How you picked out your dog

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Kimberly Ward
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Location: North Vernon, Indiana, USA

How you picked out your dog

Post by Kimberly Ward » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:30 am

I was just wondering how some of you picked out your dog and why? Did you go to a pound? A breeder? Did you save a random stray from the streets? If you picked one from a litter did you do so because of their health or attitude or color?

I picked out my little dog black dog at a pound (think hes a patterdale terrier) because for one i could only get a small dog because of where i lived at the time. He was returned to the pound by multi people because of his 'issues' so i knew he needed help. Now that i think back on it I can pick out the causes of some of his problems. From what i was reading his breed is not for the life style of that area. He loves to dig and has helped dig up tree stumps...getting him to stop when he finds an ants nest is a challenge though.

I picked out my medium dog also at a pound. I found her online and had to go look at her. Vet said she is border collie/brittany spaniel. She was the sweetest dog id met so i got her for graduating high school. She seems to have a nack for hunting possums XD

My newest dog i found in a newspaper. There was a litter of GSD/Lab (I really really wanted a GSD) and he was the only one that would go away from the others and check stuff out. Although i found out he was afraid of the dark when i got him home. :lol: So far he has been the easiest dog to train/ He loves water and the air vents.
There is no such thing as a bad dog, just ignorant owners.

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Nettle
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by Nettle » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:17 pm

My very first one came from Rescue. I had 'ordered' her in that I'd been homechecked and then said 'what I want is..' A week later they had exactly what I had asked for. She was incredibly thin, very scared and with huge luminous eyes.

Fast-forward four years and she had proved such a talented working dog (in those days Rescues would place dogs in working homes) that I bred from her.

I've bred all my dogs ever since. How do you choose a pup from a litter? When they are 'yours' and you are with them so much, caring for them day and night, one always stands out as the one you must keep.

Mr. Nettle's current dog is bought in - I told him I would pick the litter and he would pick the pup (as his previous 2 dogs were puppy-farm disasters, and probably the ones before then were too). She was advertised in a country sports paper, the breeding was right, the price was right, and there was only one b itch - so she came home :) We don't breed the terriers as there is an endless supply of good terriers if you know where to look.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Sarah83
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by Sarah83 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:31 pm

I was saving up and looking for a good breeder of English Bull Terriers, Boxers or Rotties, all breeds on my wish list, and in the meantime decided to volunteer at my local shelter. As I was being shown round this scruffy looking dog launched himself at me, grabbed my hand as I went to stroke him, zoomed off and leaped onto the top of his kennel. It was love at first sight and I brought Rupert home on a trial period (he was an excessive barker and I lived in a flat) the next day.

My border collie my mum picked. Easy decision as he was the only male in the litter. I picked our Rottie mix. My cousins dog had a litter of 9 pups and I spent pretty much all day every day round there with them. Wolf looked like a rat when he was born and was the biggest, fattest, laziest puppy in the litter. Unfortunately Wolf and I had issues, he was extremely soft and I was all about dominance at that point, I scared him. He was rehomed with my uncle where he lived happily until he was 14. I got to visit him several times and he was always happy to see me and completely lost his fear of me :D

JudyN
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by JudyN » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:02 pm

I was looking for a rescue lurcher, undecided as to whether to get a puppy or adult - we have a cat and not that many lurchers in rescue are cat friendly, but puppies in rescue would have unknown parentage and we knew we wanted a large rough-coated dog. Then I spotted a litter for sale on a forum - there were pics of both mum and dad, both beautiful and well loved, and the mum was only ever going to have one litter so they weren't just in it for the money. So we decided to take a five-hour drive 'just to look' (hahahaha, yeah, right), though of course had to buy dog equipment just in case...

There were two left in the litter. One joined in with the complete thuggery of his littermates, attacking our hands and ripping our shoelaces to pieces, while the other one sat next to my son (whose dog it was originally going to be, but that's another story), chewing his long hair and staring up thoughtfully at him. I knew we shouldn't go for the quietest one in the litter, so we chose the thug... We heard later on that the quiet one was a little angel, house-trained within days, sleeping in his crate, and now happily catches rabbits and returns them to his owner.

I think we made several mistakes in our choice, and Jasper has been a challenge at times, but in a way I think we're closer because of the work I've had to put in.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Suzette
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by Suzette » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:09 pm

I probably shouldn't admit this, but every single one of my dogs, I did it "wrong". :mrgreen: And every single one has turned out to be a rare and wonderful gem of a dog.

My first sheltie, I called a woman with an ad in the newspaper. She had a female sheltie, her neighbor had a male sheltie, and, well, you can figure out the rest. When I went to look at the litter (a large one for shelties, 6 puppies), all but one kept running up to us, tails wagging and ready for attention and playtime. But one female kept retreating under a bush and keeping out of the fray of her boisterous siblings. Most folks would have passed her over for being too shy, standoffish, whatever, but she captured my attention and my heart and soon I knew it had to be her. She was the one. And I never once regretted it. Shelley was truly that special dog that comes along once perhaps twice if you're very lucky in your lifetime. She and I were always in sync with each other. It was as if she could read my mind, always being one step ahead of me, knowing what I wanted or expected. A lovely, wonderful dog. And guess what? She turned out to be a friendly, happy dog that had no problems with insecurity or shyness in all the years we had her. :D

My second dog was an impulse buy at a local pet shop. (And no, these were not puppy mill puppies. This was the one and only pet shop, run by a local family, that all the vets in the area endorsed since all their puppies came from reputable, local breeders.) Molly was a golden retriever that for some reason lingered as her brothers and sisters all went to their new homes. Again, many folks don't want the leftover dog that everyone else has passed by, but she was another gem. Smart, loyal, playful and sweet we were blessed to have her for thirteen years before heart problems took her from us.

My next two dogs were adult rescues that came with some issues that seemed perhaps beyond my capabilities at the time, but they needed us and so we muddled through all the rough patches and somehow came out the other end a bit battered and bruised, (figuratively) but all the better for getting through it together. Both dogs (a male sheltie and then a golden mix) were sweet and wonderful additions to our family that are missed to this day. Both lived to a ripe old age until heart problems took them as well.

And now there's Piper, our Corgi puppy. I did extensive research on this breed and knew this was the breed for us, but when it came time to get a puppy, none of the local breeders had litters at the time. I contacted a breeder in a neighboring state and based only on a picture and a twenty minute phone conversation with the breeder, I set out on a three hour trip to get our puppy. Again, not the recommended way to start an approximately twelve year commitment! But again, some instinct told me this was "our" puppy and again, I couldn't be happier with our girl. She is everything we had hoped for and much, much more.

So, while I wouldn't necessarily recommend choosing your dogs the way I have for all my adult life, somehow it has always turned out perfectly for all of us.Each time I followed my instinct, even when other's said I was crazy, and it's always worked out beautifully. :D
My avatar is Piper, my sweet Pembroke Corgi. b. 5/11/11

Flyby
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by Flyby » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:48 pm

With my Ridgeback, I knew what I wanted, but didn't know a soul in the breeders world. So I went through the Owners club, and found a litter of pups due shortly afterwards and put my name down for one. Not the cheapest option perhaps, but I have no regrets. Odin is a star. I forget the numbers in the litter, but the b itches were all spoken for, but I got the pick of the dogs. He has a great pedigree, but I didn't have plans to breed or show him. Odin was the first out the box, and seemed the most alert and friendly. All the pups were round about the same size, but Odin's skin was so loose and baggy they had called him Crinkle. We speculated this likely meant he was going to be a big dog, and that suited me fine. It's all turned out perfectly. So well in fact, I may think twice about breeding with him, although he probably is too big to ever be a champion in the ring.

Quite the reverse with Pippin my Border Terrier. My mother once lived in the house where Pip was born. Though not very well, I knew the Breeders for both paren dogs, and knew the vet too. The reason I knew there were pups due was a sign on the gate I saw every day I walked Odin. I also had 2 previous Borders, (not from the same place), both b itches, so for a bit of variety I bought a dog.

Getting my two dogs are the two best decisions I've ever made.

abbyneo
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by abbyneo » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:28 pm

Sammy, my lab mix who lives at home with my parents, was acquired for me by my parents through a rescue. His original name was "Tubby" because of his round shape. He was the cutest puppy I've ever seen! (of course everyone thinks that of their own!) He grew up to be over 100 pounds and eventually we found out that he has thyroid problems, but they're under control now. My fiancee and I recently moved to Texas from Illinois, but Sam stayed home with my parents at their house where he doesn't have to live in an apartment and deal with the Texas heat.

Abby, boxer, my fiancee's and my first "child," has a very interesting story. Throughout college and after, I worked at a veterinary clinic back in Illinois. Along with three veterinarians and numerous assistants, the clinic also housed two donor dogs..dogs that were not perfect and would likely never be adopted by anyone due to their issues (pit bull with hip problems, etc). While I was working there, one of the donor dogs died. The other receptionist visited the pound to rescue a dog whose "time was up" to bring back to replace the donor dog. In exchange for us saving her from euthanasia, Abby came back to the clinic to save other sick dogs' lives. Abby was taken to the pound by her previous owners because of her "kid-aggression," but once we started to get to know her, we realized that it was probably more of a case of abuse. It broke my heart to see Abby in a kennel all the time at the clinic while her big brown eyes stared at me. My fiancee, who is an avid runner, began coming to the clinic to pick Abby up and take her for runs in the woods and to the park. They quickly became attached to each other, and when we decided to move to Texas 5 months ago, she came along with us! She is an absolute angel..we like to say that she rescued us, not the other way around. When we moved, I didn't have a job, and we didn't know anyone, so it was just she and I home by ourselves while my fiancee worked. I don't know what I would have done without her!

I mentioned my fiancee being a runner..I actually introduced him to the Rhodesian breed before we even started dating. I had been watching a show about dogs and there were some fascinating facts about Rhodesians so I told him all about them. Ever since, he has wanted to get one to be his running partner. A week ago today, we brought Neo, 11 weeks, home from Dallas. She was in a home that had 2 Doberman puppies, a small child, and a newborn, so the previous owners' hands were just too full. My fiancee found an ad for her on the internet, and we drove 10 hours round trip to get her :) She is a crazy girl, but a great addition to our family.

Fundog
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by Fundog » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:36 pm

Both of my girls are rescues: Annie is from a kill shelter, and it was love at first sight. (sigh) It's funny, really, because she wasn't in the main kennel with the other dogs, so I didn't see her at first. I was about to leave, feeling disappointed, as none of the dogs there really "clicked" with me; then the AC officer asked whether I was looking for a puppy or an adult, and would I be interested in a spaniel mix? So she brought Annie out from the back room. (sigh again) It was soooo hard to leave her there, but the next day I brought Mr. Fundog, and we bailed Annie out of jail forever. :mrgreen:

I found Dottie on the internet, advertised by a rescue agency. We drove 500 miles round trip to bring her home, and have never looked back. :mrgreen:
If an opportunity comes to you in life, say yes first, even if you don't know how to do it.

ladybug1802
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by ladybug1802 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:10 am

Dylan is a rescue.....I knew I wanted a dog, and wanted a medium sized dog (It would b practical for me to have a huge dog, but also, at 5ft 11 I thought I might look a bit silly with a very tiny dog!!)...but that is the only requirement I had really. I am quite active so a dog who needed a lot of exercise was fine with me, but equally, a less active dog would also be fine too. I did also want a dog (ideally) that was 'easy' (in as much as that is possible) so that if need be people could go into the house to feed/walk him.....so that bit didnt turn out as planned!!

I found it heartbreaking looking on rescue websites....I went to Battersea with a friend before I was looking and was in tears the whole way round. I went to a smal rescue not far from me tolook round...needless to say wanted to take them all! Then I went a second time, and Dylan was in a litle room, all skinny and nervous and sad looking...and I fell in love! He weas very subdued, didnt realy want to go for a walk over the fields and kept pulling back and looking scared, and I just wanted to take him home and save him!

Its funny though, because in the office when I was paying and doing the paperwork, he was very friendly to people.....its just a shame that we have had the issues with strangers that we have had...but I actually am glad of it as it has taught me more than I could imagine, and has changed the way I approach (or dont approach!) other dogs. And we really are tuning a corner now....I took him to a horse show yesterday after his walk to watch a few friends who were competing......I nearly burst with pride as he voluntarily pulled over to my friend and her mum to sniff them, they fed him a treat and he was happi;ly snuffling round them while they stroked him! He has never met them before. He also did the same to 2 other friends. But I digress....sorry!

MissCarla
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by MissCarla » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:01 am

With Bear, my husband and I went to the local humane society 'just to look' :roll:. I remember every dog in the place was barking except for him. He was just standing quietly and looking at me like 'Hey, come say hello!' I went over to his kennel and put my palm against the cage, where he gave me a big lick and an excited wiggle. We took him into a room they have that simulates a living room, he jumped up on my lap and that was that. I knew I had met my new best friend.

When we got Casey, we planned more carefully, but we were planning to get a totally different dog! We found a small female at a local dog warden shelter who looked like a miniature Bear, but when we went to see her, she was gone. The very lovely woman asked if we would want to look at some other dogs and of course we did. The first one was not impressed with Bear (who came with us). She nipped at his mouth and was pretty growly. Soooo we then looked at another dog (Casey!) who was so sweet, shy and gentle that we absolutely had to have her! Of course her personality has grown the more she overcomes her fears, but Bear is happy to let her be 'The Boss'.

For our next dog (a long, LONG time from now :lol: ), husband and I are going to get a puppy. I've never had the opportunity to raise a puppy and I'm really excited to put all of my knowledge from this site to use!

MPbandmom
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by MPbandmom » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:34 am

Well.... I didn't actually pick out my dogs. My son did. He and his wife had lost a pregnancy and she was very down. She had been wanting a puppy, so they journeyed across the street from the AFB they were stationed at to the local animal shelter where they found a litter of 8 week old husky lab mix puppies that had been turned in by a breeder. I have heard that Sky was chosen because of her blue eyes, and I have heard that she was chosen because the was the calmest of the litter. Apparenlty that calm lasted until she was wormed and once she felt better she was ready to play nonstop. They took her everywhere. If she got tired while they were out walking, my son would pick her up and carry her and she would wrap her front legs around his neck and put her head on his shoulder just like a baby.

A few months later the wife went home for a visit with family and never returned. A month later my son brought Sky up with him to see if he could convince his wife to come back and ended up leaving Sky with her. Back at the base no wife and no dog, he journied back across the street to the animal shelter looking for another dog.

This time he wanted an adult dog. He didn't want to mess with house training again. He test walked a few dogs, but none of them seemed like the one. Then he went to the puppy room and wandered around. He was just about to leave the puppy room empty handed when he noticed a little puppy in a cage all by herself and this little puppy looked like she could have been a sister to Sky. This little one was 4 or 5 months old and had been picked up as a stray. He was never certain if her name was Candy or Pandy as he said the workers at the shelter said both. (I think either name would suit her beautifully.) He took her home and she pooped and peed and threw up in his car on the way home. (poor baby)

He had decided she would be an outdoor dog, to avoid the whole housetraining issue, but he said she really didn't go along with that idea. She would follow him upstairs but then didn't know how to go back down the stairs, so he would have to pick her up and carry her down while she was freaking out about being carried all the way down the stairs. He named her Sirius because he was on a celestial theme. He had Sky and he had been given a cat named Orion, so he went for another name along the same theme.

Sky was later returned to him by the couple that his wife took up residence with. (long story) He and both dogs later ended up back at home with me after which point, he left and they stayed. As he is back home again for a second time, he still claims they are his dogs, but I have provided all of their care and training for the past 4+ years and still continue to be their main source of outings and training so I disagree with him on that point.
Grammy to Sky and Sirius, who came to live with me, stole my heart, and changed my life forever as I took over their care and learned how to be a dog owner.

jilldiane
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by jilldiane » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:38 am

With my Lurcher Keira I did not really pick her as such, we had recently lost our lurcher and feeling ready to home another I contacted a sighthound rescue. They asked if we could possibly take two, they had in sisters who where not doing to well in kennels, we could indeed take two so Abbie and Keira came to live with us. Sadly we lost Abbie to cancer this July. My Podenco Canario is down to just just fate, in may `10 we answered a request for someone to drive to France to pick up 4 Podencos destined to go into kennels in Bristol then on to foster homes. They should have flown to the UK but the volcanic ash cloud put a stop to that,after flying to main land Spain from the Gran Canary they could get no further by air the rescue had got them as far as France into temporary kennels but needed a driver to get them to UK. It should have been straight forward drive to France collect them drive back drop them off job done. Did not quite happen like that the vet in France had treated them with a flea and lice product not approved by DEFRA so we had to get them treated again and wait 24hrs before leaving France. We found a hotel that would take 4 dogs and spent the night with 4 semi-feral scared hounds! one of them Flecha was particularly frightened but seemed to bond or at least cling to my husband. Back in UK we dropped them off telling ourselves all the way home no way could we home a dog like that no-way at all!!!! couple weeks later I hear Flechas foster home has fell through and we are straight back down to Bristol collecting her :D She remains scared, nervous but she has come on such a lot and she is so worth the effort. So I did not actually pick my dogs but I`m so glad they are mine.

harryjacobs
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by harryjacobs » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:09 am

I current dogs an Italian Greyhound, was picked for us, through a breeder in the Toronto Area, This breed is pretty uncommon in Canada with less than 10 registered breeders across the country. The breeder had only a couple of campanion dogs due to recieving a couple of dogs from an IG breeder who fell ill. If you have read some of my posts, she has a bit of a problem with me, and is very timid around others. While I am convinced an IG was the right decsion, I think in the future, I would rather have a choice of the dog I choose, one clue for me would be the fact that she would have been the dog at the back of the pen. She is coming along, more reading on the site, suggest that a fear stage is not uncommon and may last for a few more months.

Our new Chihuaua, I was able to select from the horde (5) of puppies the breeder had. All the pups when I saw them could not wait to line up to be petted and talked too. We picked the runt of the litter, who has turned out to be outgoing, well socialized and loves people. We are working on other dogs at the moment, I took him to Diamonds Obedience trainning class last week so he would be around other dogs. He seemed to be fine after awhile, he also plays with our cat, who bats him around (20lb cat) but he just eats it up and comes back for more.

Diamond over the week has done better with the Chihuaua in terms of timindness, the playing has mellowed her out some, I think having another dog to play with is a lot of fun for her, as before she did not seem to have a lot of fun in the house, as I could not get her to interact with me with toys or balls. Its a riot watching the two of them with toys, she steals the toys and jumpls up on the couch where Thor can't get them. Then she drops it on the floor and thor steals it back and she goes and gets it again.

Harry

thepennywhistle
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by thepennywhistle » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:59 pm

I have rarely had the opportunity to pick out a dog to take home. Circumstances usually have shaped my decision to take a dog home, but most of the time it has worked out well.

I did get to choose my very first dog. I grew up in a family that bred Dachshunds -- back in the 50s when they were big badger hounds, not weenie weiner dogs. Other relatives had toy poodles and pekinese. And I adored horses. I wanted BIG! So when the last of our doxy bitches died, I started a campaign for the GSH of my dreams. We found a breeder, I read everything I could on selecting a puppy, spent time playing with all of the puppies, and chose a little female. And
then my mother chose the other female for me, who was quieter and preferred to sleep during our play times. She turned out to be the only pup in the litter with hip dysplasia. She was a great dog and taught me soooo much, but we had to give her up due to her pain. When she was 7 months old, and I was 12, she threw herself through a glass door to protect me from a rapist who had forced his way inside while I was alone. I've been sold on the breed ever since. During that time we also took in another doxie, given to us by our long-time vet. Max had been brought in to be PTS'd once his owner left for college. Vet said sure thing, then called me.

My next dog was another GSD. I'd said no to getting another big dog, but a coworker of a friend had decided to breed GSDs, and once the responsibility of placing these puppies came up, they panicked at the responsibility and decided NOT to breed GSDs and wanted to give away the puppies to people they chose. My friend sold them on me. In order to keep peace with my friend, I agreed to meet them in a parking lot to look at this puppy, say 'no thank you' and leave. They shoved this enormous sable puppy into my arms, and while I was occupied with puppy breath and puppy kisses, they threw her registration papers on the seat of my car and drove away very fast. And so I shrugged, piled the puppy I'd already fallen in love with into the car, and went home with the one who would prove to be the best working dog I've ever had. She helped with the horses, guarded the kittens, protected me from everything from uninvited scary men to a vicious gang of geeze that homsteaded my garage. Kate was the best.

Roommate came home with a collie rescue, who just melted my heart. Not a border collie, but a big rough Scotch Collie, a Lassie. Who was named Lassie. All that love of Lassie came flooding back, and suddenly I was eager to explore this new breed. Gentle, quiet, intelligent, protective, nurturing...they are wonderful dogs. Since then I have had almost 30 collies through my hands as rescues and gifts. My first non-rescue collie I bought from some a breeder I'd come to know on line. He was a lovely dog, and a true joy, everything Lassie ever showed us on television, but I didn't meet him until the crate arrived at the airport.

My beloved Liam, a collie who actually looked like Lassie, was the result of a booboo litter between my Cassidy and a rescue ***** who was supposedly spayed and was not. I got to choose him from the litter, though actually he chose me. He would leave mom and crawl to me before his eyes opened, and he had my heart from the moment he drew breath. He worked horses for me, defended the farm, chased away every single helicopter that passed overhead, and raised orphan kittens for me (another rescue service). Sadly, he died from bloat as a young dog. I still miss him so badly.

WIth his loss I was so miserable. I had to get another dog. I found a blue headed white collie puppy on on line at Petfinder, in a rural kill shelter, dumped there at 3-4 months old. I'd always wanted a white collie, and I couldn't imagine a collie
puppy being thrown in a shelter at such a young age, so I claimed her. Shortly after Rowan arrived, terrified of everything, especially hands, loud voices, and leashes, a fight broke out on a collie online chat group about a fellow who had, at the end of his breeding career of spectacular dogs, tried a merle-to-merle breeding resulting in white merles or double dilutes or whatever you want to call them. He couldn't bring himself to put them down, and was looking for homes for two of them. The worse was a blue pup with no eyes at all and very very limited hearing in one ear. One person on this list was savage, demanding that any decent breeder would make the hard decisions and "clean up his own mess and put his defective puppies down himself." I objected, and she challenged me that if I cared so much, why didn't I take that puppy. So I did. That was
my Piper. Sweet, funny, gentle, super intelligent, just a joy -- unless he ran over you while playing. His disabilities were so easy to live with, and in fact, much of the time I'd forget he was different. He was obedience trained through touch commands, though the recall was problematic. He was fearless as long as he could touch me, and we went out just like any
other dog on walks and car rides. After that, I realized the plight of these collies. I don't approve of their being bred, (Piper's breeder was so horrified that he never repeated it), but I don't like these dogs being destroyed because "they'd have no quality of life." Piper proved to me that they can live very happy, normal lives if someone can put a little time into making it happen, so I took in one from another major breeder as a gift, one from a local rescue who had no idea what they had, and another through a separate rescue, who shipped her to me. Chose none of them myself, love them all.

I think, if I have any more dogs after this lot is gone, I may get a greyhound. I've had almost 30 collies come through my hands, and I'm ready for a change now I'm a senior. I think I will try a greyhound next time. I love the way they look at you, just right into your heart, their elegance, their gentle demeanor, and the fact that compared to collies they are nearly bald. And the way things have gone in the past, I probably will have no choice in that one either, but the dogs I have had come into my life have been special, and I know he/she will be just right.

emmabeth
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Re: How you picked out your dog

Post by emmabeth » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:49 am

I have picked some of mine and not others..

First theres Rocky, I desperately wanted a dog when I left the supported housing system I was then living in, aged 20. I had heard of a litter of pups from the lurcher girl who lived at a nearby pub but at the time couldn't have one as I was still in a 'no pets' bedsit.

Then I got my own flat and as luck would have it, one of the pups had been rehomed but then the daughter who wanted him had revealed she was pregnant (at 14) and her Mum had said 'puppy or baby, not both!' so puppy lost out.

I went to their house to see him and he was as far from a lurcher as you can imagine (and still is!) and I found myself ten minutes later, battling down the road with this unsocialised 4/5 month old pup on a tatty chain lead, he was terrified of EVERYTHING!

Poor lad, he spent the first two weeks sat on my window sill waiting for the other girl to come back for him, before finally deciding that I was now his mum (and now if i am away, he sits on the window sill looking for me!).

Dilly dog I did pick, from a ferretty shed somewhere in Bolton. His mum was a merle collie greyhound mix, and his dad was a bedlington whippet x. I had my heart set on a blue, fuzzy little lurcher and chose him at 6 weeks old though he looked like a fat furry black thing and not much like a lurcher at all!

Between him and Rocky they taught me a LOT.

Then came The Orange Dog, Abby, now at the bridge. I was ACTUALLY looking for a Deerhound, we had recently lost a collie x I was fostering long term for a friend and the LAST thing I wanted was a middle aged, smooth coated grumpy b itch.

So then my sister told a friend of hers I liked lurchers and before I knew it, his father turned up with this tatty great orange creature, with ears like an airplane and terrified of everything, handed me the lead and drove off. I had to shout him back to find out her name (Gabi) which i promptly changed as she just wasn't a Gabi at all!

She was a saluki x greyhound and arrived here aged 9 and made me fall in love with saluki types - she left here aged 15 with the sun on her back and a piece of cake in her mouth, and for a dog I never ever wanted she left the biggest hole ever!

I did get my Deerhound in the end, when Abby was 13 or so - after a year or so of talking to a breeder and visiting her hounds. I didn't really choose Kelda, she was one of two bitches and the breeder decided which one I was to have, and i was happy with that as she knew them far better than me.

Errol was a purely selfish addition - I grew up around a family friends two Tibetan Terriers and always wanted one, so started researching them and got in touch with a breeder who had had some people change their mind on a puppy. He was the last of the litter and a right cocky little chap who I knew would not be too worried about moving to a house full of much bigger dogs. In that aspect I was right, but I don't think I would get a pup at older than 8 weeks again as he had missed out on some socialisation. We love him though despite some of his less appealing characteristics!

Ellie - when the Orange Dog died I said we would wait and see who turned up and not actively seek another like her. But, within six weeks of her going someone got in touch with me about a saluki x afghan girl in need of a home. I said we were interested but said to myself, that if this started to involve being messeda bout by rescues and general stress, then it wouldn't happen. If it all flowed naturally then it would.

As far as I was concerned, I saw her photo,got homechecked and passed, spoke to her then current owner, arranged a place to meet and pick her up and that was it, it all went without fuss....

As it turns out the previous owner cancelled the whole thing at least twice without me knowing and even on the day she was handing her to her neice and nephew to drive up to where I was she tried to call it all off!

I never knew any of this though, and Ellie came to join us last July and I really do think, the Orange Dog sent her to us!
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

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