Sunday, February 5, 2012
Shortly before we discovered Ernie on the web page of National English Shepherd Rescue, we discovered Flame on the website of PuppyLoveME.org, another rescue organization.
While NESR concentrates on the one breed and the operators are very knowledgeable, PuppyLoverME couldn't tell us whether or not Flame, although an Australian Shepherd and possibly even purebred, had any shepherding potential, while it was clear Ernie did. I needed a sheepdog more than anything.
Ernie was just a misunderstood puppy. Flame had been truly rescued, from a so-called "high kill" shelter in Louisiana. Apparently she spent the first twelve months or so of her life in a ten by ten foot pen with a Rottweiler and two other dogs. When the Rottweiler got out and killed a goat, the owner consigned all three to the shelter.
We hedged, and told them we might take Flame as a second dog, or if Ernie didn't work out.
But Aimee was so happy to have Ernie to play with, the thought of TWO crazy dogs chasing each other all over the place was too much, and so Flame duly arrived one day, clearly a great reprieve from the very sad existence that had been her fate prior to rescue.
Ever since then, life on the old farm has been a good deal livelier. See Aimee's Facebook page for more pictures and a movie of them chasing each other in the woods.
And Aimee has been spending what seems like it surely must be a small fortune on doggy toys.
Flame is home now and settled in. She seems to like her new life.
Today's big task was to learn to ride in the pick-up truck with the trash and recycling to the transfer station.
BIG SCARY pick-em up truck. Flame had to be manhandled to her seat, but after that enjoyed the experience.
We also walked in the crisp snow down to the beaver ponds, where Ernie managed to sip off the ice and fall in the brook. The look of shock on his face was quite priceless, as I struggled across the ice myself to haul him safely out by his front paws. Luckily, I didn't break through and was able to get him secure. The water was four feet deep where he went in, and had he let go the ice, he'd have been sucked under.
So I guess Ernie is a "rescue dog" after all.