Let me introduce you to Shelby, the most recent addition to my little family. Since Sabrina’s death on May 29 last year, I’ve been casually watching for a suitable companion for Sage. I was hoping to find a young adult collie with a calm temperament much like Sabrina’s. I began watching kijiji ads a couple of months ago, but there were few large Rough Collies, and those were either pups, or older dogs. A couple of days before leaving to spend some time working on the old house at Round Hill, I noticed an ad for a 4-year-old tricolor collie – the same colour as Sabrina. At first, I thought of not inquiring about the dog as I was so rushed trying to finish up trip preparations. However, then I decided that this might be the one I’d been looking for these past few weeks.
As it turned out, it seems that Shelby is just the type of dog I was hoping to find. She is a large, gentle dog with a calm and loving temperament. She’s well trained and kind. Really, she is everything I would expect from a Rough Collie. I feel fortunate to have found her, and appreciative of the care and love that her previous owner had provided in raising such a wonderful dog. So, Shelby joined our tribe less than 24 hours before we set out for the old house. I was a little concerned about how she would handle all the strangeness – new owner, new canine companion, being on the road, staying at a motel, arriving at a new house. She turned out to be a real trooper – no problems whatsoever with so many changes.
And what about Sage? It’s been amusing to watch her reaction to the newcomer. At first, she was cordial, as she is with all visiting dogs. Then around dinner time of the first day, she began to look puzzled, or possibly even alarmed that this dog hadn’t gone home to wherever it belonged. It was even eating a bowl of food! There were a couple of semi-hostile moments, but actually fewer than might be expected. As I watch the two dogs, I realize that Sage has never really had much chance for playful interaction. Sage joined us when Sabrina was about ten years old. Now she and Shelby can race around together, running and play-fighting over the front and back gardens like a couple of young pups. When they’ve both had enough of the craziness, they sit or lie together like longtime friends. It’s nice to see.