Thursday, February 18, 2010

Success Story - Chili & Cricket

I’ve adopted two dogs from Pacific Northwest Border Collie Rescue, and they’ve changed my life in ways I never could have imagined.

Chili at her first foster home in Yakima.

It began the day I saw a picture of Chili (then known as Raine) on Petfinder. Something in her gaze grabbed me by the heart even though she was nearly 600 miles away. I loved her description. “High drive.” “Boundless energy.” “Incredibly fast.” And my personal favorite, “Not for a first-time dog owner.”

Chili’s picture on Petfinder.

Eileen at Ravensgate Border Collie Rescue on Camano Island told me Chili was about a year old and had been picked up as a stray in Yakima. Mike Flory and his wife Marian had taken her into rescue from the shelter. Chili was not very trusting of people, but the Florys and then Eileen at Ravensgate worked with her to show her that people weren't all bad. I finally met her on Camano Island and took her for a walk, at the end of which she flopped in my lap and looked up at me with those smiling brown eyes. I was hers.

She was very timid and shy around strangers, but incredibly smart and biddable with a formidable recall. With time and patience we mastered obedience class, then moved on to agility. It was one of my proudest moments when we actually competed in a NADAC trial. We also dabbled in herding where she showed a strong drive.

Chili at a NADAC agility trial.

Chili inspired me to begin fostering (mostly border collies and other herding breeds) so I could give other dogs the chance that the Florys and Eileen had given her. Then one day Joan at IDAWG asked me to foster Cricket, a 5-month-old border collie/sheltie who was very traumatized and fearful.

Cricket when she first came into rescue.

Even the therapeutic efforts of Chili and my other wonderful girl Kala couldn’t get her confident about meeting strangers and being in strange environments.

Chili welcoming Cricket.

Cricket as a baby.

So Cricket became a part of our family. Gradually she came out of her shell a little and would tolerate a little bit of attention. Then eventually she would ask for it by gently placing a paw on my leg. Together, Chili, Cricket and Kala have helped me raise day-old kittens and many, many litters of puppies, as well as many adult border collies and border collie mixes. I couldn't foster without them. The work they do with other animals is truly magical.

Cricket usually works to help bring out the shy dogs and watches over and plays with the puppies.

Chili takes on the job of playing with the high-energy adults.

Chili and Cricket have changed my life. And thanks to their very special spirits, they’ve helped to change the lives of many other foster dogs too.

 Thank you, Mike, Marian, Eileen and Joan for bringing these awesome girls into my life.

Video tribute to my girls

Kim St. Ours
Caldwell, ID