We have now had two rescue dogs – Nelson the current one and the by now immortal but always loved, Max. Prior to those chaps we had cats (I am allergic to them which is why we switched to dogs) and they too were all rescues.
In future, should we ever want another dog, possibly even in conjunction with Nelson – I mean, he’s mighty small and doesn’t take up much space so there would be room for another – he or she will be a rescue.
There are a number of reasons for rescuing a pet. First and foremost, to give a wanting animal a forever home. Secondly, they are cheaper than any breed-specific animal and are not subject to all the afflictions pedigreed pups can invite – they’re tough, they’re survivors, they’ve been around. Thirdly, they’re perpetually grateful. If you cannot tell if a dog is grateful, you haven’t been around them enough. Finally, to rescue an animal feels good for the soul.
Of course, with your rescue, you have no idea what you got. These are mutts, mongrels, combos of many breeds. With Max we had him DNA tested. Turned out he was predominantly smooth collie and malamute and the combo led to one of the handsomest canines in the known universe. He was big and imposing but never aggressive. There were other bits thrown in, too.
We haven’t had Wee Nelson tested yet, but we suspect beagle, possibly dachshund, maybe a smattering of chihuahua. Remains to be seen. What has also become apparent is how different the two dogs are in their responses to life.
I shall start with Max:
Max was effusively friendly. Everybody who met him loved him. His presence made one feel good. His name was widely known in the area. He was gentle, he was sweet dispositioned and we knew nothing about his background when we got him. Supposedly he had been abandoned, which is beyond my comprehension that somebody would abandon such a fine creature. We got him in Nanaimo but do not know if he originated there. He had obviously never been abused, but he did have his neuroses. The most predominant being that he could not bear being confined in a room. He also had very little sense of play. You could throw a ball until your arm fell off, but Max would not chase it. He did not ‘get’ children and disliked both puppies and teenage boys and was slow to warm to men. But once he had warmed to you, then you ‘had’ him for keeps.
Nelson: On the other hand is play mad. He never wants to quit and if you don’t throw a ball to him, he will fling it himself and then kind of dribble it like a basketball whilst merrily singing to himself. He likes everybody and has no fear of big dogs. He hates water, whereas Max liked to swim. You can take him anywhere. Max would never climb onto a bed. Nelson demands to. I think his aqua-phobia might stem from the fact he spent his puppyhood in the dry and warm Central Valley of California. Consequently rain is anathema to him. It will be interesting when he has to face a real BC winter. Nelson is very charming. Max was very charming. We have been lucky.