While we all loved Rex...well, while Tricia and I loved Rex, we just never could get him to *fit into our lives. He wasn't a bad dog. We weren't cruel to him. It just wasn't a good fit, but we were going to champ through it because thats what we do. You don't get rid of a family member just because they're a little weird. (And thank God for that, else I'd have been family-less years and years ago.)
Then, my aunt, Shirley, came to my mom's for a visit. She really liked Butch, and she wanted a little dog of her own. She asked me if she got a little dog, would I train it? Without even thinking, I responded, "Well, actually, we HAVE a little dog who's pretty great, but he's just not fitting in with us. Would you like to meet him?" She did, so Bill brought Rex up to my mom's, and that was that. Rex and Shirley hit it off fabulously. He's a much happier little dog, and I'm glad I could find him someone who doesn't mind even a little that he will stay under her feet 24/7.
Now on to our Faith. I found her via PetFinder.com. (Love that site. I really, really do.) I hadn't really intended on getting a dog exactly. I was going through...I don't even know if I can articulate it really. I was having a really rough time with feeling sort of adrift since the girls are now gone all day. I mean, typically, this is the time I have another baby, and that isn't an option.
Plus, I was feeling sad that I'd given Rex up, even though I knew it was a good thing for him AND us. Basically, I was just boohoohoo'ing about shit I can't change, so I went looking at dogs to cheer myself up. I had no real desire to even get a dog...well, that's not true. I wanted a dog, but I also wanted to wait 'til we have a fenced-in backyard. So I was looking but not really, if that makes sense.
I saw lots of very cute dogs. Lots and lots. None of them really spoke to me, though. While they were SUPER CUTE and all, I kept thinking, "Meh. Maybe when we have a fence." Then I saw Faith, and y'all, I'm gonna be real - while I could tell she was extremely pretty, she wasn't a dog who said, "HI! TAKE ME HOME! I WILL LOVE YOU!" Faith's photo said, "I'm scared. Go away." (You can see what I mean here. http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/24979920) For whatever reason, I knew I HAD to have this dog. I HAD to, fence or no fence.
Whitey wasn't as sure, but he told me to call about her. So, I did, and the lovely lady at the City of Cameron Animal Shelter (Kathy) told me Faith was in Puppies on Parole so we might have to wait a bit to take her home. That was fine; I just wanted to make sure she'd be ours when it was over, especially after hearing her story. Faith's previous family hadn't been so nice to her. The two little girls had found Faith as a puppy and brought her home. Mom said they could keep her, but then, Mom was not terribly nice to Faith. (This pisses me off - if you don't want the dog, tell the kids no. Don't take it in and then be shitty to it.)
After a few months, Mom was all done with the dog, so she tried to get Faith into Puppies on Parole. At that time, Kathy wouldn't take Faith because she didn't think Faith would do well since she was so completely shy and unsocialized. Mom's next move? Take Faith to the vet and give the vet some money to either spay the dog if someone wanted her or euthanize her if a home couldn't be found. The vet called Kathy, and Kathy took her after all. (I get weepy thinking about that. WHO FUCKING DOES THAT?)
Hearing this stuff did nothing but cement my belief that this dog was meant to be ours. Our two girls would help Faith transition into a new family since she was already okay with kids. (Hell, kids were the only people who were ever good to her before getting into Puppies on Parole.) She ticked all of my doggie wishlist boxes. (Smart, active, housetrained, good with kids, etc.) Well, based on our conversations, Kathy got Faith an early release, so we were able to go meet her the next day. (If we liked her, we'd be able to take her home that day, too. Kathy had the same feeling I did - Faith was just meant to be our dog.)
Upon first meeting her, Faith hid behind her trainer. She just wouldn't come out at all, but that didn't bother me. I knew with some time and love, she'd be okay. We still gave it a little time in her "safe" environment. We also tried walking her. All of it was a no go. So after about half an hour of attempting to get her to even say hello, we decided to just bite the bullet and take her home. The trainer got Faith into our car, and I sat in the backseat with our new baby. Once the car started moving, Faith decided I was okay (any port in a storm, right?), and that was it for us. She's been "my" dog since then.
For the first couple of days, she wasn't really ready to deal with anyone else. She'd hide behind me when the girls or Whitey even came in the same room. (She would wedge herself behind me on the couch.) When I'd take her outside, her tail would only come untucked when I was calling her or when she got too distracted to remember she was afraid. (I told Bill the first night we had her that I couldn't wait to see her with her tail in a typical Border Collie stance.) The only people in the house she wasn't afraid of were the cats...which I realize are not technically people, but WHATEVER. THEY ARE AWESOME.
The girls had a hard time with that since both of them wanted Faith to be instantly lovey-dovey, but they gave her some time and space. Tricia was actually the first one to get some love from Faith which I'd expected based on Faith's previous family. Lenna is the one Faith has taken the longest to warm up to, but Lenna hasn't tried as hard as everyone else. Whitey, despite all his protestations that he's apathetic about animals, often says, "You crazy dog" to Faith in the super cutest way. He's more than willing to have her go with us to the store and whatnot. I think the Whiteman might like her just an eensy bit.
As for Faith, I think she likes it here pretty well. I keep waiting for her to display some of that infamous Border Collie hyperactivity, and it keeps not happening. I think we've managed to find the only lazy BC on the planet which is actually okay by me. lol She's come so far in such a short time - we've gone from a dog with a tail tucked between her legs all the time to a dog who rarely tucks her tail. She's happy to see us and be with us. She's even become quite a nosy neighbor - she spends a lot of her time looking out the window. We've been spending our mornings doing some basic obedience stuff, and she excels. She came to us knowing "sit" and "down." We've added "c'mere" (because I refuse to say "come"; it weirds me out) and "shake." She is really just the greatest dog. Can you tell I'm really in love with my dog? lol
Just don't ask the cats about her.
tl;dr - Faith was a scaredy-pants. Now she's not. I'm over the moon about it.