Monday, April 22, 2013
Say Hello To Rack
We got a new addition to the family.
Say hello to Rack.
"Rack" may be a silly name, I'm already hearing myself saying "Meet Rack" and shake my head, but it stuck. I'll write about that another day.
You see, Rack has had three names that we know of in his short life. He was Jake, and then Les Paul the Shy Dog, and now Rack. His history before he came into my life is on this page at the Dog Liberator.
We got up early on our end. Drove up from Wilton Manors to Deltona. That is a 4 plus hour drive one way, and Florida is a very long and flat state. I got to see some areas that I had only driven past at high speeds.
Rack is a Shelter Dog. We will never know of his history before he made it to the Vet's. He was a "Owner Surrender". That means that in his 7 months of life, the people who bought him as a puppy came to realize he was a handful and turned him in. I have my own value judgement about people like that, and any reader of my blog know how I feel about people who discard dogs.
Rack is most likely a dog with significant amounts of Mc Nab in him. They are a separate breed of dog that looks like a Border Collie but isn't. Calmer, smarter, and more mellow than your run of the mill BC, a Mc Nab is an amazing breed. Luckily, they have not been corrupted by the inbreeding that some of the more popular breeds are, and aren't well known out of the Western US. It originated on the Mc Nab Ranch in Mendocino County, California. Rack is my second Mc Nab, and I'm happy to know him.
Arriving at The Dog Liberator in Deltona, I remembered my training - "No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact" until the dogs initiate it. I know, I'm quoting Cesar Millan, but when you're working with fearful dogs, it's a great start. I went in to visit with Gisele's pack of Border Collies and we went back into the room with the dog's crates. That was where we first saw Rack, then named Les Paul. He was hiding in the back of the crate wondering who these two big guys were and why were they there. Gisele took him out of his crate eventually and we did get to meet.
I learned about his history, his medical history, and we talked about techniques about how we would integrate this shy creature and allow him to blossom.
I don't think he's going to be shy and fearful for long.
Eventually we got him outside, and into the car for the long haul back down the coast to Wilton Manors. Surprisingly, he's great in the car. Really didn't have a problem. He didn't know us so he just sat there while we chattered for the drive home. Four and a half long hours later we got here.
I may have pushed it a little but it worked out.
When we got in the driveway, we got our gear out of the car and contemplated the black and white bundle in the big grey plastic crate. He didn't seem to mind being there, and didn't seem to mind being handled so we started coaxing him out.
You know the saying "Getting there is half the battle"? Getting him half out of the crate was most of the battle. At that point we slipped his harness on him and lifted him to the ground. No sounds, no grumbling like my own Lettie would have, just "Ok, lets go".
I knew he would have to Go so I let him out on the dark street and walked him out down the block. Yes, the First Dog Walk is always the most important one, it sets the tone for the relationship.
"Flying Colors". Well ok, Flying Black and White.
We got down the street lifting legs on everything in site, going back and forth between North and South side of the street, and finally going Poo for the first time in a new neighborhood.
I think we did the block twice, then he came to meet Lisa and Billy across the street. Still flying colors. We took it on his terms and he did eventually come over for a little attention from Billy.
At that point I got a call from Gisele asking for an update.
"All's well" He's going to continue to make progress.
And that's where I'll end it. The first picture was from when we got him inside the house after all that. The crate was closed and the food was eaten. When he was done, he just plopped down and rested after drinking 16 ounces of water and a cup of food in a burst.
The second one, below, is directly off of Gisele's page for Les Paul. You can read his priors there, there's a lot of healing to do but a lifetime to do it.