She is really the inspiration behind my choice in profession–without her special needs, I would never have become the trainer I am today. Her issues inspired me to really dive into the guts and inner workings of dog training.
In august of 2005, my beloved dog Tazzie passed away very suddenly–within a week she went from playing at the dog park carefree to having to be euthanized because she couldn’t breathe. I was completely devostated, she had been through a lot with me and was my heart dog and being without her was completely unnerving. What made things worse is that she passed just 2 weeks before starting my second year of college. That year was not my best, I was constantly distracted and was no capable of doing any school work until I had browsed three different Border Collie Rescue sites–multiple times. At the end of the year, when I returned home, I spent a month searching for another dog to bring into my life.
Cue Shayne. While searching local humane societies, I came across a picture of a small red/brown Border Collie mix and immediately went to the shelter. They let me see her and gave me some information about her past and that she did not pass her temperament test with flying colors and they were aware she had some issues–food aggression and some fear issues. They knew she had been tied to a tree and starved and suspected she had been mistreated so they were looking for a special home for her. I told the adoption counselor that I had lots of experience with dogs and training dogs and that I was extremely interested in adopting “Lu Lu.” The Counselor said she was still technically a stray and couldn’t be adopted yet but would be available in two days. Not surprisingly, two days later, I was there with my mom ready to adopt her–two days after that, and after her spay, I brought her home and “Lu Lu” became Shayne.
As she settled into our house and gained some much needed weight, some additional issues became apparent. She was clearly food aggressive toward people, was terrified of most people, was fear aggressive toward men, and could not handle new situations at all. It has been an extremely long journey to build her confidence and socialize her like crazy but she is now very much so a typical dog–friendly with all people she meets and relatively confident in new situations. She has been competing in canine frisbee for years and will be getting her CGC very soon (I hope). I hope to get her therapy dog certified through the Delta Society in the near future. This work was truly a labor of love and inspired me to pursue my work with other dogs.
She was the inspiration for me starting “Steel City Disc Dogs” the only local canine frisbee club. She has been learning frisbee for about 3.5 years and has been competing for about just as long. She has drive spilling out of her ears and has been an amazing partner… I only wish I could be a better disc-dog partner for her! Disc dogging gave her the opportunity to spend a day at a professional photo shoot for a major brand of dog treats and was ultimately featured in a nationally run 1/2 page coupon. She is an extremely serious dog who is very much so a no-nonsense type of girl who is always on alert. This trait has led her to be a pretty anxious pooch but we try hard to help her learn how to relax….but this is much easier said than done!
It has been an amazing journey with my special girl and I cannot wait to find out what the future holds.