My mom’s cat, Dusty, was gone. He went out one Wednesday, and never returned. After 10 days, it seemed pretty obvious, he was not coming home. At 83, I didn’t want my mom to be alone. I talked her into another pet. But she didn’t want a cat. You can’t control a cat. All the better for me, I’m not a real cat person anyway. We’ll check the shelters. Get an older dog, past the puppy housebreaking/chewing stage. That was fine with her, but she insisted it had to be a purebred. That’s okay, we’ll get her a small dog. One I could train and trial in agility. Okay, I’ll train and trial a small dog. Then came the bombshell. She wanted a Border Collie! Ooookaaaaay, we’ll get a nice OLDER Border Collie.
I left work that Friday, and we hit West Valley Animal Shelter first. Not a single Border Collie. We tried County Animal Control next, they had a 3 year old Aussie I wanted to look at. This poor dog had way too much baggage, fear aggression. Not a dog for my mother to try to deal with. No Border Collies. We went to Humane Society next. They had a Border on their web site I wanted to look at. It was gone, adopted out the day before. But I’m a big believer in fate, and fate saw to it the older Border was gone. Fate led me to the puppy cages instead. There she was. A 5½ month old, smooth coat Border. We got her out of the cage. She clung to us. An hour later, and she’s in the back of my van, on her way to her new home: Trbls Take A Chance On Me, a.k.a. Chansee. So much for that “older” Border Collie.
We stopped and picked up Daniel. He couldn’t believe his eyes. “You got me a black and white? My own black and white!?”
We let them both out together in my mom’s yard. Daniel was ecstatic. He didn’t care if Chansee was growling at him. She was his. He’d waited four years for his own black and white. A little growl wasn’t going to put him off. Soon they were zooming the yard together. In the house, they circled the living room/kitchen, Daniel in the lead, Chansee chasing, around and around. Get out of their way, or be flattened.
The next day, I brought Angel over. I put Chansee in her crate in the kitchen, and let Angel in the house. Angel let out one bark when she saw her. That’s all. One bark. We let Chansee out. Other than a warning bark when Chansee would get in Angel’s face, they got along great. They spent all day, running in and out of the house. By the end of the day Angel was even starting to play with Chansee.
But Sunday, the fun ended. Chansee started with sneezing. Kennel cough? By Monday Chansee was coughing. My dogs were not going to be allowed around her until it cleared up. Two weeks? Three?
Chansee stopped eating. They’re not suppose to go off their feed with kennel cough. Why wasn’t she eating. Could it just be the newness?
I went over the following weekend. She still wasn’t eating. My mom had a plush, life size Border Collie, she called Shadow. She showed it to Chansee. Chansee sniffed it all over, then curled up against it. On the following Monday the light bulb went off. I called my mom. “Bring Shadow down and lay him on Chansee’s bed, then put some kibble under his nose.” She did as instructed. Chansee circled and circled Shadow. She laid in front of him and barked. She puppy bowed. My mom moved a couple of pieces of kibble out. Chansee snuck up, stole and ate them. She moved some more out. Chansee stole and ate them. And so Chansee started eating. She was lonely. She’d apparently had never been an only dog.
On Wednesday she was laying by the front door when the mailman came. She looked up and barked, then ran back to Shadow. She stood by his side, barking, sending sidelong glances at him. “Come on, help me. Let’s get the mailman:”
Thursday she ate all his kibble out from under his nose, then sat back and barked at him. She wanted him to get some more. She’d walk by and glance sideways at him, then puppy bow. She emptied her toy box and brought all her toys to lay in front of Shadow.
Within two weeks she was totally at home. She was eating out of her own dish. Shadow was no longer needed as a crutch. She had milkbones buried all over the house, in chairs, in the laundry, behind tables. Daniel and Angel had a heyday when they were allowed over again. It was like Easter, only milkbones instead of colored eggs.
My mom was only able to enjoy her dog for a year before she passed away, and Chansee became my dog. She has turned out to be one of the most loving, devoted dogs I’ve ever owned. She has excelled, not only as a companion, but in both the agility and obedience ring. She loves to compete and will try to drag me into the obedience ring before its even our turn.
Chansee is proof that a rescue dog can do it all.