Friday, August 6, 2010
We got Zoe as a 2 year old - never did see our girl as a puppy but I think she must have been adorable. She was living with a very nice family with one problem - their 2 year old daughter had decided Zoe didn't need eyes (she was trying to literally poke them out), that her legs would look better if they stuck straight out from her body (she was trying to pull them out of their sockets). Zoe, spent most of her time trying to hide from her "sister". I sure hope that kid has grown out of whatever it was at the root of that behavior.
To the credit of her owners, they decided to find her (Zoe, not the kid) another home so they put an ad in a local paper. It specifically stated that she would not be given to any family with children and we qualified.
We had been dog-less for about a year. Our sweet and wonderful greyhound, Tiger, had passed away at the ripe old age of 14. It took us a while to open the house and our hearts to another dog - Tiger was very special. But, the time had come and so we began our search. Greyhounds are sight hounds and cannot be off leash. We had moved to Colorado from Chicago and decided not to get another sighthound unless we had an enclosure for doggie business. At the time, we didn't.
Back to Zoe. We met in a parking lot in Green Mountain Falls. These folks were going to make sure that Zoe found a good family - with no kids. We fell in love with this beautiful, energetic black and white Border Collie with the big, soft brown eyes - cheerfully donning the red neckerchief. Having passed their test, we went and collected her belongings - her crate, brush and toys. It was sad, clearly they were heartbroken about letting her go but they loved her enough not to keep her.
Once home, Zoe fell right in to our schedules and our lives. Border Collies are reputed to be the smartest of all dog breeds and she's typical - blazing smart. We can't watch Animal Planet and certain action movies (with or without animals) drive her to distraction. Intense, dramatic music worries her and, God forbid, there's a fight on the screen. She cannot tolerate that bad behavior.
Most mornings she rises, does her business, eats a light breakfast and goes back upstairs, by herself, to bed. By 11:00 she's up, comes downstairs and joins the family. Smart dog, she decides what she wants to do, regardless of what we are doing. Unlike Doc, she takes little interest in toys (good thing) - the tv (we think she thinks it's the most interesting window in the house) is her primary means of personal entertainment.
She has few needs but she does need to accessorize. When we got her, she wore that red neckerchief. Silly me, I thought that she might be happier without and took it off. Years later, I decided to dress her up with some of my old scarves - in my family, we often dressed our animals up. Boy, did she get excited. That head of hers shot through that scarf. At one point, she wore 4 - at once. She's back down to 1 at a time, these days it's chili peppers from Aunty Peg. Poor Zoe, I'd denied her something quite important and I didn't even know it.
Your typical Border Collie needs a job - in the absence of herding geese or sheep, they make up their own. Typically, this job is dis-assembling the sofa or another piece of furniture. Thankfully, Zoe is not your typical Border Collie - her job is watching tv and keeping Doc in line and occasionally molesting Ditto, our cat (more on that later). As long as she has her scarves, tv and us, she's a very happy girl.