Huff, a senior dog in need of rescue gets his forever home and teaches his new human a few things. Old dogs are great companions, especially when the dog is border collie-aussie mix with a sense of humor.
Huff is 14 year old border collie/aussie mix, a senior rescue. A senior rescue is an older dog who has outlived his owner’s ability or willingness to care for him.
Adopting an older dog is different from getting a puppy, and it is not just about training and energy levels. A puppy is malleable and a mostly clean slate. With a mature dog, there are holes in the past.
You don’t know if the dog nips your fingers when you give him a treat because he’s food aggressive or because his close vision is failing. In Huff’s case it is the latter. He can see distant objects much better than something that is right in front of his nose. So I put his treats in my open hand so he can lick them up rather than try to grab them with his teeth.
Early Days with Huff
When he first arrived, his default setting was grim determination.It was two days before he trusted me to always keep water available and weeks before he wagged his stubby aussie tail.
It was over a month before he “negotiated” with me. If you have a herding dog, you know this negotiation is not disobedience. Sometimes, they just have better ideas and want to share them. Ultimately they will follow your lead, even if they think you are wrong.
Over time, Huff relaxed and opened up. Someone who hadn’t seen Huff in awhile weeks commented, “He looks brighter.” And he does. It’s not just the bath or the nutritious food.
I think it is hope.
Maybe even love.
Sometimes as I stroke his fur, I wonder what he was like as
a puppy. I wonder about the children who loved him, the family that taught him all the commands he knows. And I wonder where are they are now.
The love of an old dog is an incomparable gift. They are missing some of the best years they might have had with him. Their loss. I have a loving and content companion, who has the jokester side common in herding breeds such as border collies.
I know our time together may be short. I know it will break my heart when he goes. But the love and the laughter will remain with me forever.
We had sixteen months together. Longer than I expected, but not as long as I had hoped. He helped me through a difficult time in my life. I liked to think I gave his life a happy ending.
And yes, there is a book in my future starring Huff.