Meet Rio, the newest member of my pack. He is an Australian Cattle Dog/ Whippet mix that I adopted in January 2010.
I had spent nearly 2 years waiting for my life situation and the right dog to come together at the same time. It was a long and sometimes frustrating wait for the right job to come along at the right time that allowed me to wait for the right dog to come into my life–but it happened, after a long wait.
While doing my daily search on petfinder, I happened upon a New Jersey rescue that had two cattle dog mix puppies for adoption. I saw “Yule” and “Noel” and knew I had to meet them–and sort of felt one of them would be mine. I was initially more into “Yule” but with Shayne’s issues, the decision had to be weighted very heavily on the puppy’s personality (more on this in a future blog). So I sent in an application and quickly heard back from the foster family. When I met the pups for the first time I was pleasantly surprised that “Yule” was an an extremely confident and outgoing puppy. He was rough and tumble and pretty fearless in meeting me and playing with his sibling. His sister was timid and pretty insecure… an absolute sweetheart but not what I was looking for in a puppy. After an extended visit, I made my decision to adopt “Yule” and take him home with me.
“Yule” was renamed Rio shortly after getting into my car for the ride home (though if it didn’t fit his personality he would have been named something else). He’s not named after “river,” but after the acronym for the person who sits in the jumpseat of fighter jets, the Radar Intercept Officer. I felt it was a really accurate analogy for my relationship with the dogs… I might be the one in charge of the direction, but I rely on my pups to help us get to the destination–we are partners on this journey.
Rio proved to be everything I was looking for in a puppy. He is super athletic, super smart, very confident, well socialized, and lives to work. But for all that, he is also one of the silliest dogs I have encountered. He is a cuddly, even tempered, frizbeast. At his very first frisbee competition at 7 months old he won 2nd place in Novice Freestyle (out of 3 competitors) and at his second competition, at 10 months, he won 2nd place novice Distance/Accuracy and 3rd place novice freestyle (out of 6 competitors). He’s now learning agility and after only 6 weeks of classes he is much more advanced than expected. On top of his athleticism and drive, he is a very sweet natured boy who earned his CGC when he was 11 months old.
Rio and Shayne are best friends who have bonded so incredibly closely. I really couldn’t imagine our house with out this crazy boy (even if there are days that he drives me up the wall!)… he’s pretty perfect! I cannot wait to see where our journey leads!