chapter was as a puppy mill stud for seven or so years. He was picked up by a rescue organization and brought to NH. Rita adopted him in March 2016.
Let's get some back story on Rita because it is Fergus' second chapter.
Rita was our neighbor from 2000-2019. We became fast friends and like family as we got to know her family and friends, and vise versa. Many good times were had together.
She had many and multiple dogs over the years, and we loved them all and we even cared for them when she had to be hospitalized a few times.
So naturally, when Fergus came to live with Rita we were involved. I, Wine, drove Rita to pick up the dog.
Rita's health was in decline and her financial resources were dwindling, but she lived alone and wanted a dog by her side since her previous dog had just passed away. I was committed to help out as much as I could and do what she would allow me to do.
Once home, Fergus was a bit of recluse because he was a puppy mill dog. He didn't seem socialized and was very very reserved.
In these photos you can see that Fergus arrives disheveled. Not a great sign to start with. He needed a bath and grooming, but neither of these happened. Rita couldn't physically do much to help Fergus. And being new to us, I didn't want to stress him out by throwing him in the sink for a bath. I didn't know his temperament at that time.
I would bring Homer and JJ over to visit with Fergus and all was fine, but Fergus didn't interact with the dogs. He just watched from afar.
Over the course of a few months, I kept an eye on Fergus and could see that he was in need of help from me. Fortunately for Fergus, Rita was hospitalized for a month, and I could then get my hands on the little guy. I brought him to our house and gave him a bath. Took him to the vet to get his nails trimmed, and then got him to the groomer as soon as possible. Thank you to Beth Burke of Burke's Dirty Dawg Grooming.
Fergus was at our house for a month in the late summer of 2016. He was not totally housebroken, probably because he lived in a cage at the puppy mill. So, we had to crate him when unattended or he would pee on something.
Then over the next few years, I would take Fergus to spa day at Burke's Grooming to keep him clean and trimmed. Homer was always there as a companion on those days.
In 2019 Rita moved from her house to an apartment that would allow Fergus. Then once again, a couple of months later, Rita was hospitalized via ambulance. I was called to pick up Fergus. It was a sad sight when I walked into the apartment. There was Fergus sitting in his fluffy bed in a dimly lit space just wondering what was going happen next. That next thing to happen would be his third and final chapter of living a good life with us. (Rita did transfer guardianship to us before she passed away in 2021)
I got him cleaned up and started to deal with his skin condition due to allergies from the low-quality food and treats he was fed. Instead of the medication that the veterinarian prescribed, I was able to cure his skin condition with a raw food diet. He ate it right up!
Writing this has brought up a lot of emotions. While I was looking for photos for this post, I learned that I was attached to the little guy. He wasn't an affectionate dog, but he was appreciative. He didn't know how to play or take food or treats from a hand. He didn't follow me around like a "normal" dog and didn't know any commands. I even took him to basic obedience classes where he learned nothing, but we did bond.
Let's look at Fergus' final chapter where he got good food, comfy beds, RV rides from Northern Maine, to Ohio, NJ, Hilton Head, Jacksonville, and many places in between. We lived a good everyday life (except for the backpack, I don't think he liked that). I think he got cuter as he aged.
He was part of our pack. When our pack was broken up first by Homer's passing and then crazy JJ turning on him and beating him up resulting in JJ's passing, he seemed okay, but I think he was depressed.
(I hope you can see from the photos that JJ and Fergus hung out together with no problems for years until JJ literally lost her mind. She beat up on him one time prior so strike two was the end).
Fergus accepted Bell but he was not interested in playing with her, because he was old and also did not play. When Fergus broke his leg tumbling down steps Bell was there for comfort and concern.
In the end, Fergus just became sick. The veterinarian could not determine why. We kept expecting him to rebound, but unfortunately, he did not. Old age makes it hard to recover from broken bones. I will learn a lesson here and try not to fall down and break any bones.
All kidding aside, going through hundreds of photos to refresh my memory for this post made me realize that our pets rely on us so much. Fergus was always watching me, I knew that, but seeing the photos just highlighted it. I think he liked me more than he knew how to show me.
I'm glad I (we) took in the little guy and that his final chapter was good, mostly healthy, and had some adventure. He was a good traveler, never complained, never acted out, and wasn't a picky eater. He was a docile and agreeable dog. I guess I really loved Fergus Fergus even though he refused to be my lap dog (believe me, I tried).
Hug your beloved pets and loved ones. Life is speeding by.