Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Wisdom from God through King Solomon is easy to read, but the timing of some events- even when expected- is hard to take.

I lost my sweetheart and partner of forty 40 years on August 19th, 2020. Even though I knew he was very sick, losing Mike makes my heart ache, my stomach fill with anxious butterflies, and my eyes flood with tears.

Mike was a big part of Tairis Collies. He helped me so much caring for our dogs and puppies as long as he was able. He was terrible about giving them too many treats! Mike loved them all, but especially the old dogs and the baby puppies. Although the showing part was my thing, Mike had a good eye for picking beautiful collies. When he used to go to shows with me, I had to remind him to voice his criticisms to me privately. He had no problem expressing his opinions. I miss Mike terribly. I know our collies will miss him too.

Mike with Keeper and Melody

Mike with Celeste



Mike with Alistair – Poppy’s brother

Mike with Kenna, etc. I think.

Mike with Carina
Mike with Tootsie

Mike with Bridgit puppies
Mike with Hawkeye

Mike with Joni

Mike with Poppy and Alistair

Mike got a bad deal in the health department. He was a type one diabetic according to his endocrinologist. This caused him many serious problems that snowballed throughout his life.

Mike was a smart man- the kind that does crossword puzzles in ink. And even though he got his BS in nursing while holding down a job and helping at home with a toddler, Mike did some dumb things. The dumbest thing he did was to start smoking cigarettes as a teenager and to keep the habit for decades. He quit cigarettes several years ago, but the damage was done. He had COPD.

Please excuse the teacher coming out in me to explain Mike’s problem. Mike also got a condition called myelodysplastic syndrome with monosomy 7. MDS is a type of bone marrow cancer. In his case, his bone marrow stopped making enough red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red cells carry oxygen to all our body’s cells, and carry CO2 waste away from cells. White blood cells fight infections. Platelets are essential to keep us from bleeding too easily. You can’t live without all these blood cells. Mike opted to fight his MDS with chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy along with his diabetes eventually destroyed his kidneys.

We don’t know for sure what caused Mike’s MDS, but SMOKING is a possible cause. Let this serve as a public service announcement: Please do not smoke. If you need more graphic details about the horrendous effects Mike endured, email me. I have the gory details. Mike had to get more and more frequent blood transfusions to survive, and still caught multiple infections. It is amazing that he lived as long as he did. He was definitely a fighter.

One more free piece of advice: Really try to enjoy every day. Tell the people you care about that you love them. Spend time with them, hug them, and take pictures. Even 40 years passes like a few days.

Lastly, make sure you are secure about where you will go when you die. My peace about Mike’s passing is that I know he is no longer in pain. He is with our Lord, and I will see him again.

Mike and Debbie 1980

In the words of Tom Petty, “Love is a long, long road.” But the end of the journey comes too fast.