BY BRIAN MOORE
AFTER nearly two decades of loyalty and love, Tippy, the tractor-loving sheepdog and last December’s Star cover girl, has moved on to help round up the cows in that big dairy farm in the sky. The beloved pet and integral part of the French family from Crossmahon, Bandon, became ill on Wednesday evening last week. ‘On Thursday morning she had become quite sick, so my parent’s called the vets,’ Debi French told the Southern Star. ‘We discovered she had fluid in her lungs and was very sick. The vet gave her antibiotics and told us it was very unlikely that she would get better. We had her wrapped up in a blanket, with a hot water bottle and her Teddy. This is when we realised that we wouldn’t have her around for much longer. My Dad and I spent the night sitting down beside her, rubbing her, keeping her company. Her breathing was heavy and uneven.’
In was a classified add in the Southern Star that united Tippy and the French family back in July 1999. Cóilín Murray from Ballydehob was looking for a good home for Tippy and for the next 17 years the wonderful dog worked hard and loved her family in Bandon. ‘Tippy was a real part of the family but her condition deteriorated and unfortunately she died on Friday evening,’ Debi said. ‘Up until the Wednesday before she got sick, she was bringing the cows in from the field with my Dad. Although she was old, Tippy was an amazing working dog; she was an even better pet. For the first time in nearly 17 years, my Mom had to go down the field to bring the cows in, normally as soon as the milking parlour was turned on, Tippy would be straight down the field rounding the cows up,’ Debi said.
The French family is sad and will miss Tippy but they will always remember their beloved dog. ‘My father has lost a best friend and we have been left heart broken without her. We buried Tippy in front of the house between two trees and we are going to get a plaque with her name on it. Tippy was an incredible dog and we have amazing memories with her,’ Debi said.