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Who Rescued Who?
Time for that walk!
I'm a Vietnam era veteran who was recently homeless for a time. I lived in my car near the VA and a dog park. Less than a month after I got an apartment, someone abandoned a beautiful adult male Aussie on the VA grounds. He eventually found his way to the dog park where the regulars took him to a vet; he was not neutered or chipped and very underweight. After putting up ads and so on until it was clear that no one knew this dog, or wanted him—a friend brought him over to my apartment.
This sure is not a breed for an apartment dweller. It's traumatic for this dog to go from what had to have been a family life (he loves kids and pick up trucks) to being dumped with me. I've had dogs, but would not have made an Aussie my first pick because I knew nothing about them. But I needed a friend I could trust - due to my PTSD and health disabilities and this strange looking dog needed someone to feed and walk him. Kinda felt like a contract marriage and it took time to build trust on both sides. He was a bit aggressive, defensive and an active dog with a beautiful coat needing grooming and he had some bad habits such as jumping.
But he also had some manners. And a sense of humor. And he forced me out of the house and into taking long walks every day. Often multiple walks. And we visit the dog park. He's learned to play with me and other dogs as well. It's been 9 months, but he is now my certified service dog that I'd like to train further as a therapy dog. He loves people and kids.
He has that Aussie smartness and need to do a job though. When I'm anxious, he stays calm and sits close. He's learned to trust me and I can take him into situations that once set off his aggressive triggers. We're both better now we're together. Our next step is a yard and onto therapy work!