Early Morning Open Thread: Meet Tinker



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From commentor Bystander:

Actually, any number of consistent readers of Balloon Juice have already met Tinker, given that I’ve previously linked these photos…
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Tinker is a sighthound — a Borzoi — adopted through the National Borzoi Rescue Foundation. She is approximately 3 years old. Reportedly, she’d had three different homes — not counting her bred-by home — prior to coming to live with me, my spouse, 5 rescued Border Collies and 2 Australian Shepherds.
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She appeared on Craig’s List in Nebraska — free to a “good home” — when a Borzoi breeder spotted her and swung into action. She came to us through a network of breeders who work with the national rescue foundation. Spouse had a number of reservations about integrating a critter this “exotic” into the household. Although, historically, spouse and I have done all the training for our cattle dogs, a Russian Wolfhound “cattle dog” is a bit non-standard, so as a concession I enlisted the support of a professional trainer. Tinker’s obedience class was comprised, principally, of other rescued dogs. When the trainer — who knows I’ve always worked with Borders and Aussies in the past — was confronted with Tinker, she laughed out loud and said, “This is going to be different for you.” It has been. And, it’s all been good.
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Not to belabor the point, but … Yes, she learns obedience commands more slowly, but she is just as eager to please. Yes, we needed to convince her that the Aussies were not “Tinker Toys,” but she learned they could hunt mice better than she could. Yes, she runs very, very fast but she knows exactly where the front door of the house is. She is quite different than we’re all used to, but she is also quite wonderful. Whoever said these dogs were aloof and stand-offish either has not had much experience with Borzoi, or Tinker isn’t a Borzoi. She’s incredibly affectionate and quite willing to pack-up with dogs very much different than herself. Once the herders figured out she presented no more threat than a 1,200 lb. cow, they decided they could play with her, and she is quite playful. Curiously, she seems willing to go belly to the floor for these play sessions which equalizes size and leverage. Go figure.
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We’ve submitted an application for the AKC’s Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege which will allow Tinker and I to compete in AKC sponsored events other than purebred conformation shows such as, agility, lure coursing, obedience, and rally.
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As a long time believer in the value of adopting dogs, I cannot say enough good things about adoption. During the course of my life, I’ve raised 7 dogs from puppy hood. They were all amazing critters. As we lost/lose each to old age, it shatters my heart anew. But, my days of raising puppies are over. As gratifying as it is to have a dog that you’ve trained yourself from infancy, I’ve found nothing is more prepared to meet you half-way than an adopted dog. It’s as if they know… They never fill the shoes of any dog you’ve lost, because each one comes with his or her own shoes. Still, it’s as if they know… We all are enjoying the heck out of Tinker. And Tinker seems to be enjoying the heck out of us as well. As with each of our other adoption experiences, this one seems just chock full of “win.”








Early Morning Open Thread

From commentor Jackie:

Here are Chamois (the golden colored mutt) and Yoki (the red, half Chow) barking at what they believe is a critter they have treed. Our third dog, Seven, was also present. The event involved much barking over a long period of time. The pity of it is, they were barking at the transformer on the electric pole in front of our house.
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Okay, so they aren’t the brightest bunch, but they are sweetest. I live in a rural area where people tend to dump dogs. Seven ran in front of my car on a country road. I stopped and through a long process that involved enticing him with crackers, I was able to scoop him up and put him in the car. He’s a big, loving, doofus mutt. Sadly now he is suffering many ravages of old age, but he’s still first in line when the biscuits are dispensed.
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A year or so later, we went to the county dog shelter where I spotted Yoki. She only had a couple more days before euthanasia, in part because the shelter staff warned everyone to be aware of Chows because they are aggressive. My husband was pumping for us to get a Lab or Lab mix, but I could not get this waggedy red dog “on death row” out of my mind. I prevailed, and now my husband will admit that Yoki is his favorite of the pack.
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Chamois also came from a shelter called Circle Tail that does some amazing work placing dogs with people with disabilities. Chamois didn’t have the right stuff to be an assistance dog, but is a wonderful family dog. Both Yoki and Chamois, like Seven, had been found running loose in the countryside.
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So there you have it. I would never pay for a dog when so many wonderful dogs can be had on the cheap. Rescues are the best.








Early Morning Open Thread: Fetch(ing)!


From commentor Sarah W:

I’ve attached two pictures of Milo, the most recently brought home of my three rescue cats. They don’t really like each other so I don’t have pictures of them together.
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I volunteer at a cat rescue shelter in Manhattan, and not long after I started there, Milo showed up (his name was Frankie then). He was adorable, got along with any other cat who he was caged with, loved all the volunteers. But no one adopted him. Weeks went by. Months went by. He came in at 3 months old, and 3 months later someone wrote on his cage card “He’s growing up here.” That did it, I had to go get him and bring him home. I met my boyfriend at the shelter so they could meet – you can see their first moment together in the photo.
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Milo is a total sweetie, and has fulfilled my lifelong dream of having a cat who will fetch. He will fetch and fetch and fetch. 2am? He’ll fetch. Mealtime? He’ll fetch. But he’s so darn cute, I can never get mad at him.
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Please keep encouraging people to adopt shelter animals, or foster some if they can’t adopt. It’s such a worthwhile thing, and it is rewarding like nothing else on earth.

Bonus video: Commentor Suzanne‘s dog Luna is still not entirely clear about that ‘fetch’ concept








Early Morning Open Thread: Fits In Anywheres


From commentor Barney S:

This is Sinead (ask my wife why a German Shorthair Pointer has an Irish name ‘cuz I sure don’t know and neither of us is Irish). We think she is about 9 years old. About 5 years ago she was abandoned/ lost in the backcountry in nearby Glacier Natl. Park, we think for about 2 months, luckily in the summer. When she was found she had to be carried out and was found to have been pregnant, the pups dead inside her.
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We had just had to put down our previous Shorthair due to cancer and I saw an ad on Petfinder listed as being in Cutbank MT but with a local Whitefish phone number. We went to see her and it was love at first sight. She had been to the vets for removal of the dead pups but was still emaciated and so weak she was unable to walk more than about 50 feet. I had to lift her into and out of the car.
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She had apparently been beaten as she was skittish about having her head scratched and is still very frightened by thunder but is an absolute delight to be around. Unlike most Shorthairs she is very mellow in the house though outside she does not walk rather runs everywhere.
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Despite 2 surgeries to remove cancerous lumps she is doing very well and brings us much pleasure every day. John posted the “Rare Montana Spotted Reindeer” picture a couple of years ago.








Early Morning Open Thread: JRT Rescue


From commentor Cindi:

People might think I’m nuts for rescueing a Jack Russell Terrier but once you’ve had a super smart dog it’s hard to go back to average, mine is more like a toddler than a pet, always one step ahead of me, lol.
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Jack (he came with that not so creative name) was rescued 9 years ago this November. I had lost my first Jack Russell to heart failure when she was only 8 years old and just had to have another. The rescue association waiting list in Phoenix was long…but if I was willing to drive to Tucson they had an 8 month old male nicknamed “the Heathen”. Well my impatienced trumped the fear of his nickname and Hubby and I drove down to have a look. We walked around to the back yard and this little dog comes tearing around the corner and leaps into Hubbys arms. Love at first sight and he was ours.
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He curled up and slept in my lap the entire 2 hour drive home and was an angel for the first 3 weeks….than he woke up and revealed his true crazy JRT personality but we kept him anyway ;) Now the reason he was called “the heathen” and given up (Ok, taken away) is because he, at the ripe old age of 6 months old killed a chicken in his owners backyard. Well duh. Jacks are hunting dogs and my Jack is an expert at it. So anyway, the owners tied the chicken around his little neck as punishment (some old stupid southern solution I’m told) and the neighbors saw this and took the dog away…funny the owners didn’t complain, I guess they liked chickens better. So “The Heathen” is now ours…..we don’t own chickens but twice a dove has been on the receiving end of his hunting prowess.
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He’s a great dog, makes me more active and lets me be the family Alpha…hubby unfortunately is third on the totem pole lol. Jack’s ten now and an only dog but next rescue will be a couple at a time…but probably not multiple Jack Russells…I’m crazy but not stupid!
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I’ve attached two photos, one in an unusual non active position and the second is him being natural trying to kill a basketball.