Friday, August 21, 2009

Searching for the Next Service Dog in Training

Could the following 2 photos become a familiar sight for us in the near future??

A 9- week old tri-colored border collie pup hangs out at a dairy cow barn this year at the Bangor State Fair.

Rowena finds herself sharing the field with a border collie puppy named "Lobo" who is the new sibling of her friend Cinco who lives around the corner from us. Cinco met Rosie at the City Forest when Rosie was about this size. Lobo is a bit younger than she was... I think he is about 3 months here? Just bigger than she was. He has blue tipped ears!

Looking back...

8- week old Rowena on her best behavior on our first visit to check her out.

Rowena at 9- weeks old, the first weekend (we got her on a friday) on a visit to "grand ma's" takes a puppy nap in my arms.

"I will never crate my dog" until I realize that is the best way to potty train her. I delayed her potty training by a week because of this "never"

Rowena's first week with us... she knew her name the first day out (day after we got her) and never took off on us.

A skinny 4 month old Rowena wearing her Christmas Bell collar. Here she does her usual 'waiting for mommy'. It took her literally years to bulk her skinny self up! Now she is a healthy slim and svelt 5 year old!

Rosie... slim, fit and Svelt in the City Forest earlier this summer. What a beautiful dog she has turned into!

No, Rosie is not sick, disabled or daying or anything, however at age 5 she isn't getting any younger. Taking in account her poor hips, I have decided to begin training my next service dog who will at least be able to substitute until Rosie truly retires (if she ever decides to do so). I would like to give the new pup at least 3 years to train and become a full fledged service dog and Rosie will be my teacher's aid. Though Rosie is on a supplement that makes her hips function like she is a spring lamb on caffeine, one never knows what the aging process will bring. She may live til she is 16, but will she be able to work that long?? I know she will want to.

The whole experience of purchasing, raising and training Rosie, my first dog and first service dog has been the greatest learning experience I have ever had. Who'd a known I was really a dog person? This dog is my absolute heart. Through the "I will never--- with my puppy" to reality, I have learned so much about raising and training a dog, and I know I am ready to begin the puppy rearing process again. I am pretty sure the next will be a pup, but am trying to stay open minded in case another opportunity shows its self worthy of a try.

And so I begin my search, keeping in mind that I am also looking for a friend for Rosie as well. My husband and I are nearing a big cross-country move, and though I would love to purchase a pup here in Maine, I may have to wait til we have settled in a bit more in our place in Oregon before seeking the next lucky puppy. I have sought out border collie breeders across the US and a few have returned emails. A good pup is not cheap... can range from about $500 up to over $1,000. There are parents' health certs, temperment, testing the pups, and carefully choosing the pup best suited for the job which can be hard if I have fallen in love with the blue merle when the typical black & white scores the best for the job.

I remember how Rosie chose me and how her brothers released themselves of any possibility of being chosen to become my first pup. I remember this little top heavy pup with her whispy tail waving high in the air and her bright brown eyes dancing, demanding all eyes be on her! And I remember how when I picked her up, she leaned right into my shoulder. She just was there... no wiggling or squirming (something I did not experience reccently with some Australian Shepherd pups). I wish someone had taken a picture of that moment. Someone did get a photo of me at home that night, new pup in arms and puppy supplies all around with that "Look at my BABY" look on my face... Total puppy love! Entirely SMITTEN with this whippersnapper! No kitten ever took me like that.

I will post more on the big puppy decision later on as things develop and breeders surface more.


bennysd08 said...

can't wait to hear all about it and see pics when you get him/her!!

Sophia Marie said...

Oh wow! He is ADORABLE! I have a two-year-old border colle named Izzy. She looks like my dog, Izzy is smaller, though.

Great pictures and very cute puppy!


Kris Wiltse said...

Oh how sweet! What great work you're doing. I look forward to reading more!

Kris (Zoe's Mom)