The Story of Splash, aka Grannydog aka Fatty Magee

In the fall of 2004, my mother lost her battle with cancer at the age of 58. By the spring of 2005, I w̶̶a̶̶n̶̶t̶̶e̶̶d̶ needed a dog. My grief was still upon me like a dense fog and it was the only thing I could think of to replace the unconditional love I always felt from my mom. Not having any experience with dogs, I opted for an older one needing a home. One thing I knew was that it had to be a Toller. Luckily Lisa Porter from Tollwest was considering a retirement home for her 6 year old breeding dog, Splash. I met her and fell in love with my little redhead that day. She was so happy and energetic and cute! And small, too. Splash is barely 16" at the shoulder and when in good condition, weighs around 30 lbs. I waited a week to actually move her in, but that was one of the longest weeks of my life.

Splash has been an amazing teacher. She is quirky and neurotic, fast and funny and adorable. At 6, she started retrieving for the first time in her life, but only in water, only if it's within 30 feet and has particular toys she prefers to bring back to me. At 8, she underwent a double mastectomy and quadruple lumpectomy during her spay surgery. We are happy to report she has been cancer-free ever since. At 12, she won a huge ribbon in a Rally-O trial, a sport we had just taken up. At 13, she lost her hearing and had two large molars removed due to breakage and infection. Two months ago we celebrated her 15th birthday with a party and a cake just for her. Two weeks ago, she fell down the stairs and cried and screamed in my arms for a full minute. Her shoulders and front legs are starting to bother her and she's been stumbling a little on stairs since. Flat surfaces though, she's gone like a rabbit! I often used to tell people we had an agreement that she would stick with me until she was 20. I still hope this is true.

This picture of her is one of my favourites. I love the light in her eyes and her old lady hair.