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Old 09-29-2009, 05:54 PM
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JoeLacy JoeLacy is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Default The Story of Peyton

All my dogs with the exception of one came from the Dallas area city dog pound. No history, no clues, no papers and pot luck so my selection process might be different than some. I can't even be sure mine is 100% aussie although everyone agrees she's either 100% aussie or aussie/border. I didn't pick her because she was one or the other, but instead looked at very specific traits from a set of criteria I laid out before I went dog shopping. I went looking for 3 breeds, Heeler, Aussie or Border. It's the hard way to do it I agree, but pound dogs needs homes too and there are indeed some diamonds in the rough even there as you'll read as this story unfolds.

I have not regretted my final choice for even one second, but I looked at many dogs to get to that point. I spent 10 hours over two days at the dog pound with Peyton out in the yard and just her and I before I said yes to make sure what I thought I was seeing was true. It was... and today, I'm as convinced as ever I was right and she's turned out to be an awesome dog by almost anyone's standards and getting better every month.

Her story is really quite interesting and a testimonial to this dog NOT to me. In a nutshell she was a completely ferrel outside dog who had never been on a leash, seen a tennis ball or never been in the car and this is at 6month old according to the vet at the dog pound.

Why in the world would I pick this dog out of the 100's I saw? It wasn't what she could do, it was her core potential. I saw signs...what did I see and how did I arrive at the conclusion?

My first impression was with misgivings. I found her by chance. I was cruising all the pens for dogs that were adoptable, then I wandered into the quarantine area not even knowing it, after looking there I came across a little dog sitting in front of the cage, not in the back, sitting very quietly while the rest of the room was in barking chaos. I thought I knew what she was, an Aussie. I put my finger to the cage and she licked it, very very gently. I told my son who was with me to look at this one and his first comment was Mousey. I agreed, but there was something about her calmness, sensitivity and expression that caught my attention.

I ask about her at the font desk, she was brought in as a stray, they estimated 6 months old, she was either and aussie or an aussie/border mix. She had Kennel cough and would have to stay in quarantine for 10 days. I put my name on this list too be called when she was available for viewing then left. That was day one and I kept thinking about what I had seen. I called every other day to check on this dog. Finally, that day had come and I was allowed to take her out. My son went with me, and were we ever in for a surprise. This dog was WILD, she had never been on a leash, she was bucking like a wild horse, nearly uncontrollable. With the help of animal control we got her out in the yard and let her loose. She ran, she bounced off the fence, she would run in circles like a mad woman. She would not come when called, but what she WOULD do is run over to us, get right in our lap and roll over to have her tummy rubbed, then take off again. That was my first clue, she was a very trusting and wanted to be social puppy. I tried to throw the ball, she did not respond, she was more focused on other dogs in the other fenced yard. She looked like a real nut case, but she had that one trait I was looking for sociability. We spent about 2 hours the first day with her and I left thinking, ok maybe, but I'm not sure I want to take on such a wild dog, I thought about her a lot that night and decided that perhaps I didn't give her a fair chance. I liked some things I saw, but could she be turned into a house dog? On that one, I was skeptical because my live with me 24/7, they are go everywhere, do anything kind of dogs.

The next morning I got up early armed with a medium sized bag of treats, a clicker and a leash and was at the pound before it was open. I asked to take her out, they helped me and it was just this dog and I out in the yard. I had her fetching a tennis ball within minutes, I taught her come in minutes, she got it and it wasn't hard at ALL. Ok, test one she passes, she can fetch big deal. Next was the leash, now this is a dog that was completely out of control on a leash just a few hours before. I put the leash on her and she resisted, I started walking and clicking and treating. Here was perhaps the moment I realized she had moved past me. I took her around the yard but I would stop on these concrete blocks. I would click and treat, I had not realized I was stopping on the blocks. We went around the yard only two or three times. What she did the next time we passed the block, she would stop and sit. What astounded me was without me knowing it, she had learned to stop on the blocks. It was the stop when I stop, but she thought I wanted her to stop on the blocks and she did it 100% of the time. This took less than 10 minutes. Wow, could this really be true? Turns out it was. I spent the next 8 hours until the shelter closed testing her, I had them bring out various dogs to see how she reacted and it was playtime and in every single case. I would ask people walking outside the fence to come up to the fence and greet her, she was cautious, not afraid and always greeted them warmly. I had seen enough, this was indeed a diamond in the rough and the "potential" was limitless. At 5:00 pm, I said yes, paid, signed the papers but had to wait a few days for her to be spayed.
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