The resilience of the rescue dog

Unlike her master, our 11 year-old Australian cattle dog Eve has managed to mellow with age and, considering her current comportment with other canines, we thought she might like to have a buddy. Not only that, but since my son has always wanted a cuddly pet – birds and fish tend to do neither – we started perusing Petfinder to find an adoptable doggie which is always a very dangerous thing for me to do.

Truth be told, I’m just one divorce away from turning into a crazy old dog man.

Given my good fortune with female herding dogs, I was very pleased when a one year-old border collie/Australian cattle dog mix popped up and, after she virtually leapt into my son’s lap, it was a done deal.

And let me tell you, Pharrell Williams ain’t got nuthin’ on this dog! Oreo may well be the perfect manifestation of the word “joy!” It’s an absolutely fascinating phenomenon to watch her navigate this boundless existence and it goes something like this!

Oreo 2

“People! I love people! I’m sure they’ll want to pet me. Leaves! I love leaves! They make running around in circles for absolutely no reason sound so much better. Look! It’s Eve! I’m sure she’ll play with me. What! A dirty sweat sock? Let’s grab it and run around the house as fast as we possibly can. You mean all I have to do is sit and I get treats? Wow! What could be better than that? Matthew’s home from school! Yay! A ball! Please throw me the ball and I promise I’ll go get it. Now it’s time to take a nap because I’ve managed to completely wear myself out being so happy!”

Of course, taking Oreo for a walk is a lot like dealing with an ADHD child after eating an entire bag of gummy bears and playing video games for three straight days. God forbid, she should see a squirrel! And what I really want to know is, how can a 31 pound dog so effortlessly drag a 190 pound man wherever she wants?

The amazing thing is, just one short week ago this dog was in a high kill Indiana shelter (and God knows where she was before that), then she spent a couple of days at Rover Rescue in North Aurora, and now she’s suddenly with us. Getting stuck in traffic for five minutes is often cause enough to ruin our day, but nothing seems to phase this dog.

I’m not sure if “resilient” is a strong enough word to describe her.

Eve’s still not too sure about all of this, but adding a new pack member has certainly perked her up a bit. It’s kind of fun watching Oreo follow her lead and Eve loves to come and “tell me” when the new doggie is doing something she shouldn’t be doing.

I’m sure it will be a lot of fun to watch them continue to interact and see Oreo’s true personality come out. Apparently she’s a big fan of Ritz crackers and she’s already proving to be quite the watchdog.

Now, you do have to be careful because, like that proverbial box of chocolates, you don’t know what you’re gonna get when you’re dealing with strays. That said, out of my six adoption attempts, four have worked out fabulously.

Do your due diligence! Research the various breeds and pick a dog that fits your lifestyle. Working dogs are no problem for a runner like me, but if you’re a bit more sedentary, they might just start eating your drywall.

Most shelters and rescues do a reasonable job of determining a dog’s temperament and disposition with children and other pets, but there’s no substitute for meeting the dog (or cat) of your choice – maybe more than once – and seeing how it goes.

The great thing about dogs is, unless they’ve been abused, they can’t wait to figure out how to please you and rescue dogs will be eternally grateful for having a new home. It certainly has been very difficult convincing Oreo that constant licking is not a requirement of her residency.

How often do you get to save a life?

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