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#1 Lewie'sMom

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    Lewie 7/15/2007 - 9/2/2017 My Heart and BEST.DOG.EVER!

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 02:33 AM

I lost my beloved Lewie in September to cancer (cancer sucks in any species!). Some folks may remember I posted about him in the “In Memoriam” section. I miss him every day and the special relationship we had.

 

I’ve been looking for another BC, stalking Petfinder.com, Petango.com and Allpaws.com daily. I’ve filled out numerous applications to rescue groups (not all rescue groups are created equal, I’ve learned), visited many of the local shelters multiple times in the last 12 weeks.

 

I’ve been approved by two local rescue groups after passing the reference checks and home visits. Yippee! So, on Monday I am going to visit the foster home of a dog I’m interested in learning more about. I’ve spoken/texted with foster mom several times. She has shared with me what she knows of the dog’s previous life. He is about 1-1/2 years old so he is still young. She says that she thinks he may have been neglected and not gotten proper socialization as a youngster, possibly being left crated most of the time without a lot of attention or structure.  She shared a short video with me of his reaction when she asked him to go in his crate. There was a lot of avoidance/calming signals going on, moving away from her, looking away, lip licking. She said he will go in, but it’s not a happy place for him. I believe I can work with him on that. I also think she said he gets along fine with the other dogs in the house, but may be a bit shy around new people. FM said the dog is perfectly fine with her husband so I don’t think it’s timidity based on human gender.

 

Those sounds like things I can work with but, but my $64,000 question is: what other issues might he have that I’m not aware of if he was neglected or wasn’t socialized properly when younger? I know how sensitive and “odd” BCs can be (I call it "Border Collie weirdness"  :D  ) and I don’t want to do more harm to his psyche if I do decide I want to adopt him.  I don’t have that type of experience since all of my dogs I raised from pups.

 

I sure would appreciate any advice, things to look for, be aware of, etc., etc., etc. on my first visit.

 

Thanks loads!


Patty

A tired dog is a good dog!

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#2 BillG

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 07:43 AM

I am sorry for your loss, and you raised Lewie from a pup I bet.  We lost Joy our Lab to cancer when she was ten years old in 2009 also and she was the Joy of our life.  Very difficult.  But Lewie will want you to have another friend.  Like you we looked and looked for a rescue dog and not one to be found.  Finally got our Gina as a 8 week old pup from a working farm.

 

I hope you find  your new friend soon.


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#3 Donald McCaig

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 08:22 AM

Dear OP,

 

There's no test for "abused" and most so designated are timid to cautious. The dog you'll meet knows perfectly well "something BIG is up" and will be reacting to that too.

 

I'd sit still on the floor alone with the dog, silent. In half an hour you'll know whether you have met your new heart mate. Don't take him home if you don't. Forced marriages are worse than no marriage at all.

 

Donald



#4 JohnLloydJones

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 09:06 AM

I'd sit still on the floor alone with the dog, silent. In half an hour you'll know whether you have met your new heart mate.

That has worked for me too. Getting down to their level make you less scary.

 

I've fostered dogs with lots of baggage and have been amazed how they were able to shake off past. It may require a good dose of patience to earn their trust, but you will get there. 



#5 waffles

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 09:10 AM

Dear OP,

 

There's no test for "abused" and most so designated are timid to cautious. The dog you'll meet knows perfectly well "something BIG is up" and will be reacting to that too.

 

I'd sit still on the floor alone with the dog, silent. In half an hour you'll know whether you have met your new heart mate. Don't take him home if you don't. Forced marriages are worse than no marriage at all.

 

Donald

This!

 

I would drop the narrative that he is a poor abused/neglected dog.  I think it can set people up for a negative mindset from the get go.  It does not sound like his past is actually known so he may have crate issues because well, he has crate issues or was never properly crate trained.  I know lots of dogs who have been in the same house since puppy hood who are not neglected but have behaviors that might make it look that way if they were plopped into rescue sight unseen.

If he is coming into your home as the only dog you may never need to crate him (though it is of course good to work on if he ever does need to be crated in his lifetime).

I would look at him like any other dog and assess as best you can.  Listen to the foster mom as she knows him best but some quiet one on one time with the dog is probably your best gauge as to whether he is your next companion. 

Best of luck!



#6 rushdoggie

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 10:58 AM

Yep.

 

My dog acts like the typical fearful not socalized as a pup dog. Except, I have had him since he was a pup and he was socialized.  He's just that way.

 

Like others said, spend some time with him and see how you two get along. Most issues can be worked through as they come up given time and training.

 

Good luck! So very exciting!


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#7 GentleLake

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:08 PM

What they all said, especially the part about just sitting with him and letting him initiate and determine the amount of interaction.

 

As for nature or nurture driving behavior, you may never know. And honestly, it doesn't matter. You just work with the dog you have. Sometimes believing there's been abuse can set people up for feeling sorry for the dog in a way that can actually be counterproductive if it means they baby him and/or make excuses that result in actually rewarding fear or timid behavior.

 

I wish you all the best finding your new companion. If it's not this dog, I'm sure you'll find her or him when the times's right. And when you do, that dog will be the luckiest dog around to have found a place in your heart and home.


"People in your life always come and go all the time; the dogs are always there for me. Always." ~Samantha Valle


#8 gcv-border

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 10:25 PM

Good luck finding your next dog. I hope it is soon.

 

I have fostered a bit and have had a couple of dogs come through here that were definitely not in a good place emotionally, and it was always so wonderful to see the improvement once they feel safe. Sometimes it only took a week or two, and for one definitely abused/undersocialized puppy mill dog, she came such a long way in the 4 months I had her, then her amazing adoptive mother took over and continued the socialization process. Is she a 'normal' dog? Maybe/maybe not. It depends on one's definition of 'normal'. But she and her mom are definitely happy, and that is all that matters.

 

In short, I agree with the comments above.


Jovi

"Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog."  Charles F. Duran


#9 D'Elle

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 10:37 AM

I strongly agree with all of the above advice.

Many rescue dogs, especially sensitive border collies, come to their new homes cautious and nervous and they startle easily. If the owner assumes abuse,  neglect, or lack of socialization,which is often not the case, it sets up a whole approach as said above, that is not at all helpful. Don't go there.

 

Even when I have fostered dogs who I knew for a fact had been abused, I simply set that aside in my work with them. My attitude was: "she was abused. But is not now. So we deal with now" That worked well for me and the dog. 

 

Definitely agree as well with what Mr. McCaig said. 


D'Elle

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Left to right: Kit, Jester, Boo, Digger

 

 

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"You gonna throw that?" --Jester:  2001 - June 24 2016. Remembered with much love.
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#10 Shetlander

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:19 PM

Sorry about Lewie! I lost my Quinn with no warning in July which left me bereft. Like you, I decided to get a Border Collie rescue. There were two young females available, both of whom seemed very nice. I spent a couple of hours observing and interacting with them, asking questions and compiling pros/cons for each dog. It was rather agonizing because they were both such nice girls. Kit's overwhelming sweetness and gentleness were the biggest deciding factors. I think the other dog would have been wonderful, too but I was pulled to Kit.

A coworker recently told me about a dog she adopted from a different breed rescue who as a pup was left in a kennel on concrete flooring by an owner with dementia who often forgot to feed or water him. When the rescue got the dog, he was an emaciated mess who needed significant vet care for pressure sores. When I responded, "poor baby!" the coworker said, " No! Not poor baby! That was BA. Before Anne. Now his life is fantastic!" I thought that was a great was to look at things.

Good luck finding your new pal. Please keep us updated.

Liz


 


#11 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 10:55 PM

Dear OP,

 

There's no test for "abused" and most so designated are timid to cautious. The dog you'll meet knows perfectly well "something BIG is up" and will be reacting to that too.

 

I'd sit still on the floor alone with the dog, silent. In half an hour you'll know whether you have met your new heart mate. Don't take him home if you don't. Forced marriages are worse than no marriage at all.

 

Donald

 

 

All of this. So many dogs are determined to be "abused" when all they really are is sensitive. Add to that the anxiety of being uprooted and passed around and they may be even more fearful-seeming. I got my Nellie at 12 weeks until which I know she was deeply loved, and yet if I so much as yell at the cat she acts like I beat her. I had another dog that would immediately act guilty and frantically apologize if I scolded one of the other dogs or said the word "Bad." ;)

So it may simply be that he is a sensitive guy who is uneasy because he doesn't have the settled comfort of a home or long-time routine. I think Donald's advice to just sit on the floor for half an hour and let dog do the interacting is perfect.

Very sorry about your sweet old Lewie. I think he would love to know his place could be given to another dog in need.  :)


You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#12 diane allen

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:46 PM

Nothing significant to add to the posts above. 

However.  Realize that you may *think* you have discovered everything you need to know - mostly, as stated above, if this is truly your "heart" dog.  But even with that thought, it may be some time - a day, a week, a month or more - before you "discover" something in this dog's past that triggers something, whether it's fear, or submission, or whatever.  We (yep, even us two-leggeds) have things that bug us - but it may not be apparent at first. 

 

Nonetheless, I'm sure you're going to find the right dog for you!!

Keep us posted.

 

diane



#13 Lewie'sMom

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 03:40 AM

Thank you all for your responses. It is one of the reasons I value this forum so much...kind and knowledgeable BC peeps. :)

 

I went to a meet and greet with the boy in question. My sister and BIL went with me. My sister because she is my take-care-of-the-dog back-up person, and my BIL because he drove for us since neither sis nor I have great night vision and we didn't know where we were going.

 

Anyway, Scotch, as he is currently called, was quite charming with just the right amount of ham. The three of us sat on the couch and Scotch went right down the line greeting us, then came back around for round two. :lol:  The only time I saw any hint of insecurity in him was when my BIL stood up to get a toy. He is a tall and not small man and I think just his size was a bit scary for Scotch. But, he recovered quickly after one bark and scooting behind foster mom until he could assess my BIL actions. It was only a matter of seconds before he recovered and was happily playing fetch with us.

 

I wasn't able to make a decision that night. My heart and mind hadn't stepped over what I'll call the "grief boundary line" yet. The three of us talked about Scotch on the ride home. Both my sister and BIL really liked him. I know FM was disappointed that I couldn't say "yes" right then and there, but that was only because I hadn't allowed myself to let go of Lewie.

 

Scotch and Lewie were foremost in my thoughts all day Tuesday. I vacillated many times about whether I wanted him or not. Not because of him, but because of me. I had to get to the point of allowing myself permission to enjoy another dog that isn't Lewie. Life has been completely lackluster since his death and I want my sparkle back.

 

I texted FM on Tuesday and told her I'd love to be Scotch's new mom! So, I'm going to pick him up this coming Monday. I'm pretty excited and looking forward to continuing the great work she has started in him to become a secure and (relatively) stable BC.

 

Now, the funny thing is, this rescue group is an Aussie-only rescue group. So, why did they accept Scotch? Well, to my relatively unacknowledged personage, I can see how someone may have assumed he is Aussie just by his coloring. But, his frame is more delicate that what I think an Aussie normally is and FM has had him for 8 months and she believes he is all BC. I have to believe she knows better than I do, as she is the region rep for the group. But, y'all take a look and tell me what you think. I did just a tiny bit of research and I think he is a saddle-patterned blue merle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attached Files


Patty

A tired dog is a good dog!

"Dogs' lives are too short...their only fault, really."
A.S. Turnbull

"My mantra is "it's never the dog's fault." If my dog has failed, it is because I set him up to fail:..."
Ninso 12/10/08

#14 rufftie

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 05:39 AM

yip, yip, yip! there is much joy in dogville! long and happy partnership together.



#15 Sue R

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 07:15 AM

Wonderful!
Sue Rayburn - Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, but not the brightest firefly in the jar.

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#16 GentleLake

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 11:43 AM

Hoooray!!!

 

He sure is interesting looking. Funny how so many people still assume if a dog's merle it has to be an Aussie. :lol:  Heck, the shelter that took in my red tri with brindle points assumed he was an Aussie mix because of the brindle points, which I assume they mistook for merle. Of course they also thought he was female, so who who knows what was going on in their heads.  :rolleyes: 

 

Anyway, wishing you and your new boy a lifetime of happiness together. He'll never replace Lewie but I'm gonna bet he'll come to sit right along side him in your heart.

 

Congratulations!


"People in your life always come and go all the time; the dogs are always there for me. Always." ~Samantha Valle


#17 D'Elle

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 04:29 PM

He is beautiful!!

Let us know how it goes with him. :-)


D'Elle

and family.

Left to right: Kit, Jester, Boo, Digger

 

 

Mydogs12-2013Smaller.jpg
"You gonna throw that?" --Jester:  2001 - June 24 2016. Remembered with much love.
"I'm grouchier than you are" --Kit

"I love everyone!" -- Boo

(Boing! Boing! Boing!)--Digger

And not pictured, Benjamin the cat, who thinks he is a small border collie with superpowers.

 

 

 


#18 ShoresDog

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 09:15 PM

Scotch is a very handsome dog, whether or not he's 100% border collie or has some Aussie or whatnot mixed in.  Best wishes for a long and happy partnership!


Jan & Daisy & Juno & Star
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#19 urge to herd

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 01:30 PM

Congrats! Scotch looks much more like a BC to me than an Aussie. He's got that long, lean sight-hound look in his build. Very much not Aussie.

 

I hope he settles in quickly and that two of you enjoy every minute!

 

Ruth & Gibbs



#20 BillG

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 05:39 PM

Scotch is beautiful and he wants to be your forever dog.  I think you both found one another!  Congrats and keep posting pictures and progress.  There will be setbacks, sometimes us older folks call those learning opportunity's and that's not just with Dogs!!.   I think God was with you on this trip.


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