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Yet another Newbie!

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Hi! My name is Lori and my partner in mischief is Stormy. The basics are: border collie rescued at just over 1 year old in March from living in a crate, having three broken ribs, half bald, scabbed over with skin infections, weighing 26 lbs (now 41), scared of his own shadow, took over 45 minutes to let me near him now a healthy, happy, occasionally anxious, bonded like superglue, well behaved, totally loved velcrodog. (longer story after picture)




Hopefully that shows up!


How I came to be Stormy's person....


I'd been ready to get another dog for over a year. My last one was a samoyed that passed away several years ago of old old old age. Gosh was he ever beautiful and the best dang dog in the world for my kids- my daughter used to lay on him to take naps and he would not move a muscle.

In January I was told that I probably had ovarian cancer (ultrasound and blood test indicated that was most likely, especially since the only other option was a certain type of cyst- which I was already taking birth control pills which are the treatment for that type of cyst- and a false positive on the ca-125 blood test) and of course after doing my research decided that if it was past stage one I wouldn't do anything to fight it (long long story of watching my father waste away there) since the death rate for ovarian cancer within a year of diagnosis is extremely high especially when it's past stage 1. Well, come March and the ultrasound before I'm scheduled to have it removed and staged and it's gone- the very unlikely possibility that I developed a cyst I was already taking the treatment for AND gotten a false positive came to pass. Well, immediately upon getting this unbelievably good news I decided there was no more waiting because my husband wasn't ready to have a dog. Coming that close to facing the idea of dying reminded me of the importance of living in the moment, besides, I wasn't getting a dog for him I was getting one for ME!


I gave my husband the news by telling him, "The good news is that I'm not going to die, but I AM going to get my dog as soon as I find it." He asked me to please hold off for a little while longer. I told him I'd hold off until I found MY dog or MY dog found me but when that happened that would be it. This was on a Tuesday in March. That evening I called the local golden retriever rescue and had an appointment with them for Friday. I really really really really wanted a golden retriever. Wednesday morning I was out and drove by the SPCA. Much as I would have loved to take nearly every dog there home, there was not one there that just screamed "I'm your dog!!!" but there was this one miserable, ugly, scabbed, bones showing through skin, haunted eyed, pitiful dog that I just could not leave without doing my part to teach him that humans are not all horrid creatures. He was sitting as far from the front of the cage as he could get. I asked for him to be brought out to one of the areas for playing with dogs. The worker asked me if I was thinking about adopting him because she didn't want to traumatize him needlessly. Of course I lied and said yes. It took me 45 minutes to get near this stupid dog- this is unheard of. FINALLY I got him to come to me and when he did he threw himself into it giving me kisses and trying to squirm into my lap. When I had to go to pick up my son the dog (named Race at that time) hid under my legs and fought with the worker taking him back to the cage. He looked at me in such a way to say "How can you leave me here???? I'm YOUR dog!!!!" I told him, "Sorry, buddy, I can't decide to take you home out of guilt, it's not going to work that way."


All night long I'm thinking about this dog. He's not a golden retriever and I really want a golden retriever. He's really ugly and I don't want a really ugly dog (ok, so I'm a snot that loves to hear that my dog is handsome). He's been through lots of trauma (had his background story - he was turned in because a guy got married and couldn't stand the way the son was treating the dog so a condition of the son moving into his house with the mother was that the dog had to go (adult son)) so he'll probably not make a very good and reliable therapy and search and rescue dog and my goal is to be a search and rescue team with a dog. He's a border collie and I've got seven cats (don't ask... they all started out as fosters for a rescue group and these guys were the ones that I was never able to part with). He'll herd my cats around and they're not used to dogs. He's a border collie and I've got an energetic and impulsive son, not the best mix. He didn't seem to have any play drive at all.... search and rescue dogs need a powerful play drive. Ok, so OBVIOUSLY this is not the right dog for me. That was settled.


Thursday morning, I'm back at the SPCA to show this dog that was obviously so wrong for me to my best friend. She tells me that this is obviously my dog when she sees how he drags to get back to his cage till he sees me waiting for him then he DRAGS to get over to me and then stays behind my legs or under them when I'm sitting down. I tell her all the reasons why he's not my dog while she's nodding along like she's agreeing and then tacks on to the end "so you're taking him home, right?" Of course I say I'm not because he's SOOOOO not my dog, I just felt sorry for him. Oh, and the reason I started calling him "Stormy" instead of "Race" was because he would cringe every time he heard that name.


Thursday afternoon I pick up my son from school and go back to the SPCA AGAIN. Yup, you guessed it, once I saw that he didn't hate my son and I was satisfied that his temperament with him was acceptable I finally admitted that he was my dog. Oddly enough when he met Trystan he sniffed him cautiously and then approached him right away very calmly. I told the staff I was ready to adopt him. I filled out the adoption application and was totally honest. The first problem they had was that I admitted my husband wasn't totally thrilled with my getting a dog "right now" but they reluctantly agreed to allow the adoption after speaking to the rescue group I frequently foster for which told them that he'd said "NO!" to every single one of the seven cats still living at my house but that he's never let his reluctance to let them stay affect how he's treated them. The next problem was that I admitted to wanting to train him for search and rescue. "We don't adopt pets out for jobs, we only adopt them as companion animals." To which my response was to point out the sign that said "We reserve the right to refuse any adoption we feel is not in the pet's best interest." and to say that if they truly believed in that sign then there was no way in <bleep> they'd ever adopt a border collie out to someone that didn't plan on giving it a job to do and that if they wanted him to sit in a house as a companion they might as well reserve a cage for his return when he ripped his new family's home apart out of boredom. Well of course that got the manager involved. We spent 15 minutes in his office where I railed on about whether or not he made it through SAR training he was going to be MY dog for the next 15 years and I'd find another "job" he'd be good at and we'd do THAT job instead, etc etc etc. Much to the staff's surprise he told them to give me the dog and any other animals I wanted. Much to my husband's relief I was satisfied with just getting Stormy.


On my way home I called my husband and told him I got my dog. Boy was he NOT overjoyed. My daughter on the other hand was thrilled. When my husband got home he was expecting to see a beautiful golden retriever. Instead he saw the ugliest, boniest, baldest scardey dog he'd ever seen. That's when he tells me he's always wanted a border collie. WHAT?????? He'd never told me that before- always said he wanted a great dane or an irish wolfhound when he was ready to get a dog.


Several months later I took him back to the SPCA so they could see what he turned into. He's now a confident mama's boy (meaning confident as long as mama is there) with a gorgeous coat, a beautiful face, a sparkle in his eye, and some meat on his bones. He also: walks perfectly by my side off leash in all kinds of situations with or without other dogs and distractions, sits, flops (lays down), crawls, begs, jumps, dances, brings toys when asked for specific ones, and is beginning SAR training very shortly.


*Phew* that was long.. if you made it all this way, thank you for sticking with me through all that! I look forward to getting to know all of you!



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Wow! Definitely some story. :rolleyes: I just love Stormy's look! Welcome to the boards. I've been MIA for awhile due to a sick child, plus we've been having a lot of ISP problems, but I just had to comment on this. :D

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When I read a post like yours, about someone who lost a beloved pet and gave a home to another dog from rescue, it reminds me of the following poem. Your beloved Samoyed would be proud of you.


Sorrow fills a barren space;

you close your eyes and see my face

and think of times I made you laugh,

the love we shared, the bond we had,

the special way I needed you -

the friendship shared by just we two.


The day's too quiet, the world seems older,

the wind blows now a little colder.

You gaze into the empty air

and look for me, but I'm not there -

I'm in heaven and I watch you,

and I see the world around you too.


I see little souls wearing fur,

souls who bark and souls who purr

born unwanted and unloved -

I see all this and more above -

I watch them suffer, I see them cry,

I see them lost, I watch them die.

I see unwanted thousands born -

and when they die, nobody mourns.


These little souls wearing fur

(some who bark and some who purr)

are castaways who - unlike me -

will never know love or security.

A few short months they starve and roam,

or caged in shelters - nobody takes home.

They're special too (fur balls of pleasure),

filled with love and each one, a treasure.


My pain and suffering came to an end,

so don't cry for me, my person, my friend.

But think of the living - those souls with fur

(some who bark and some who purr) -

And though our bond can't be broken apart,

make room for another in your home and your heart.


Carol Schubert-James

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Thank you all so much for the very warm welcome! My samoyed was definately my family's dog, but Stormy... he's MY dog. He's had such a big day. I brought home a rescue today (I am NOT keeping her) and he's being such a gracious host. I'll post on THAT topic in another post, though.



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