Well, it has been just over a year since I last posted here, and in fact, this week marked the one year anniversary of our adoption of Tessie from Atlantic Region Central Border Collie Rescue in Richmond, Virginia. Here’s a link to their organization:
We took some time to mourn the loss of our girls – after Gracie’s year-long battle with renal failure, we committed ourselves to enjoying what was left of our time with Sofie the Chow Mix. Eventually, you realize that the company of a dog is essential to your well-being. Once we realized we had come to that point, we knew it was time.
And it’s hard to believe our pack has been together a year already. Tessie is a great dog, a hug bag. Gracie was a border collie, of course, but Tessie is proof that even though the genetic material is pretty much the same, what you end up with can vary widely.
Gracie was driven by the natural working instinct of the breed, so that she was always there with a ball to play fetch. And Sofie, our loving chow mix – she was motivated by pure canine-ness, very protective and watchful, but very much a companion dog. It’s funny to think how Tessie has personality traits that combine both of these – but in a way that make her her own dog.
Tessie came from a difficult environment, we suspect maybe even an abusive situation at a puppy mill in southwest Virginia. But I was pleasantly surprised when I went outside yesterday, in the morning, after I let Tessie out into the backyard first thing. When I got to where I could see her down in the yard, she had grabbed a stick and tossed it into the air…that’s new behavior. Tessie is finally coming into her own, settling in with us, so that now she’s inventing games. It’s a heartwarming thought.
If you’re thinking of getting a dog, Mary and I encourage you to think rescue first. In the US and other countries, there are plenty of breed specific organizations like ARCBCR; there are others like Lost Dog and Cat Rescue (http://lostdogrescue.org/); or maybe best of all, you can find a good, worthy dog at your local shelter.