Mark this under getting to know your blogger. Today, I’d like to tell you about my pets. Or as I like to call them. My furry alarm clocks. All of my pets are rescue animals. Our dog “Boo”, who was named by the shelter, was found on the side of the road. It was in South-Eastern Kansas (USA). Apparently, a vet saw her starving and bitten by flies on the side of the road. He opened his backseat and she jumped in without being asked. Then two weeks later she was up here in Minnesota waiting to be adopted.
The adoptive agency had not even put her photo up on their site yet. We met her at a large adoption event at Pet Co. There had to be over a hundred dogs and more people. We met about 8 dogs but we couldn’t find the right one. We were there for hours. Finally, my son who had just finished Kindergarten was restless. So my husband took him next door to the toy store. Then I went in search of another dog. I asked one of the volunteers for a friendly dog that was good with children. We have so many kids in our neighborhood, we wanted to be cautious. The volunteer showed me several dogs many of which we had looked at.
Then the volunteer brought me to a cage with an Australian Shepard in it. The dog appeared frightened, but wanted to come with me. I brought it outside. The dog really loved being petted and immediately rolled over for tummy rubs. Then my son and husband came back. My husband said “Who is this?” I told him that I think I found our dog.
My husband had liked another dog, but I wasn’t fond of it. I preferred this one. Then I went and sat down on a bench and my son sat on the other end. The dog immediately jumped up and sat between us. Boo was the only dog that paid attention to my son and I. Other dogs we looked at were more interested what was going on then us.
So finally it came time to choose. My husband had his favorite, I had mine. So our six year old son would have to break the tie. He choose the Australian Shepard “Boo”. She was about a one year old female. We don’t think she is a pure breed. We don’t care about that. We filled out our paperwork, had her get chipped and took her home.
She was so frighted at first. She got physically ill all over our carpet. We had the white builders carpet that so many home builders put in new homes. The previous owners had not ripped it out. Why is white carpet a thing? Anyway, she was so ashamed when that happened. She crawled over to me as if to say “Don’t hurt me.” We had to reassure her she was not in trouble. We gave her rubbed her head and spoke to her in that high pitched baby voice only dog owners know.
In the beginning she was my shadow. Actually, she still is my shadow. It’s a trait of her breed. They call Australian Shepherds the “Velcro” dog. They follow you everywhere. When I say everywhere I mean everywhere too. It’s like having a toddler. For once I would like to go to the bathroom without company.
She wasn’t as keen on my husband though. She seemed scared of him. My husband was confused as to what he had done. I had to reassure him she liked him. We just didn’t know her background. I felt that she had been abused by males in her previous home(s) and that is why she was so fearful. When my husband would grab a leash to take her for a walk she would cower behind me. While we cannot say for certain, I feel whoever abandoned her used a rope to hurt her somehow. For about a year after we adopted her she was skittish over ropes, and leashes if they were held by my husband.
Over time she warmed up to my husband and loves it when he takes her on walks. It’s the only time she leaves me. The minute my husband says the “W” word or grabs the leash she is right there by his side. Happy as a calm. She also waits for him in the window. When she sees his car she runs to the garage door waiting for him to come in.
She also loves my son. Her relationship is a little different with him. She has always checked on him every night since we got her. She also had to walk him to the bus stop and pick him up from the bus stop in elementary school. If she felt that I was going to be late getting him she would bark at me to make sure I didn’t miss the bus dropping him off.
She loves the kids at the bus stop so much that one time she got out of her collar and ran onto the bus just as the door closed. The bus started to pull away with her, and I had to run next to it and bang on the side. Fortunately, the bus driver heard me and stopped. He thought someone forgot something. “No,” I told him. “You have my dog.” He gave me an odd look and I pointed to Boo laying in the middle of the aisle on the bus. Happy as can be. All the kids thought it was hilarious.
After my son went to junior high school, she would still sit in the window and watch the elementary kids get on the bus. When the bus pulls away, she gets down. She really doesn’t care about the parents who are left, just that the kids got on safely. Today, she runs out the door whenever I leave to drop off or get my son. She wants to come along. I’ve tried to say no. She just ignores me and jumps over, or around me and runs out. Once I tried to tell her no and walked over to get her. She ran away from me. I wound up chasing her around the car four or five times. Now I know how Wylie Coyote felt chasing the Road Runner in cartoons. Finally, I gave in.
Sometimes I have tried to fool her with treats. She has endless hunger. My dog trainer said since she was a stray food would most likely always be an issue for her. She cannot be fooled. Once okay. Twice, not on your life. She gives me this look like “I know that trick.” The one where I throw the treat towards the back door and run out the front. Then she gives me another look as if to say “Those treats suck too”.
The vet wants me to keep her weight down. Because of this the treats have been massively reduced in size and quality. Can’t make them too tasty.
She rides very well. When we took our first long car trip as a family, we found out another fear of hers. I think whoever previously owned her took her on a long car trip, removed her collar and left her. About an hour into our first long car trip she jumped from the backseat to my lap in the front seat and just shook. At least I was not driving at the time. She would not leave no matter how much I reassured her.
At the half-way point we took her out to get a walk and she wouldn’t take a step without me. She kept her eye on me at all times. Finally, she agreed to get in the backseat again. We even took her collar off thinking it would make her more comfortable. Wrong. She got so upset and began to nudge the collar in our hands to get it back on. We never take her collar off anymore.
Boo will always be by you when you are sick. When we sleep at night she curls up in her bed at the foot of ours or jumps up on the bed to wedge herself between us. She is so loving I can’t imagine not having her. We love her to bits our furry alarm clock.
Stay tuned for “My Furry Alarm Clock, Part 2- Cat Edition” coming up soon. How does your dog make itself part of the family?