Fortunately her breeder was able to get her back and lucky for me, Ashley needed a permanent home.
A few weeks back, after mulling it over, I contacted her breeder to see if she'd put me on a waiting list, for an older female collie. Ariel has only been gone six weeks, and it usually takes me far longer than this to make the commitment to a new dog. But frankly it's just been depressing around here. Boone acts like he has been whupped and lays around all the time with little interest in anything. Due to his aggressive personality I also considered that him being an 'only dog' for a long period might make it very hard for him to accept the next dog I got.
Last night, after work I zoomed over to see the pack and 'maybe' or 'maybe not' get Ashley. I wasn't sure if I'd be bringing her home last night or not, but her breeder and I decided that now was just as good as anytime. Coincidentally I took Friday and Monday off from work, to use up some vacation time that is about to expire, so I'll be around to help her transition in.
I am always totally amazed by these collies. Of course they are socialized from a young age and she has some gorgeous show collies that get out and about quite a bit. They are so calm though, and accepting of things, eager to engage with people, and of course big show offs! When we were leaving the big fenced area to go to the house, she called Ashley and she waded through the mob and came out the gate, with the rest, disappointed, but accepting collies left behind the gate. Ashley was off like a shot. She was going to the house! Woooot! We of course came along more sedately. Evidently when the collies go to the house, they often make a big sweep of the back yard and stir up the rabbits. In the first photo of Ashley she is coming back to us from her "rabbit run". What a beautiful girl.
The ride home was very quiet and she was very ladylike. She ate a couple of fries (don't tell her breeder! ha..) and although a little worried acting, she did fine. When I got home, Mom was here as she had said she would put up my chickens if I was very late getting home. It was still daylight, but I was glad to see her, since I wasn't sure how I was going to get The Introduction accomplished. I ended up handing poor Ashley (who had to walk by sheep and Boone) to Mom and then going in and leashing Boone up. I then went back out with him, and got the leash up short on him and then Ashley and we went a walking around the front. Ashley was doing fine. She had no wish to be aggressive to anyone. Boone however thought he would bully up and go after her. This is just his nature to strange dogs, and I'm not sure how far he would push it before backing off (I've never let him get that far). So we walked and Boone tried a few growly lunges and I squelched that. He finally calmed enough that they could sniff 'parts' and then we walked some more. By the second lap, Boone had relaxed and was doing okay. He did lose it once last night over a french fry, but the ex-pen was between them, so it was no big deal.
Ashley hiding in the bushes after a bunch of wild collie play--she had several of them roughhousing with her.I'm sure there will be some squabbles and bullying at times, as Boone loves his toys, his pool, his yard, his bowls etc etc. Squabbles are okay, but no fights! This morning I took them out for another walk and Ashley met Heidi. Heidi was very smitten with her and wanted to follow us home. This is pretty unusual as Heidi rarely comes near me or the fence when I'm down there.
Right now the big dog and Ashley are hanging out in the yard together. Boone is not getting to 'rest' (i.e. lay around like a big slug), because he has to keep tabs on Ashley. So far so good.
Dixie, my grey kitty that is pretty scared of dogs, but loved Jody, my sable/white collie that died about two years ago, came zooming out of the dark when I was out with Ashley. I didn't have a collar or anything on her, and I thought, oh no! I needn't have worried though, as it was Ashley that got 'assaulted'. Dixie literally flung herself at Ashley over and over again. Dix has this exaggerated motion where she will stand up, leap and arch her back and fling herself trying to get you to pet her. Ashley didn't know what the heck to think! She took it for awhile, and then just turned and walked away...with Dixie following her. I can only assume that Dix thought it was Jody....and they say animals have no connections or emotions. Please. I will say that she bears an uncanny resemblance to Jody. Her face is not totally the same but the eyes and upper part of her head look so similar. Her muzzle is smaller and not as filled and she is much smaller and lighter in bone. (Due to her lack of a good start). But...something... it's almost spooky.
There is a small chance I will have to let her whelp out a litter of pups, but we will know by February or so. Helen has bred her full sister, and if she whelps satisfactorily then she won't need Ashley as a backup, to keep this line going. Either way it will be fine. Ashley is going to be a super little addition to the family and it will give Boone and me some motivation to get out and about more.
Welcome to the family, little girl.