Monday, July 26, 2010

Getting to know you- Cash, our new Aussie Shepherd

Now that my Blue Heeler is 11 and not as active as he once was I went looking for a rescue Aussie shepherd or Border Collie purebred/ mix, to be my new walking companion and shelter dog, training helper. My Heeler is a tad arthritic and is now in semi-retirement, not to the golf course but to the sofa and truck. I was a little frantic there for awhile, looking for that perfect special dog in need of a family. The trouble with me is that I love most all dogs and trying to figure out exactly which one fit the criteria I was looking for became somewhat overwhelming. I looked in our shelter but the aussie we had already had a hold on her, I missed a day and someone swooped in and fell in love with her. I combed the website, where you can find a pet available for adoption. I Searched the Aussie shepherd and Border Collie rescue sites in my area and even some not in my area but within reasonable driving distance. For a dog obsessed woman on the hunt for the perfect additional dog, "reasonable," included Canada, Seattle, and Montana even though I live in North Idaho. We once had some people drive from Idaho Falls- nine hours away- to get a lovely purebred Springer Spaniel that was at our shelter, so reasonable is a relative term when one finds love on the internet! I combed the Spokane shelters last week and found an adorable Tri-color Border Collie who when I said excitedly, "oh your so cuute!" basically chimed back in the same tone and length of sentence in dog speak, reiterating" I want you too" but alas someone else got there first and he had a serious hold placed on him, and the girl who wanted him kept calling back to see if the owner had claimed him as he was not free to be released for Linkadoption yet. I was feeling rather frantic, the kind of frantic and obsessed I've seen women become when desperate to have their second child. Since I have no children, this was the closest I'd get to baby fever. I persisted in making contacts and putting the word out for what I was looking for and called the wonderful devoted Mary Ann, of Inland Northwest rescue
I also called and talked to Joan, one of the Idaho representatives, of Pacific Northwest Border Collie Rescue who is located down in Southern Idaho and she said that she often transports dogs up North here to Inland Northwest Rescue, which is how I came upon my beautiful Aussie Shepherd who we named Cash, after the musician Johnny Cash, and another favorite border collie mix named Cash we had a few years back at our shelter, who I had fostered. Initially our new dog's name was Simon, and then Rufus and Rudy but we weren't too fond of the name Simon, and I have seen many dogs at the shelter adapt to new names rather quickly, with proper bonding and repetition of the new name and he seems to respond well to Cash so that's his new name. The shelter staff have also given a dog a new name if it had come from less than terrific circumstances thus allowing the dog be born again/reborn into a new name and new, hopefully happier, life. We bandied about an assortment of names from Rudy, to Huck short for Huckelberry Finn, Lucky, Chance, Alfie, but the name Cash seemed amenable to us all. So here we go starting into a new adventure with a gorgeous wonderful new rescue dog, who is a tad frightened but doing well, he slept most of the way home in the car, marked inside the house once and went to the bathroom outside in the morning! Knock on wood ,so far so good. I'm always careful with new dogs to take them out frequently especially before bedtime, first thing in the morning, and about 10 minutes after meals, and use the same word" potty" and then praise them if they actually go. A few times I've actually stooped to lifting my leg and making "pst pst pst" sounds and saying "potty?" and oddly enough the male dogs understood what I was trying to say and urinated outside. Of course I live in the country with no neighbors, a person might look a tad odd doing this in a suburban backyard! My little Blue Heeler seems to be adjusting well to this relatively mellow, recently neutered new member of the family. It's been rather hot here so I'm taking a break from volunteering at the shelter as it's not good for the dogs to be out walking in the heat. I'm just having so much fun getting to know my new dog. Thanks Mary Ann for helping this dog and all the others you have helped over the years.Thanks for making it possible for us to adopt this special guy, we just adore him. Thanks also to Joan of Idaho Domestic Animal Welfare Group
for helping to rescue and transport my new dog.