Dogs dying wish: 15-year-old sheepdog gets one final herd

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COEUR D’ALENE – Samantha LaBonty knows her days with her 15-year-old border collie, Floyd, are nearing an end. But before he goes, she wanted him to have one last sheepherding experience.

“From the very beginning, we had a really great bond,” LaBonty said.

But Floyd wasn’t always easy to take care of. As a puppy, he had bounds of energy, but expended it on all the wrong things.

“He tore up my sectional couch, he tore up carpet all the way down to the foundation. He chewed the doggy door out of the wall, he chewed holes in wood fences,” LaBonty said.

Then one day, she took someone’s suggestion to take him sheepherding. After all, that’s what border collies are bred for.

"He hasn't done anything wrong at all since,” LaBonty said. “Not one thing."

They went herding together every week until Floyd’s arthritis set in. That was seven years ago.

"I'd love to get him out one last time to herd some sheep," she said.

She turned to Craigslist to ask someone with sheep for a favor. She got a response and Floyd got his last run at some sheep.

“I think this is his last sheep herding until at least he gets somewhere  where he could do it without being in pain,” LaBonty said. “It’s bittersweet.”