I could fill a whole book with photographs of Cap who died, aged 14, on Wednesday 28th August. He was such a special dog, and Farmer says, the best working dog he has ever had.
Cap came from a farm up at the top of Glen Lyon in Perthshire. He was 2 when he came to us in April 2007. From the start he was a gentle and friendly dog, a perfect temperament for a farm with lots of walkers passing through the farmyard and with lots of cottage guests bringing their dogs.
Out working with Farmer, he had a huge outrun, learned from gathering the big hills over long distances in Glen Lyon. So he would always take a wide berth when gathering our hill, working up and down the cliffs with ease.
There was one thing he never could do, no matter how loud Farmer whistled or shouted. He never could Stand. Stand was the command to get him to stop still immediately. I can still hear Farmer shouting 'Cap Stand. Stand. Cap Stand.' To no avail! He would just keep on going!
When he wasn't working, he liked to swim - whatever time of year. And in his later years in the winter, we would avoid the lochan in case he decided to swim.
Cap also loved to play with a ball or a frisbee. He was even known to carry one with him when he was out gathering along the coast!
When he and Jan had their puppies in March 2011, I put an advert in the Oban Times to try and find them good working homes. A woman rang from the mainland, Ardnamurchan somewhere, and asked lots of questions. She was very disappointed I wasn't the woman in Tobermory she had got a working dog from before, and then wanted to check that the puppies were from working parents. I said they were. She said she hoped they weren't the sort of dogs that had toys. I looked out the window and there was Cap in the farmyard playing with a ball! Needless to say, she didn't take one of our puppies.
It feels like the end of an era on the farm. But we are all extremely grateful to have had him for 12 years, and that he didn't suffer and was happy until the end.