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The Fosterer’s story:
This chap told a typical Collie-Rescue story. He was an 18 month old (adolescent!) Border Collie when he first arrived with us. From what we saw, it seemed he hadn’t had as much exercise as he needed. He hadn’t had enough mental stimulation to satisfy his busy brain. He had no respect for boundaries. He didn’t understand the body language of other dogs. Anything that was presented to him in terms of a ‘normal family home’, blew his mind. A succession of volunteers kindly helped him on his way, the 200 miles from his home to be with us in foster. He dragged the final (bemused) volunteer transporter through the door and entered the house like a tornado. Once he arrived in the lounge, he made his presence known by barking continuously. Realisation hit that we had our work cut out!
It took almost six months for Taeko (and us) to be ready to take brave steps towards finding his forever home. He had a big, long list of ‘requirements’ for him to live a ‘normal’ life and needed a knowledgeable, experienced ‘collie’ home. Life for Taeko was one big game…on his terms. Yes, he’d learnt his name. Yes he could lay on his bed in the lounge and relax (for short periods). Yes, he was learning that he didn’t need to bark at everyone and everything, but he still had a long road of rehabilitation and training ahead.
Accepting a cute, fluffy vulnerable, needy dog into your home is tough. They often turn your world and your heart upside down. Then after six months of blood, sweat and tears, it’s extra hard preparing to say goodbye and in Taeko’s case, we prepared ourselves for the fact that he may not be going anywhere due to his ‘high needs’! Then one day, an email came through to say that someone was interested in adopting him. I figured that after chatting with them and giving a warts ‘n’ all description, they’d run for the hills. They didn’t. They’d had experience with a similar Border Collie chap and were still interested. Mixed emotions of excitement, trepidation and sadness flooded in. Often adopters don’t get to meet their new dog until D-Day (delivery or collection day!); seeing is believing and they’d agreed to take him on without meeting him beforehand. We took our little ASBO-dog up to his potential adopter, handed him over. It was either ‘our work is done’ or ‘let’s drive away and await a call to say it’s not working and they want to send him back’.
No matter how many dogs you foster, they always make you shed a tear; its always hard. Is it worth it? EVERY TIME, because we all love a ‘happy ever after’, don’t we?! So, did Taeko get his ‘happy ever after’? …
Taeko’s Foster Mummy, Karen
The Adopter’s Story:
Taeko. We first met this complicated handsome chap on handover day in Bedfordshire on the field behind our daughter’s house. A bit barky was an understatement! After a chat with his brilliant FM and a run on the field, we put him in our car with his ridiculously small dog bed as a comforter. He travelled really well up to our home in North Lincolnshire. He met our two old Collies without any problems and he settled in fairly smoothly. We had early wobbles with him especially taking him for walks, he was a little nervous and over excitable on the lead and certain noises (that we still haven’t truly fathomed out) set him off. Yes, he did nip us in the early weeks, but we knew that he needed a chance and we were prepared to give it. He still doesn’t like to be groomed or confined in tight spaces, but we know that and work through it. He is a complicated emotional chap, but he is also extremely loving and rewarding. His bark is the loudest that we have ever heard on a Collie, but his big brown eyes can melt your heart.
Taeko’s Mum & Dad