Hello, thank you for reading and please be gentle with me, this is a very hard post to write!
I am looking for a perfect forever home for a little darling who I took in as a foster. It's the first time I have fostered and I knew it would be hard but she is so worth it. This little girl was in an abusive home for her first 6-9 months and was finally abandoned with a neighbour: skeletal, mostly hairless, untrained and emotionally broken...
That kind neighbour was an animal lover but I don't think she was that experienced with collies. She bathed her wounds and loved her but then that kind lady got sick. I met her and Billie when Billie had lived there for 4 years and the lady had been ill for a while.
Billie was under weight, dirty, smelly, matted and hadn't been out for a walk in ages - there was a bare earth figure of eight in the tiny back garden where she had tried to run herself out and a huge, heavy choke chain and leather wrist loop laying by her bed. She was still scared of anything and everything except the lady who had taken her in. The kind lady was looking for a new home for her but finding it tough; my first dog was a collie and they have a special place in my heart... Billie eventually crawled over to me and hid her head in my lap and I knew I had to do something so I agreed to take her.
So I visited every day until she got to know me, then i started to get her confident on a lead and outside and in a car. Then with my dogs and my cats and my house and the woods and the fields and all of our friends and their dogs. And then finally one day when she decided the time was right she came to live with us.
It hasn't taken long for this beautiful girl to blossom - her personality comes on every day. Last week she discovered puddles and this week she started doing 'play bows' and playing like a little pup. She will need love and understanding for a long while yet while the healing continues but her life is just starting over and ideally I would like her new forever family to be part of that wonderful process.
She is 5 years old, neutered and since being with is is clean in the house - although we have always been careful to manage the routine so as to make it easy for her to stay clean (i can share our rules with her new home). She eats complete dry food and lives with our other dogs and cats (her previous homes also had other dogs, cats and young children). She shows no issues with food or toy or bed possession. She has a strong 'chase drive' (play rather than prey) but seems to learn pretty quickly things that are part of her family and also things that shouldn't be chased. Her recall is almost perfect and walking her on a flexi leash is fine - her previous experiences mean her close walking will need lots of work (if you need to walk her on short leash). She is great in the car (although can be nervous of a new vehicle) and was left alone for long periods in her previous homes without complaint. Once she trusts you she is a total fuss sponge and loves cuddles, kisses and snoozing somewhere warm after a run out in the country.
She is wary of new people coming in to a building and likes to be given time and space to approach them when she feels ready. She takes to some people almost instantly and takes her time with others. She is just discovering play and is just like a big clumsy puppy so for a while she might be a bit OTT for some quieter dogs; ours just ignore her play bows and running charges and woofy/growls until she gives up! She will bark when someone knocks on your door but stops when you tell her 'enough'. She hasn't discovered water or toys yet - but i am sure she will. She is sensitive to your tone of voice and gets a bit stressed if she thinks she is being shouted at for something...
I think her perfect home would be with friendly, loving people who consider their dogs to be a 'person in a hairy suit' and who really understand collies and also dogs that have had a bad start in life. People who believe in positive training methods, who have lots of love to give and who aren't too house proud to have a bouncy collie in their home
I want her to have lots of off lead time during the weekdays as well as weekends and not too much time left on her own as she has missed out on so much already... Maybe another dog as dappy as her in the family would be good - although she is very vocal and physical when she plays - as she seems to be more confident when she can read the cues of other dogs and so knows she is doing the right thing. That said loving, playful people might just do if they are happy to build Billie's confidence in other ways
I don't have an 'ideal family' in mind or a huge checklist - but i will know them when I find them and when Billie tells me! Expect all the usual home checks etc and several meetings/walks/house visits so she can transition with minimum upset. I would also ask that her new family keep me posted on how she is doing - because that will help me see that I did the right thing even if it was hard!
If you have any more questions please just ask. I am keeping a notebook so that I can pass on everything i have learnt to her new owners when the time comes. Until then I am making the most of every minute with her...
My name is Kris, you can call me on 07958 789 163 (signal can be a bit dodgy so please leave a message if i don't answer) or firstname.lastname@example.org
(please put Billie in the subject line).