About four years ago, we lost our beloved sheltie, Sunshine, to a brain tumor. It was a very difficult time for us and we decided that we would not get another dog. Although I was adamant about this, my husband gradually began to talk about getting another dog. Sunshine was such a wonderful animal that he felt the joy of having him outweighed the pain of not having him. It took me a little longer to realize that yes, Sunshine would always hold a special place in our hearts but there was room for another.
In our quest to find the perfect sheltie puppy, we called Sunshine's groomer who happens to be a sheltie lover and asked if she knew of a reputable breeder. She suggested that we think about getting a rescued sheltie instead of a puppy. At first, we were kind of lukewarm to the idea. We bounced the idea off family and friends. Although some thought it was a great idea, others felt "the owners got rid of the dog for a reason" implying that there would be insurmountable problems associated with a rescue dog. However, after doing some research on rescue organizations and rescued animals, we decided that this was the right thing to do - to give a dog another chance.
We were contacted by the
Baltimore Sheltie Rescue a few days after applying. We scheduled an appointment to be interviewed by the rescue league and Brandy (we renamed her - we felt it was important to disassociate her from her past with a new life, new name!) Brandy was extremely shy and nervous. According to her records, Brandy had at least one injury that had required medical attention. She had also run away from home. She was - and still is to some degree - extremely afraid of men with deep booming voices. At the sound of a loud demanding voice, she would cower and urinate. Even the hand signal associated with the command "stay" would cause her to cower. Getting her to sit directly in front of you was a challenge because she had difficulty putting herself in a confrontational-like position. But with love and attention and the help of the Greenbelt Dog Training School under the gentle direction and guidance of Allie (with Adele's assistance), she graduated at the top of her class, made several new friends at the school and she also got a job! She brings the morning paper to my husband every day.
Yes, Brandy has certainly come a long way from the timid, nervous dog we picked up from the rescue league. Although we didn't get the perfect looking sheltie - she's over- sized, has freckles in her white, has one ear up and one down - she is perfect in the ways that really matter. She is a loveable, gentle, wonderful dog whose only goal in life is to please and we are so lucky to have her!
Ramona and Lee