My choice? Lacey, a beautiful tri-colored 2-year-old Border Collie, who is listed on Petfinder from one of my favorite adoption places, Western Border Collie Rescue.
OK, you all know that I adopted a fearful Border Collie that I found on Petfinder in 2002–a fearful dog is always challenging, yet rewarding. That’s why I picked Lacey as my Adopt the Internet dog–in the right home, she’ll blossom!
Lacey’s story isn’t that different from many pets up for adoption, but it’s still important. Her amazing foster mom gave us this account.
In November 2009, an Eagle Colorado animal shelter worker contacted Western Border Collie Rescue about two very scared Border Collies: Cotton, Lacey’s mom, and Lacey, the last pup left in her litter. Cotton’s owner was moving (how many times do we hear that?) and he didn’t want the burden. Lacey was only 3 months old. Both Lacey and her mom spent 3 months at the shelter before Western Border Collie Rescue sprang them and placed the two fearful dogs in a foster home.
Then, a sad turn. Cotton became very sick. Vet testing revealed that she was suffering from Immune Mediated Polyarthritis, a serious joint disease. The rescue decided that Cotton and Lacey be separated so that Cotton could work on getting better and Lacey could learn how to become more confident in a new environment.
Luckily for Cotton, her new foster mom decided to adopt Cotton. But Lacey was not so lucky. For the first 3 months in her foster home, Lacey shut down and hid as far away as possible when people would come near. Her daily routine was staying away from open spaces, sticking close to walls, hiding under tables or huddling in corners. Scared, unable to cope.
Lacey And Other Dogs
But, Lacey’s foster mom soon realized that Lacey felt safe when she was around other dogs–she was comfortable with them. No matter
what size, breed, color or age, if there was another dog around, Lacey seemed happy romping, wrestling, running at the speed of light, chasing–you name it, if there’s a dog around, she’s up for anything!
Lacey’s Progress with Humans
Lacey asks for human attention in her own special way. Her foster mom says that, maybe two or three times a night during TV-watching time, Lacey “sneaks up, get real close,” and then put her head down on the nearest lap. Once Lacey gets about 5 seconds of petting, she sneaks away.
The good news is, Lacey is starting to show signs of trust in her foster mom’s friends and some family members–HUGE steps from the scared little dog in the corner. Her foster mom recounts another milestone: 1 year, 1 month and 12 days after arrival, Lacey mastered the cue “sit!” To
her foster mom, that was a sign “that Lacey could do what any other dog can do.”
Lacey came to her foster home on December 4, 2009–it’s the only real home she has ever known. She will probably never be a bomb-proof, totally confident, happy go-lucky dog. She might always be afraid of new situations and may never want more than 5 seconds of attention at a time. She needs a family who wants her for who she is. The family will need patience, training, and the ability to understand that small steps are really huge steps in this little girl’s life.
For example, her foster mom is thrilled that Lacey chooses to sleep with her every now and then. The most important things that Lacey needs in her life, according to her foster mom, “are humans that will accept her for who she is, love her even when it seems she doesn’t want it, give her a home with at least one other dog, provide a warm bed in a quiet corner to rest her head, and maybe a few romps in the snow in the winter and a few splashes in a river or lake in the summer. Is that too much to ask?”
No, it’s not! To find out more about Lacey, see her Petfinder profile. And if you’re interested in adopting her, I’ll pay half of her adoption fee!