In August of 2013, we adopted a dog from the local animal shelter. That ended in tears (literally). But the reasons we wanted a dog still existed. So I did some searching and found Angela at Companions for Life. She specialises in rescuing and rehoming dogs on rural properties. We called her, told her our circumstances and drove out to her farm to look at the dogs.
To make a long story short, we adopted Rusty from her in November 2013. He’s a Staffordshire Terrier crossed with probably a Kelpie. (His brothers were clearly half cattle dog but he just isn’t. I’ve since discovered that one bitch can mate with multiple dogs to produce a single litter. Kind of like my bees!) Rusty’s mother, along with he and his 5 siblings, were all dropped off a the shelter where their death sentence was commuted when Angela said she’d take them. All now have found new homes. Thank you Angela!
Rusty ticked all of the boxes. He had no interest in poultry (we threw him in with chickens, turkeys and peacocks) and was afraid of cats. Plus he was cute and affectionate and had a sweet temperament. Just what the doctor ordered.
We brought him home and he fit right in. Adler bullied him, the chickens weren’t threatened by him and he followed me around like my shadow. He was a bit of a scaredy cat, but that suited me fine. He has been easy to train, is naturally obedient, has no interest in escaping and everything is perfect.
Well, not quite. As he’s grown up and gained in confidence, he’s decided every single creature on God’s green earth must naturally love to play his favourite game: romp and stomp. He chases, he runs, he pounces. What great fun! Adler has learned to play and is good at getting under things where he can reach out and swat or up on things where he can lean over and swat so that’s fine – they’re Besties. But the chickens…. well, they aren’t fans of romp and stomp. Which means my dream of letting my chooks free range while my dog keeps them safe from the foxes is a distant memory.
I don’t let that diminish Rusty’s standing as a much loved member of the family though – it’s just his nature. Maybe when he’s old and grey, he won’t be a fan of romp and stomp and the other animals will have more time to appreciate his qualities.
Between now and then I’m going to be thankful for how obedient he is (outside of the chook run). Check out the photo below, he’s been told he’s not allowed on the furniture and so he doesn’t get on the furniture. Obedience personified!
Honest, no part of Rusty is on the furniture, Frank’s ensuring that. Look at the zoom shot of the space between Rusty and my couch – that’s Frank’s hand! With my husband helping me “train” Rusty, what could go wrong? 🙂
What’s important to understand is that Frank’s explained to Rusty that this method of staying off the couch only works when he’s clean and dry. After a swim in the dam, he must remember that the floor is where he is to remain.
I can tell you I sleep better knowing that’s sorted!
Of course, one of the real values of a dog is their ability to scare away intruders. I think we’ve got that one covered too. Rusty may not keep the world safe from robotic vacuums, but I’m sure he’ll keep away armed invaders. Just to be on the safe side, I’ve put this sign on the front gate – that should help ensure Rusty’s viscous attack dog skills need never be tested!
As I continue to be enamoured by Rusty, I’ll post about his antics and my amusement with the same. I will categorise these kinds of posts as “dog” so finding them is easier.