RIP … Our lovely Border Collie Max

Our dog Max died this morning.

He was a beautiful faithful dog and a great worker who really earned his keep. I loved him so much and we’re going to miss him.

He’s not really been himself for about a month, he’d become deaf and it annoyed him and I think when Pyewackett our new Border Collie came he just decided to give up. He had an epileptic fit last night and never recovered properly. Fabrice took him out for a pee early this morning and had to carry him back in.

He died peacefully with Fabrice looking over him. He would have been 14 in October. This is my favourite photo of him taken three years ago in the garden at Bourrou.

Max at 11 years old 2007

Nettie from The France Forum posted this poem for us, and for Max.

Burying a dog

There are various places in which a dog may be buried.
I am thinking now of a Setter, whose coat was flame in the sunshine, and who, so far as I am aware, never entertained a mean or an unworthy thought.
This Setter is buried beneath a cherry tree, under four feet of garden loam.
And at its proper season, the cherry tree strews petals on the green lawn of his grave.
Beneath a cherry tree, or an apple, or any flowering shrub is an excellent place to bury a dog.
Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy summer, or gnawed at a flavoursome bone, or lifted his head to challenge some strange intruder.
These are good places in life or in death.

Yet, it is a small matter, for if the dog be well remembered, if sometimes he leaps through your dreams actual as in life, eyes kindling, laughing, begging, it matters not at all where that dog sleeps.
On a hill where the wind is unrebuked, and the trees are roaring, or beside a stream he knew in puppy hood, or somewhere in the flatness of a pasture lane where most exhilarating cattle grazed, is all one to the dog, and all one to you.
And nothing is gained, nothing is lost if memory lives.
But, there is one place to bury a dog.

If you bury him in this spot, he will come to you when you call – come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death and down the well-remembered path, and to your side again.
And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel, they shall not growl at him nor resent his coming, for he belongs there. People may laugh at you who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall…who hear no whimper, people who never really had a dog.
Smile at them, for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well worth the knowing.

The one best place to bury a dog is in the heart of his master.

Bonnie and Didi saying goodbye to Max

Bonnie sat outside at Max’s grave for two days.

Bonnie stayed where Max is buried all day

24 thoughts on “RIP … Our lovely Border Collie Max

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I loved reading your stories about Max. He sounds like a wonderful companion and I am sure you find a beautiful place to lay him to rest.

  2. Oh, Irene. I am so sorry.

    Max had a good long interesting life with a beautiful home and family. And he just recently had a great love affair and fling! And he passed with his loved ones nearby. Max was a very lucky dog.

    This is a beautiful poem, especially the last line.

    My condolences….

  3. So sorry to hear about Max.

    Pets become part of the family don’t they, my eldest cat (coming up to 14) is giving me concerns this week. I keep trying to prepare myself for the inevitable but it is just so hard.

    My thoughts are with you.

  4. Oh goodness, bless you, and rip Max. We have a Border Collie who will be 15 in week or two … we dread his passing, and know you must have wept over Max. What a wonderful poem.

  5. So sorry to hear about Max – he may be gone but his memory will always be with you.

    Rosie x

  6. Anonymous

    I’m sorry to hear the news, but I bet he had a lovely life with you and Fabrice. Good luck with Pyewackett [?] Strange name….

    We buried our little white Jackie in the corner of the garden he liked best and planted Snowdrops and miniature daffs on top of him.

    Keep safe,

    Best wishes,



  7. Les Landes Vacances

    Our thoughts are with you. When our Sam died we buried him beneath a sweet chestnut tree. It gives us great pleasure every spring to see the buds swelling and we are waiting patiently for our first fruits. We hope that Mr Pye helps fill the gap that Max will leave, although he will never replace him.
    Angie & John Moore

  8. Renee, Detroit dog, Deborah, Jackie, Rosie, Chubber and Angie and John, thanks all of you for your kind words.

    I’m very touched by how many people have offered sympathy and good wishes.

    It’s strange how devastating it is to lose a dog. They really make a big hole in your heart when they go don’t they?

    Pyke (That’s what he gets called mostly now.) is doing well and he’s been a real comfort to us.

    More about him when I feel a bit more like my old self…

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about Max.
    My condolences to you and Fabrice.

  10. Anonymous

    I’m sorry to hear about Max. I don’t think he gave up. With the arrival of the new dog he knew that there was someone else who could take care of the sheep and now he could rest a bit from all his responsibilities.
    I have a dog who will soon be 15 and who has noticeably declined in recent months. I’m not looking forward to his departure.


  11. What a beautiful poem, I read it through tears. And what a beautiful picture of your precious dog. I am so sorry for your loss.

  12. Anonymous

    i just found your blog yesterday and the first thing i read about was max. i am sooooo sorry to hear of his death. i lost my beloved chow chow freddy to stomach cancer 4 years ago and now have a new chow chow named teddy! it is so hard when these devoted pets leave us behind but at least you know that max had the ideal life. most of us would like to have been max living on your farm! it is a bit of heaven. jaz

  13. I am so sorry to read of Max’s death. I’m sure you have many memories of him that will last a lifetime.

    I can’t find your email link. Could you pleasee email me: rhonda_hetzel AT yahoo DOT com DOT au

    Thanks! RJ

  14. I am sincerely sorry both of you over your loss of Max. I lost my ancient jack russel after christmas and they allways leave a hole…..

  15. I’m so sorry for your loss of Max. It’s so hard to say goodbye, and there will always be a hole in our heart for our special loved ones. My 18 year old cat just died over the weekend…she’d been with me since she was 8 weeks old! She will be greatly missed…but I know I will grieve for a long time to come….

  16. That was a beautiful dedication post and poem. He looks so peaceful with his two dog companions bidding him farewell.

    My mum lost one of her small dogs and the other mourned the loss too. He kept looking at the empty basket where she’d come to spend most of her days towards the end. He knew she was no more, but all dogs are faithful and I think they wait regardless.

    I’m glad Max is at peace now. Saying goodbye is he hardest part. My best wishes from the other side of the world.

  17. Anonymous

    I am so sorry for your loss! Blessings to you!


  18. Mistryer

    So sorry to hear the sad news – they are so part of the family and devastating when we lose them. Always in our hearts though.

    We are making the move to 24 just along the road from you, and being off grid also, have found your blogg really interesting – many thanks


  19. Our Deepest sympathies from my dogs and I at and we’ve posted a special thought. Throughout my life, my canine friends have been my most faithful and loving. I have never really recovered from their passings, they leave such a hole. I adore the sentiments in your post. May you be joined by Max in your dreams.

  20. first visit and this made me cry. who says dogs are just stupid animals? (a few of my French friends … whom I love but who harbor different views than my own re les chiens)…I hope you and Bonnie are faring well. and Max was just lovely indeed.

  21. so very sad he was a beautiful dog and it hurts the more when we love them so much. He is at peace now and held tightly in your heart. I hope his memories keep you warm and fill you with his love; xxx

  22. So sorry for the loss of Max. You and he have shared many happy moments, so many beautiful memories. May Max rest peacefully across at Rainbow Bridge

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

  23. oh man. give bonnie a hug for me.

  24. Anonymous

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