Home at last
By that Friday Spike was home with me and renamed 'Spy'. Battersea were not exaggerating Spy's separation anxiety. Even if he could see me through a window or baby gate he would bark and mess himself in complete panic. He had little or no recall and almost no basic training.
Obsessive, compulsive & anti-social
Spy had no social graces with other dogs. If he wanted a toy or bone he would take it and if they tried to stop him, he would shout in their faces until they gave up. In many ways, Spy was the equivalent to a spoilt child. Except he wasn't spoilt; he had just never been shown where the boundaries were.
The first night I took him to agility training I let him wander about to look at the equipment. He wasn't at all phased so later that evening I decided to have a go at some basics. Off came the lead. It then took three of us twenty minutes to catch him. He ran off after other dogs, refused to come back and was completely out of control. If he had the ball he would run away. If I managed to get the ball, he would outrun in anticipation of it being thrown. His brain had shut down. I was beginning to think it was going to take months before I could even let him loose again.
Six weeks later...
Spy has also been 'broken' to harness. My dogs go sledding with a bike both for fun and endurance work. He runs on really well and is a complete natural. Sometimes we go through the woods, other times along the beach. Spy hadn't been to either before as he came from London and he revels in the freedom.
I am very proud of this little collie.
Speaking of long lost friends, there is one friend of Spy's we would both like to thank - his foster carer, Jodie. No doubt Jodie had a big hand in helping Spy trust again and in so doing, helped to make him the secure, happy dog he is now. I know Jodie still misses her 'Little Spikey' and I also know he hasn't forgotten her. From day one I have been making a video diary of Spy, from first time adventures through to his flyball and agility training. There is an extra copy for Jodie, so she can keep a part of him forever.
I wouldn't be without Spy now, I can barely remember the days before him.
And my mum? I caught her the other day rolling on the floor with him squirming all over her. 'D'ya know,' she said, 'I couldn't let him go now. I don't know how Jodie did it.'
Neither do I, but I'm so glad she did.
She later got a Woodsorrel pup, Indy, to continue obedience but as fate would have it, began agility training for fun and got hooked.
She still competes with Laddie, now ten and a half, and has had a few placings already this season with Indy, nearly three.
All of her dogs do flyball and run in harness for fun and fitness.