Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"New Friends"

Two weekends ago when we went over to Saxl Park so Rowena could run in the field, pulling in to the parking lot after us was a woman and her Border Collie, "Kaleen", whom Ro and I had met in the field a few weeks before in the field. Kaleen is not one of those canine social Border Collies so she was not real thrilled to see the rambunctious Rowena again. However, with a few alpha takedowns, Kaleen walked down the path with us interacting with Rowena's energetic advances as little as possible. Kaleen's mom voiced how she wished that Kaleen would play with other dogs. I can't help thinking now how much easier Rowena's service dog work would be if she weren't such a social butterfly.

We were half-way through our walk when we saw a woman walking a dog on a leash. Rowena had to go check the dog out, however I was able to slow down her pace a little as she charged forth through the grass. That is when I noticed that the woman was walking another Border Collie... one I had not met before. The poor pup was wearing a Halti head collar and was trying to keep track of Rowena as she darted around her to sniff her out. The owner told us how the dog's obedience class instructors told her she was an aggressive dog. At this point, Neither I nor Kaleen's mom or Chris could see any aggression... and if there were to be any, nothing would bring that out like a hyper young Border Collie zipping around in her personal space. We talked the dog's mom into letting the dog off the leash to see how she'd do. Mom had never let the dog off the leash to play freely among other dogs and both Kaleen's mom and I were eager to see the dog in all her Border Collie glory out there for all to see. It took a little coaxing, but soon the dog realized she was free to play. That was when we finally got to meet "Meg", an eight year old, smooth coat, tri-color Border Collie. Her mom, Martha told us that she and he husband had purchased her through a friend. Meg was a rescued dog from Arkansas. Martha says she thinks Meg had been abused as she was so jumpy and skiddish when they had first gotten her two years previous. Meg and Rowena hit it off immediately. All of us watched with such happiness, as if we had freed a wild animal back into it's natural habitat. Meg bounded easily around with Rowena, keeping to the "circling-around-the-flock" style that Border Collies always seem to play in. Her herding instincts were easily seen in how she played with Ro. She was a beautiful sight to see. I took pictures as Kaleen's mom again voiced how she wished her dog would play like that. They (Kaleen and her mom) had to leave, but we remained in the field to let the two frolicking dogs a chance to unwind some energy and get to know each other. I gave Martha a "Border Collie Buddies" card so that I could send Martha the photos of Meg and Rowena playing together and so that we could set up other playdates. I think we had just enriched the life of this Border Collie's life and convinced her mom that she is not aggressive. She is actually a great dog and interacted wonderfully with Rowena. She is ALL Border Collie... not at all showing any signs of age, just all of the enthusiasm of a pup. Rowena had made a new friend!

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