Saturday, May 12, 2012

And I Brought Him Home

Hubs and I are both dog people.  When we met, we each had a dog.  Our wedding gift from my dad was a puppy.  Then, we had a terrible year, and without going into detail (because it's heartbreaking for both of us), we lost all three of those dogs within a year's time.

I was lost without them.  I'd come home from work and immediately change clothes to go out and feed the dogs.  Then, I would realize I had no dogs to feed, and I would break down in tears, almost every day.

At the time, we had just started raising sheep on our farm, and we had discussed that we'd love to have a Border Collie to work with the sheep.  So, my search began.  However, to purchase a Border Collie who was already trained to work sheep, would require a lot more finances than Hubs and I had available.

So, I pretty much gave up the idea.  However, I still viewed the pet rescue sites on a regular basis... just to get my "dog-fix", ya know. ;-)

One day, I discovered a listing at our LOCAL animal shelter.  They had a Border Collie up for adoption!  No picture was posted.  Not much of a description was posted either.  I immediately called and set up a time to go meet this dog.

The day I was going to meet the dog, my boss said, "Have fun getting your dog."  I replied, "I'm only going to meet it.  Don't know that I'll be getting it."  My boss just smiled, "Yeah, sure."  he replied.

I entered the Animal Shelter, told the girl behind the desk which dog I was there to meet, and was given some papers to fill out in case of adoption.  Once again, I said, "I'm just here to meet the dog."

I was told that the manager of the shelter had a very special connection with this particular dog.  It had bonded with her and only her, and it slept on a bed under her desk.  Awwww how sweet.

A girl took me to a room and informed me that I would have some alone time with the dog ,so we could get acquainted.  She handed me a dog biscuit, shook her head a bit, and said, "Well, you can try anyway."  Huh?  I wasn't sure what that meant.

Then, she left.  I waited.  She returned, carrying a leash.  On the end of the leash was a black, white, and brown Border Collie, who promptly laid down on the floor facing away from me.  The girl smiled, and left the room.

I sat down on the floor next to the dog, and I began talking to it.  It ignored me.  I offered it the dog biscuit and got no response... not even a nose twitch.  I put my hand on the dog and began petting it... it trembled.  I took my hand away and continued talking.  I peeked over the dog's head and noticed that, while it was ignoring me, it would raise one brown-eyebrow at a time as I talked.  That was the only reaction I received, and I wouldn't have even noticed that, if I hadn't have peeked.

Obviously this dog wasn't interested in 'talking'.  Obviously this dog wasn't going to jump up and give me kisses and smiles.  Obviously this dog was nervous.  Obviously this dog wanted nothing to do with me.  Obviously this dog was scared.  Obviously this dog....

needed to come home with me.  WHAT?  Yep, without any logical reason, without even considering it twice, I picked the end of the leash up and asked, "You wanna go home with me, Tag?"  And, the dog...

got up, walked to the door, and waited for me to open it.  Then, he turned, and I saw he was smiling.

We walked to the front desk of the shelter.  The girl got up to come around the counter and take the leash.  I held up my hand and said, "No need.  We've decided that Tag is going to come home with me."

The whole room went quiet.  Everyone was staring at us.  The girl behind the counter froze in position, and asked, "Really?"

I said, "Yes, really.  That's what we've decided."

She replied, "Well, if you take him home, you can have a couple weeks with him, and if he doesn't work out, you can bring him back."

"No," I replied.  "He's going home.  He won't be coming back, unless it's to visit."

We walked to the back of my vehicle.  I started to open the back hatch, and Tag jumped in, before it was fully open.  I laughed.  "You wanna go for a ride, huh Tag?"

By the time I got around to the driver's seat, I turned around and was greeted by a smiling Tag, who had jumped over the back and was sitting in the back seat, smiling, and ready for a ride.  "O.K. Boy.  Let's go home."  And then... he gave me a quick kiss on the nose.

We got to the farm.  Tag and I got out of the vehicle, and I walked him around the property, introducing him to his new home.  Hubs talked to him, and Tag ignored him.  My mother-in-law spoke to him, and Tag ignored her.

His defense mechanism was to not make eye contact.  He would turn his head as far as possible to avoid making eye contact.  He had obviously had his trust destroyed.

For the entire weekend, Tag was my shadow.  He laid on my feet, while I sat on the couch.  If I went to another room, Tag was right there with me.  Hubs would try talking to him, and Tag would turn his head away to avoid eye-contact, and ignore Hubs.

Come Sunday evening, I started to get concerned.  I had to go to work the next day, and Tag wouldn't even acknowledge, let alone respond to anyone but me.  Hubs kept reassuring me that everything would be fine.

So, I went to work.  After about... ohhhh... ten minutes (haha) I called home.  "What are you doing?" I asked Hubs.  "Oh, we're building fence."  He replied.

"WE???" I asked.  "Yes.  Tag and I are building fence."

"Do you have his leash on him?  He's not used to our property.  He doesn't like you.  He'll try to run away!"

Hubs replied, "He had his leash on for about five minutes.  I started working.  He chewed through his leash and has been next to me the rest of the time."

"BUT..." I started.  "Honey," Hubs replied.  "We're fine.  He's really enjoying this.  He's not going to take off."

By the time I got home that evening.  The tables had turned.  NOW, HUBS had a new dog.  Correction... HUBS had a working partner AND a devoted companion.  That's all it took... one day of working on the farm with Hubs.

Now, Tag is Daddy's dog, through and through.  He lives to be with his Daddy.  And, he doesn't take this bond and trust he's found lightly.  He's very protective of us, our home, and our belongings. He's loyal only to us, and, now...

he'll sit or lie in front of us, and...

stare directly into our eyes.



(c) Misty DawnS

10 comments:

Connie Smiley

What a fantastic story! Don't you think those rescue dogs know they've been rescued and appreciate their new homes even more for it? I love happy endings, and it sounds like Tag was made for you and your husband.

Horst in Edmonton

Great story, and what a wonderful dog. He looks quite young. Happy mothers day.

Tammy

Awww...you are a wonderful doggie mama. Happy Mother's Day!

Denise

That's such a touching and heart-warming story Misty. Thank you for sharing it with us. Tag sure is a beautiful dog.

Ivanhoe

He's so handsome! What a story! Hope you have a many many years of fun together :)

sarah c

Oh my gosh so happy for you all. That is a great looking dog. I'm a big dog dork & this story just warmed my heart.

Scott F

Misty, that was a beautiful story, thank you for sharing. I miss my dog...can't have one where I'm moving to.

Jenn Jilks

Well written! Used to have dogs, now I have 3 cats. We go for walks in the forest and wetland, they think they are dogs!
Greetings from Cottage Country!

Melinda

Awesome story...beatuiful

Loui♥

wonderful story..
yep// I'm all misty eyed..
my furbabies are all rescues!
once given their trust..
the bond of devotion is unbreakable..
love my three feline furbabies!
hugs..
Loui♥

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