Chloe was the 17 year old collie of my parent's. She died April 17th.
she came to us after being put in the pound for "constantly barking, being aggressive to children, and not getting along with other animals."
needless so say, i only heard her bark a handful of times, and then only when some one stepped on her, or jumped on her.
several visiting squirmy, diaper, fillers have used her ears for stability, chewed on her paws, and played different versions of the "i am gonna stick my hands in your mouth, and play with your tongue game". she has never become aggressive about any of this.
the only animal i have seen her nip is an energetic doberman black lap cross, who would get to rambunctious when playing and start jumping on her. Other than that she got along fine with cats, dogs, chickens, ect...
the actual attributes of hers that i observed were, selective perception, benevolences, patients, and a delight at outwitting younger dogs.
her selective perception of the world mostly showed itself by her becoming deaf and blind to anything that might be a command, while still being able to hear food being put in a bowl, or me cooking chicken (especially if i was cooking chicken with sirachia and brown sugar, fried in a pan). Her initial selective perception eventually decayed until she was almost entirely blind and deaf. in her last few years she would identify people by licking the backs of their knees (in summer), or ankles (in winter).
Chloe was benevolent to the world, and assumed it was benevolent as well. Humans existed to pet her on the underside of the neck, scratch her ears, and for her politely lick and comfort. Cats were their to cuddle with. Other dogs were there for her to use to instill order in the world, and to amuse her when she tricked them into excitedly running outside to bark at the darkness while she ate their little bits of chicken scraps.
This bring up her final personality trait, delighting at outwitting younger dogs. Chloe was never an alpha, in fact she was beta even to our other collie (a kind and worrying soul, who suffers from being purebred. He is dumber than boiled gravel, knows that the world should be organized but has no idea how to accomplish that, is entirely too nice to strangers, and already has a number of medical problems despite being 1/3 Chloe's age.). Anyway, we humans insisted that Chloe get dibs on any extra nubing and nomings, because of her seniority. Despite this, she still would trick the other dogs, it seamed to make the food taste better if it was stolen.
(i should note, Chloe never ate much, she couldn't even eat the proportions that we set out for her. she just tricked the other dogs to reminder herself that she could. Once the other dogs were done securing us from the darkness, they would come back in and eat their servings and finish Chloe's off.)
Anyway on to the sad part of this post.
On Aprill 11th i was visiting my parents, after we finished dinner when some one noticed that Chloe had not come inside yet, and was not curled up on her "my little pony" sleeping bag.
eventually we found her, but she was having grand mal seizures every couple of seconds. we took her inside and stayed up to the early hours of the morning holding her as she was hit by spasm after spasm. when the spasms finally stopped, we put her to bed and collapsed ourselves.
she surprised us all by making it through the night. but she was greatly weakened, we think that she had a stroke. she could no longer walk, had trouble standing, and lost much of her appetite.
my parents had already been cooking her special meals, cause she liked chicken, and had senior privileges. but for the next week the hand fed her, put doggy diapers on her, and would take her outside to try and walk on the snow and mud.
she finally passed away on April 17.