On the drive home from Sacramento, I was thinking of how we ended up with two cars and three dogs. So it’s fitting that I address #NationalPuppyDay today. The two dogs in our car were planned purchases, the first I raised from puppyhood to adulthood since my first dogs were rescues, three of which came from Southland Collie Rescue while I lived in Pasadena.
The third dog, Misty, was a crate in the back of the second car. I was extremely disheartened that her previous owners were now going on with their lives as if Misty never existed. Before we left the orange and white decor of the Motel 6 where we were staying, I noticed they were leaving Residence Club in Hawaii where they had spent their spring vacation. We had spent that week working with our dogs at the Collie Club of America Nationals in the herding and agility trials.
Being more optimistic than my husband, I thought that surely Misty’s first family would want to see her again, want to share in her achievements and maybe even donate to the cost of her training. I invited them to see her train. I invited them to learn about other collies. But it seems that Misty and perhaps even collies in general were a passing fancy and not a passion.
Misty was a birthday present for a young girl. As a young girl I developed a passion for collies thanks to Albert Payson Terhune. On National Puppy Day, I ask: Remember puppies need love that lasts longer than a superficial infatuation. The love must last beyond the teething, the destruction and the training problems.
The people who bought Misty had a big house and a big yard that included a zipline. What they didn’t have is a big heart. They didn’t take the time to train her or even to find someone to train her. The week I took her in her family was preparing to a big ski trip to Mammoth Mountain. While we were being bitten after sleepless nights as we crate-trained her and she howled and dug in indignation, her original family was skiing on the slopes. I like to think they remembered her. My husband is doubtful.
The early morning walks in the park gradually became late afternoon walks because she got better (less reactive) to people, dogs, bicycles, etc. As I was wrestling with her in her agility class in June, her original family was taking a helicopter vacation in Alaska.
While Misty is an exceptionally talented dog, these people had the funds to make sure she was happy and well-adjusted.Her family could contribute to either the GoFundMe campaign or Southland Collie Rescue. As far as I know, they have not. We are budgeting and considering other income opportunities.
Misty was saved by people who aren’t rich, long after she shed her puppy coat, but not her puppy ways. So for Misty’s sake and for the sake of all dogs, remember that a puppy is cute, but you have to love the future adult dog. You have to see the adult dog you want and the adult dog that is possible and work hard to attain that goal.
Whenever I have taken a dog from rescue, I always feel as if someone stole their puppyhood. Those thieves often go unpunished and instead the dog pays the penalty.
On #NationalPuppyDay, look for the dog you will love in the future when you consider adopting a puppy and if you have an adult dog, celebrate the puppy in your dog! Even if its puppyhood was stolen by a faithless friend, make today a happy celebration that you’ll both remember.