The post about puppies being a crapshoot made me think about my rescue dogs. What comes to mind is acceptance for things that aren’t going to change no matter how good your intentions, time spent, patience and trainers. My older dog is Great Pyr/GSD – she is absolutely perfect (my opinion), except she doesn’t come when called, from what I have read, Great Pyrs don’t come when called – we refer to it as hard of listening and we just keep an eye on her when she is out of the fenced yard – we live in a rural area and our house is well away from the single lane dirt road. Romana had no coat when we adopted her. She is now the poster child for shedding awareness, when we got new carpet we chose a color that went with her fur. Did I mention that we burned out the clutch on our Dyson vacuum twice? Each day with her is a blessing, she was 5 when we adopted her and will be 14 this year, a good old age for a large dog who came to rescue with a body weight 50% of what it should have been.
Now we come to Charley, our Border Collie, Charley will be 7 this year, he was 2+ when we adopted him. My husband wanted a dog that plays ball. Charley plays ball. Charley has perfect recall no matter what the situation – I have to thank MABCR for this. These are the things to keep in mind when he is stalking the (oblivious) cat (he only has an issue with the outside cat we brought in, the 2 indoor cats have a mostly benign relationship with him) or staring at the spot on the ceiling. “Charley, Dinosaur!” The art of redirection. Or freaks out if you touch his mouth or his feet. 5 years into touching his feet, he just recently stopped getting the look that makes you want to move your face away – the mouth is still off limits. I am so glad we are in our forever home so we don’t have to teach him to sit and stay at another door. The training was only valid at the location the original training took place. He does sit on command, but for some reason it had to be retrained at each door. We have given up trying to walk in a straight line on a leash. We did great in school once he figured out what I wanted, it just didn’t translate out of the classroom – months of walks down the road with my husband on one side and Romana on the other to limit his side to side travel. Big picture, it isn’t that important. Yes, when we have to go out in public people probably think that he hasn’t had any training as he ping pongs from one side to the other, but even were I successful in getting him to walk nicely at home, it probably wouldn’t work at another location. It is all about compromise and acceptance. What is important is that Charley is a very nice dog, he is obedient, loyal, a joy to be around. Charley and Romana make a great team, they balance each other’s personality. I am lucky to have adopted 2 great dogs.