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Gus


I stopped by the vet's office last week for something or other and saw a notice on the bulletin board for a Border Collie.  I was immediately interested.  When I got home I mentioned it to my husband who rolled his eyes and asked the standard question... Do we really want one more ___?  Insert whatever animal I'm thinking about.  Ron is wonderful about new animals but he pretty much insists on talking it over and thinking about it rationally.  I'm more likely to just say sure!

I went back to the vet's office the next day to get the phone number off the notice but it was gone.  The lady had been in the previous afternoon and took it down.  It turns out the dog already had it's new home when I first saw the notice  I was bummed.  I mentioned to the ladies behind the counter at the vet's office, Bobbie and Carly, that I was interested in a Border Collie if they came across one.  Carly said she would put a note in my file so everyone would know what I was looking for.

<Note to self - if you put down in writing that you are looking for a dog, particularly at a vet's office, you will for sure get offers of great dogs available.>

I showed up at the vet's office this past Monday with Sadie for her annual exam and shots.  One of the other ladies in the office, Casey, said she had found a stray that might be perfect for me.  No, not a Border Collie.  A Blue Heeler or maybe a Blue Heeler cross.  She had put up photos of him on Facebook and put up signs around her neighborhood but had gotten no response.  She had had him for over a week but really couldn't keep him.  She already has six dogs.  Hmmmm..... Not really what I was looking for.  Blue Heelers can be just as psychotic as Border Collies can be if they don't have a job.

But I'm a sucker.  Casey brought Gus into the clinic Wednesday morning and I went over to look at him.  He is wonderful, charming, easy going with new dogs and friendly with people although he cowers some so he may have been beaten at some point.  I brought him home to see how he would be with the livestock and the cats.  

When we got home, I walked him around the property.  He wanted to chase the goats and the cats but seemed to figure out pretty quickly that I didn't want him to do that.  

OK.  We seem to have added a new member to the pack.  Sadie loves him and they played constantly all day.  Both were completely exhausted by the evening.  We had already planned spring cleaning for all the animals Wednesday afternoon so we just added Gus to the list.  He got all his shots and blood drawn.  The vet estimates he is about two years old.  We made the appointment for him to be neutered in a couple of weeks.

So Thursday morning dawns bright and clear.   Gus spent Wednesday night in his crate without drama or angst.  I don't think he had ever been in a crate before but it wasn't a fight at all to get him in there and he seemed very comfortable.  He went out with Sadie and me to feed the livestock.

OMG.  The world seems to have changed for everyone.  The goats were horrified by what they clearly consider a monster.  They wouldn't even come into the feed pen for their breakfast.  I've never seen that happen before.  And it wasn't like Gus was in there.  He was clearly outside the fence with Sadie.  The llamas weren't all that happy with him either.  They all think he is a much more serious threat than Sadie has ever been.

And it turns out he can climb the little side fence out of the back yard.  Well, crap.  Ron is out there now adding a hog panel to the top of the white picket fence.  We will also put the hog panels up on a couple of gates since now there is a very real danger that Gus will invite himself into the pastures.  In particular, I don't want him bothering our Welsh pony Steele who is so arthritic.

So, like any decision, there are pros and cons.  More work for Ron is on the cons side along with the livestock hating Gus and his ability to climb a fence.  Sadie loving him and them playing all the time are on the pros side.   Not sure how Sadie will behave in the long term.  She may just have been demoted per her recent graduation into responsible adulthood.  We will see how it all works out.