Sunday Morning Open Thread: The Perfect Dog

Stolen from the calendar submissions, because I couldn’t resist. From commentor Libby’s Person:

My sweet, beautiful collie-mix had died 4 months before. I missed her terribly; I’d planned on waiting longer, but I knew I was done waiting when I found myself repeatedly looking at local shelter dogs on Petfinder. I decided to get my first agility dog. My plan was to look in Petfinder for a border collie or aussie mix, 1-3 years old and about 45 pounds. It wasn’t until the 5th shelter that I saw a “border collie mix” that seemed right. The picture was just a head shot taken from a strange angle, but she looked sweet. I called and asked about her; they guessed that she was 3 years old, she was very gentle and got along very well with other dogs, and they estimated that she weighed 50 pounds. 45 minutes later, I arrived at this little county shelter in the middle of nowhere and asked to see Libby, expecting a dainty little bundle of energy. Instead, what came out was a calm, heavy-boned dog with big paws, legs just slightly short for her body length – NOT a natural-born agility dog (we think she’s a GSD-Aussie mix). Not what I was looking for. But when I knelt down as she came up to me, she licked me in the face, and when I sat down on the grass and petted her, she sat on my lap. Well, that was that.
The shelter staff person told me that she’d been brought in 3 weeks before by a local farmer, along with 2 puppies that weren’t hers. He’d been keeping the dogs in an outdoor run. We don’t know anything more about her past, but there’s no way that she had been an outdoor dog on a farm. (She was rigidly housebroken, and has very good house manners.) I’m pretty sure that somebody took her out into the countryside and abandoned her, and she was lucky enough to be found by the farmer.
When I took her to my vet the following Monday, I got a surprise – she didn’t weigh 50 pounds, she weighed 80 pounds! So much for a dog I could pick up if I needed to… Unfortunately, there was a more serious surprise as well; Libby tested positive for heartworm, Lyme, and Ehrlichia, and she had whipworms. The vet imaged her heart before spaying her; there was no visible damage, so he thinks she hadn’t had the diseases for very long, thank goodness. It took nearly 4 months to complete all the treatments.
She was a bit reserved, and almost scarily well-behaved. She’s never flinched from people, so I don’t think she was physically abused, but her former people must not have been very nice to her – she was too careful to not do anything wrong. They never did anything with her, and never took her anyplace; she had to learn about leash-walking, rawhide, toys, the dogfood store, playing, and other dogs.
I’ve had her for two and a half years now. She has relaxed (except when she sees squirrels!) and learned how to have fun (and how to mooch, and how to let us know when she wants stuff…). My husband loves her because she’s so quiet, calm, and gentle. She learned to love training, and she does lots of tricks. And she ended up being a great first agility dog after all! She learned to love agility, and we’ve started competing some; she’s an “honest” and happy worker, and does fantastic as long as I don’t screw up. It’s amazing to see how fast and happy she is when she’s working!
She may not be the dog I was looking for, but she turned out to be the perfect dog for me.

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Afternoon open thread

My proud Doberman in action.

Chat about whatever.

Eastern PA pet rescue bleg

From commenter Brendan:

Considering the awfulness that was perpetrated in Arkansas, I was wondering if there’s a good time to put up a save-a-cat post?

There is an incredibly friendly and cuddly little guy on our porch that we’ve named Buster. He’s about a year old, maybe two: he’s small for his age. He will literally jump into your arms and make biscuits (you know, where they knead your skin like it was dough?), purring the whole time. I would adopt him myself but I already have two.

Buster needs to be neutered and get shots, but I can split the price on that. We live in Philadelphia PA, so potential families need to be geographically convenient.

I’ve attached a picture. He is still there, staring at us through the window. He wants a home VERY badly. he is so friendly and loving, you could plotz.

I can be contacted at this email.


If you think you can help, leave a note in the comments and I will make sure that you get in touch.

Greetings, Juicers

Possibly due to a clerical error, I was invited to become part of the fantastic Balloon Juice team. It’s a bit like being the obscure governor of a low-population state who is suddenly thrust into the national spotlight, only hopefully less dumb, evil and screechy.

I know some of you from Rumproast, where I’ve been posting for a few years now, and from my occasional forays into the comments here at Balloon Juice. Pets? I got ‘em — Daisy (fawn) and Patsy (brindle):

[Do not adjust your screen settings; the dog on the right is a rare tailed boxer]

A word about my internet handle: Although I am a white woman from rural Florida, I didn’t choose it to convey that. It’s a nickname my husband (an Upstate New Yorker) gave me because of my down-home cooking.

If I had it to do over again, I’d probably choose something a little less fraught, but what’s done is done.

Anyhoo, hello. And please feel free to treat this as an open thread.

Nag nag nag

Displaying the protective instincts that make Dobermans famous, Max takes a rampaging grizzly bear by the leash and calmly leads it away from his owner:

Max Lille Hund 2

Now go read this and then phone someone about PIPA.

Find your Congresscritter here.

Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Guide for first-timers here.

Also, open thread.