July 26th 2008 10:22 am
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We only had Beamer for a little over a year, yet he made a big impression on our hearts. Here is the tribute I posted to another Sheltie forum.
When our first Sheltie Buttons died, it was devastating to us. Not only for us, but to our other Sheltie Bows who was very attached to her. For weeks Bows acted depressed and just moped around the house. We thought that maybe if we got another Sheltie it would help all of us so I checked with Sheltie rescue. With the pains of being a senior dog suffering with arthritis, Bows gets grumpy at times and doesn’t like being bothered by younger dogs, so we decided to find a dog around her age. Sheltie rescue had one dog that looked like a good match, Beamer. He was suppose to be 12 years old and he was about 10 lbs heavier than Bows, so I knew even if she was grumpy, he wouldn’t let her push him around. We set up an appointment to meet him.
When Beamers foster parents brought him in, they warned us that he is very afraid of strangers but will settle down after a couple minutes. Sure enough, Beamer was shaking from fear when we first got close to him. Still in that little time with him, we could tell he was a nice dog. We decided to take him. I only had one question. I noticed that on the web page that he was adopted in 2006, but now he was back in rescue. I was told that his new owner complained about him peeing in the house but that she was leaving him home alone for 11-12 hours a day. What an idiot! What dog can hold it that long on a regular basis. Her loss was our gain.
On the day they brought him to our house we were very excited but worried that he wouldn’t be coming that day because it was snowing and the roads were getting bad, but they managed to get him to us anyway. It didn’t take Beamer long to make his self at home. Three hours after his arrival I found him stretched out on the couch with his head on the pillow. That’s when I took my first picture of him. He must have known that this would always be his home.
As we got to know him, we began to think that at least in some time in his life he must have been abused. In addition to the fear of strangers, if you reached out to pet him, he’d duck and run. The only way to pet him was to reach out and let him come to you. If you moved your foot toward him either to step over him or sometimes I’d try to pet him with my foot when I only had socks on, he’d jump out of the way. These and other things led us to believe he was abused. We did have one incident where his fears caused me concern. It was about a week after we got him. He showed us that we could take him into the yard and not have him run off, he stayed pretty close. I saw my neighbor outside and went over to talk to him. Beamer followed me down the driveway. When my neighbor reached out to greet Beamer, he took off running down the street. He went up my next door neighbor’s driveway and I couldn’t get him to come to me, he’d stay just out of reach. Finally Bows shows up and seeing her, Beamer calmed down and followed me home.
Over the months, Beamer learned to trust people. He no longer feared strangers and wouldn’t duck away when you reached out to pet him. As I spent a lot of time with him and gave him plenty of loving he became a daddy’s boy. Bows on the other hand is a mommy’s girl. She seems to greet me mostly when she thinks I’m going to feed her. But Beamer would always get up and come over to greet me whenever I came in the door. He’d want me to pet him for awhile and then he’d lay down against my leg. Beamer’s previous owners must not have spent hardly any time with him. He had no interest in toys and didn’t really seem to know how to play. He also didn’t know any basic commands. It didn’t take too long to teach him to sit, but “give paw” took three months. Afterwards when I’d pet him, he’d give me his paw and I took it as him giving affection back because he knew “giving paw” was a good thing. We never really got him to play much. If we tried to play with both him and Bows, he’d be standoffish and just wag his tail and bark out of our reach. But he had one little game he liked to play when we played with just him. He’d lay on his side and like us to play with his mouth. He especially liked to nibble on our fingers if we put them in his mouth. He’d also cutely kick his front legs against our hand. We called this game “silly boy”. One funny thing he did was walk while doing his business. It was funny enough when he’d pee as he switched lifting up one leg, then the other as he created a pee trail. But he really looked funny all hunched over taking a poop and walking.
Beamer was a gentle, friendly, loving dog. He did very well with my grandson and did a good job vacuuming up all the food dropped by him. We only had him since Mar 2007, but he was deeply loved by us all. We were truly blessed to have had him as part of our family, I only wish that we could have had many more years with him. I wish he could have belonged to a loving family all his life because he disserves the best. He will always be in my thoughts. Goodbye for now my Beamer buddy boy. Go play with Buttons until I am able to join you.
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