Arrival Story: With Oz slowing down, we had began casually throwing the idea of getting another dog that could not only keep up with, but be a companion for Cobain.
After looking through Petfinder for about the millionth time over the last few months I came across a dog listed as a Kelpie x Border Collie.
Energy level? Check
Predicted temperament? Check
Though we all know the ears sealed the deal ;) Before I even met her, I knew she was mine.
She had come into the shelter as a stray, and severely emaciated, sick, and very minimal social skills. Prior to my meeting her she had been adopted out 3 times and returned for various reasons.
We drove over an hour into the city to meet her at a Petsmart adoption event, and were told we had to bring the entire family - dogs included.
Empty handed, we left for home, hoping she would still be there upon our return the next day. Thankfully she was still there, and despite Cobain's anti-social behaviour, we were able to bring her home. And haven't looked back since.
It's been 10 months since we welcomed Rigby into our home.
I realized that it's nearly been a year while watching her romp around in a mud puddle.
Many owners would be annoyed at their dogs for engaging in such an activity. But with Rigby I encourage it.
She lived through abandonment and who knows what else before she came to me. And yet, less that a year later she exhibits pure bliss with something so simple....after coming so far, how could I prohibit her from such enjoyment? So I'll have to towel her down before getting into the car, it's a small price to pay.
Last night her progress in the past few months hit me hard. We were in a class that was hectic to say the least. One dog in particular seemed to set off the rest of them, barking and lunging. Though she rarely participated in the act herself.
While all of this went on, Rigby sat patiently staring at me. No panting, no shaking, no lip licking....no reacting. There was barely a glance toward the commotion.
She was there for me, and me alone. And that spoke volumes to me.
"Eleanor Rigby, picks up the rice
In the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face
That she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?"
I felt that was very fitting for this bat-eared dog that I fell in love with.
Found as a stray on the lonely, busy streets of Toronto. Living on her own for who knows how long. Scavenging the leftovers of someone else's happiness. No one to love her.
Then she's captured by animal control, placed in a kennel awaiting someone to bring her home. With each potential home passing her way, she puts her best smile on in hopes that she will find that special family.
Days, then weeks, then months go by still putting a happy face on. Until that faithful day that I came across her picture on Petfinder, and I knew she was mine.
I'd be lying if I said the journey has been easy with her. But it'd be even more of a lie if I said it wasn't worth every trial she's put me through.
I've watched this little dog turn from sickly, fearful, untrained and unruly, to a confident, wonderful girl.
She is so willing to learn and wanting to please it's truly amazing.
She's graduated at the top of her obedience and agility classes so far. Who knows how far we'll go together?
The more and more I get to know Rigby, the more "odd" findings I make.
In some instances she is totally confident, and then a minute later she is cowering.
2 days ago I tried her with some agility equipment. Small steps. But she shut down and refused to go near any of it.
Today I tried again. Within half an hour I got her from not even going near the jump (with pole on the ground) to her jumping at 16" height!
Next step is 22" but again...baby steps ;)
It was like a switch flipped in her brain. All of the sudden she realizes "Hey this is fun!" and played along.
Definitely wont be as easy of an agility dog as Coby by any stretch of the imagination. But I do think she'll do well and enjoy it once she realizes I'm doing it to have FUN with her and not just "win"
I feel she has seen the equipment before. But is has been in the yard (against the wall) all winter, so that may be her familiarity with it.
Either way, very impressed with Rigs, she's a very different dog from when I first brought her home :)