My current dogs:
Ripley: I really, really, really wanted an Australian shepherd. I was working in a pet store at the time, and guess what shows up on the truckload of puppies one day...a dirty, smelly ball of fur that was labeled "Australian shepherd". Long story short, no one bought him because he was a handful, store went out of business, Ripley was given to me by the owners as a parting gift.
Xander: Wanted another Aussie, this time I went to ARPH (the nationwide Aussie rescue). Found an Aussie that sounded promising in WV, spoke to the foster twice, sounded good. She decided to keep him. The rescue rep for WV called me the next week..."found your boy! He's even better!" Drove 500 miles round trip to WV with the rest of the dogs to meet him. Fell in love, took him home that day. Wonderful temperament, athletic build and a deep red coat.
Inara: My heart dog, my basset died in Dec. of 2003...and I was heartbroken. Slipping into a depression...felt horrible. Decided that I need a project dog...searched the rescue listings for Aussies. Found Inara's photo and bio. Full of problems, but she was cute, and she was laying in a baby pool in her photo (always wanted a dog that would lay in water...silly, I know). She was about to be reassessed by ARPH for being euthanized due to her issues. When I first met her, she wouldn't even come near me. I loved her...and I wanted to work with her. I adopted her without even laying hands on her. But she was athletic, a great size and drivey.
Sawyer: Simply wanted another dog...searched the rescue pages obsessively...found this cute little guy in Kansas City. Had to have him. Got on the phone with his rescuer/foster...she agreed that he sounded like a good fit. He was a stray, they'd taken him in and he was living at the vet clinic. Mentioned on an Aussie forum that he needed transport to MD. Friend stepped up and drove him all the way from MO to MD over a weekend for me. (we're still good friends). Never met him before the day he arrived...and boy was he a pain in the butt. He's never ceased to be a pain in the butt...
He was full of beans, athletic and smart as a whip.
Score: Picked him from a photo on an online dog forum that I was on...a friend had rescued him...I took him into the Assistance Dog program at Fidos For Freedom. He got here, and we all went..."uh...he's a bit "bully". Since FFF is located in Prince George's County...the site of a really strict pit bull ban...we were worried. By the time he was about four months old, we as trainers decided to wash him from the program...he fit into the parameters of "bully" according to PG county: rose ears, squarish-head, short coat and whip tail. He was due to go back to NC to the rescuer...but I fell in love and he never left. He had beautiful structure, a great temperament and was athletic.
Figment aka The Wiener: He was dropped off at our house for weekend boarding by his first owner. He was less than 4 months old...and full of GO! I hadn't allowed myself to fall in love with a short-legged dog since my basset had passed years back. But this one...he was special. His owner came back to pick him up and he left. A few days later he called to ask if we knew anyone that wanted a dachshund...as he was breaking up with his fiance and neither one wanted to keep the pup. I said "NO". But then the next day I told John..."call him and tell him that we'll foster the pup until we can find a home for him..." He was dropped off with a crate and all of his stuff the next day. I went through numerous adoptees (including the family with the small child that hit Fig with a giant flexi leash), and said no to them all...before realizing that he was meant to stay. He's still full of GO! He's drivey, athletic and just plain FUN.
Puzzle: Yeah, she's staying. Why is she here? She came as a foster...sort of a last minute thing...her former foster had taken her to Philly..then decided that she couldn't have her at the house...and that she had to go NOW! So I got a transport arranged via flyball friends. I figured she could learn flyball while she was here, to up her chances of being adopted. She came here on a cold day in January and walked in like she had been here forever. Curled up on John's lap and everyone loved her. After a few weeks, an potential adopter was interested in her...and I realized that she couldn't leave. She's learning flyball stuff quickly...and loves to play with other dogs. Two things that I need in this house! Her structure is atrocious...but she's still athletic, and temperament-wise, I couldn't ask for better.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo
"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw