You all have heard me say time and time again how I hate the term "rescue" when describing a dog. I feel like folks use the term "rescue" to defend the fact their dog acts like an ass. In addition to the fact I feel like it puts you in a frame of mind to feel sorry for the dogs thus holding it back and not allowing it to move forward with it's life. When I bring a dog into my home I always say that: "To be committed to a dog is to accept no excuses. It is to expect results."
A year ago I drove to Michigan to adopt a Border Collie. Never having a Border Collie before, I was expecting a well behaved dog that was going to worship the ground I walked on. I have never been more wrong about anything in my entire life. It was in the car on the way home from adopting Lilly, that I found a letter from her previous owner, and I remember looking over at The Reluctant Farmer and saying: "What the hell did we just adopt? A gremlin?!"
A gremlin she was.
Lilly was a victim of being loved too much and not having any discipline. She ruled her life by scaring people, and that was a system that worked very well for her. She got exactly what she wanted, to be in control.
What the little darling failed to realize was that I am used to dogs that are edgy and act a little crazy. My breed of choice is the Belgian Shepherd. I LOVE a dog that flips me off and says: "Make me!"
I won't lie that for a minute I was frustrated with this girl. She was a tough nut to crack. But looking back over the last year, I now realize I don't own just a dog. She is my partner. This girl and I work everyday together, and I am so proud of the team we have become.
I have learned so much from Lilly this year, about myself and dogs in general.
1) Lilly is proof that relationships are hard work, but you get out of them what you put into them, and I would not trade the last year of my life with this dog for the world.
2) She frequently reminds me to be a humble dog trainer and person, because just when I think I'm superior due to me being human, she does something that makes me realize dogs are far more intelligent than what humans give them credit for.
3) She reminds me daily that if you're going to work together you need to trust your partner. One of the hardest lessons this year has been learning that without her nose, I am screwed. I can't work without her and she won't work if she is upset, feels like she is being treated unfairly, or thinks she is being ignored. (Really, I have dated women that are less demanding....)
In closing, I just want to say: Happy Gotcha' Day Lilly! My honorary Malinois in a black and white suit. You are by far the coolest thing that has happened to me in many years.