Aki Yamaguchi Photography

Capture the Angels

Third Dog?

I had been quiet about my new foster puppy for several days. Normally I’d be posting pictures and videos all over the Internet so that my fosters can find a forever home quickly. When I first saw a picture of this puppy (She still has no name so I call her “Puppy”) I made excuses not to take her as my foster. When I’m ready, I want my next dog to be a young female rescue that has strong Border Collie traits. I already have a name picked up for her too. I want to do either herding, Search and Rescue or canine disc with my next dog, whichever the dog chose. But I’m not ready for a third dog yet. The only way I’d add another dog is if the addition makes my two senior dogs’ lives better than they already are. And right now, their lives are pretty good. My dogs don’t mind having short term fosters, but I know they prefer to have me to themselves on a long term. I’d hate the fact my time and attention would get divided, especially with a young puppy that requires a lot of training.Pink

I received a text from another volunteer…”Are you sure you don’t want to foster another pup?” with her picture attached. Puppy Luke had just been adopted a few days ago and I was enjoying a full night’s sleep. But this puppy reminded me of Jazzy, my heart dog. The blaze, paws, pink belly, dolphin muzzle and a little tipped white tail. And I was told she was already stalking. All my fosters have been males. Bringing such a cute female puppy scared me. What if I couldn’t keep my emotional guard up and made the wrong and impulsive decision. But what if she was meant to be with me? My feelings for Jazzy is very strong, some might say a little too strong. I worry about myself when she goes. Friends say it’s better to get another dog before your heart dog leaves you. It helps with the healing process, they say. But is it fair for her? Cooper is the most easy going dog and he’d be happy to have a tug mate. Jazzy is whom I worry about because of the powerful bond I have with her.

Pink27Anyway, I ended up taking her as my foster. I couldn’t understand how two of her litter mates were already adopted and nobody was interested in this most traditional looking fluffy puppy. Maybe she really is meant to be with me. I already felt my guard coming down as soon as I saw her. She stuck her pink tongue out and cocked her head like a good little BC would do. I told the transporter “This isn’t good, not good at all”.

I was amazed how polite she was to my dogs. I was expecting excessive puppy licking but she just sniffs and goes. It made it even more difficult that my dogs accepted her right away. Deep down I was hoping they wouldn’t. Then I could have used that as an excuse not to keep her. She was a little nervous but I was able to get her hooked on a chase toy. She froze, eyed, stalked and pounced. After she pottied, she went looking for the toy. And she used her nose for it. My heart pounded in joy. If you are a search and rescue person, I know you understand.

I played with her while I watched TV. She fell asleep on my lap for a good hour. She cried, howled and screamed till 4am on the first night. But I figured out a way so that she didn’t have to do that anymore. Following nights, she slept through the night. No peeping, no peeing or pooping for 7 hours. Pretty impressive for a little puppy.



First foster dog that was ever allowed on my bed.

Since day 1, I had been going back and forth with my decisions. I already know I’d regret if I let her go to another family. I dreamt about going to herding trials with her. My heart melts when she tilts her head and dances around like a little lamb when I let her out of her pen. But my biggest worry is the possibility of ruining the amazing relationship I have with Jazzy. I have a puppy pen next to my computer table. When I started baby talking and petting “Puppy”, Jazzy got up and approached me. When she realized the baby talk wasn’t meant for her, she stopped, lied down, and put her chin down while looking at me. My heart dropped. When I was taking pictures of “Puppy” on our bed, Jazzy offered me a very motivated “Snuggle” trick by pressing her head on my chest. “Snuggle” is our very special trick and she knows that’s the best way to get my attention. I realized we hadn’t done our daily 5 minutes snuggle since I brought “Puppy” home. I use our snuggle time to meditate and recharge after work. I am anthropomorphizing and most likely interpreting her actions the wrong way. But it gave me a glimpse of what could happen if I adopted “Puppy”.


Sure, I could make this work. My dogs would be fine. But things are never going to be the same – better or worse. And I’m not willing to take that chance at this point. My vision was to grow old with my two dogs, who did so much for me and for the community, and continue to do things they could keep up with until it’s time for them to leave me. Maybe my friends are right about getting a new dog before they go. But I just know in my heart it’s not the right time or the right dog for us. Hopefully the right dog will show up when the time is right.

Just tell me I am crazy for letting this face go…pINK6


14 comments on “Third Dog?

  1. workfortreats
    November 15, 2013

    Can i just follow you around and absorb your amazing photography skills and also training? I want to learn to bad!

  2. rockandrowland
    November 15, 2013

    I have her littermate! If we could have grabbed up both, we would have. I just fell in love with her sister first, because she looked like the BC puppy we lost last year. Nice to see she is in such a lovely foster home! And, yes, you are totally crazy to let her go… but I also understand. After we lost Tonks to distemper, I needed a friend to help me get through it, but I knew it was too soon for a puppy that looked just like her… Now a year later, we have one. :]

    • bwbc
      November 16, 2013

      Which one did you get? I heard the smoothies had really nice temperament. I’m so glad you adopted one of our dogs. 🙂

      • rockandrowland
        November 16, 2013

        This will be our third ABCR dog! We adopted Story (now her name is Happy). She is so fiesty! I was told she was the most timid of the three, but not anymore! She constantly snaps at Lucy (1.5 year old BC) and hogs the food and water. Lucy is very submissive, so she just lets her take everything from her. We are teaching her some manners and working on her obedience. We had a little bit of a breakthrough on Thursday when they actually played tug together with some toys instead of just growling and mouthing each other. Yay! Poor Lucy still has to be fed in the kennel though. :[

  3. april
    November 15, 2013

    Hey. You are crazy to pass up that face but I would to. We have two of our own and a cat. We are also watching a dog for my husband’s sister and new husband until they can get a house. It’ll be at least a year. We love him. But he is not right for our family. Our cat hides more. Our older dog acts more a mother and doesn’t relax until bedtime as she is the only one to sleep with us. You know the little one will be taken care of. Focus on your own you will never regret it. Just as we will give up our boy when the time comes in another 6 months. Best of luck

    • bwbc
      November 16, 2013

      I appreciate your comment. 🙂 thank you April!

  4. Akiyoru
    November 16, 2013

    I don’t usually make comments on sites like these (or any) but I just had the feeling I had to this time. I have a (1) year old Border Collie, his name is Alden (his [old] pic attached). When I first had to decide whether to accept Alden as my partner or not, it was the most difficult decision I had to face, I had just moved out (alone) to a new country and my economy wasn’t that great as to feed one more mouth other than my own. My girlfriend convinced me to adopt him in the end (she promised she would pick up Alden’s poo everyday forever – she lied). He was only 1 week old when he moved in to my house and I have spent so many memories with him in just one year as you could imagine – and I guess your relationship with Jazzy is alike. For better or worse, I’ve managed to maintain us both for a whole year, sometimes both our plates barely have food and sometimes we enjoy several servings. We even (this is a little embarrasing) cuddle together when is cold, and fight for the warmer blanket. But whenever I recall that moment in my life when I had to decide whether to adopt Alden or not, I can’t help but to feel I made the right choice. Even though keeping him was against all my reasoning, and logic at first.

    What I want to say is to look at puppy’s eyes, and look inside you as well to truly decide whether to keep puppy or not. It’s not a matter of whether Jazzy will be replaced or puppy will fill an empty space when she’s gone. They’re different dogs, and none of them will be able to fill the place in your hearth that the other fills already. Think of puppy as a new possible member of the pack, Jazzy will always be that irreplaceable partner and no one will ever be able to fill the place she has in your heart. If you take puppy with you, she will have a new and totally different part in it, completely unrelated to Jazzy’s. And when you guys have to part ways with Jazzy, you guys will grieve her and fill the empty place whithin your heart with all the happy memories you spent alongside her, not with another new dog.

    Just like Marley step into our lives to stay (a cute 2 months old stray poodle), when he suddenly came into our house after I opened the front door to go buy some groceries.

    • bwbc
      November 16, 2013

      Thank you and I’m glad you decided to post a comment. Your BC is beautiful. 🙂 I just wanted to say our situations are a bit different. This puppy doesn’t really need me. There are many other great families wanting to adopt him. So, imagine you have had your two dogs for 10 long years. They were there for you everyday but now they are getting old. You fall in love with a foster puppy one day and you try to decide what’s best for everyone. In my case, I know in my heart, letting this pup to someone who is 100 % ready for a puppy is the right thing. It was a hard decision only because she is so darn precious. Kudos to you for committing to your BC when you didn’t have enough money. I’ve been there too many times. I saved up money for my medical procedure, but ended up using it when one of my furry kids needed to go to an emergency room. Thanks again for your comment. I hope your financial situation is a little better now.

  5. littledoglinus
    November 17, 2013

    You are a special person and I’m sure this was a difficult decision. Jazzy knows how much you love her, no matter who else might be in your life. You are right, though, the right dog will come at the right time. You’ll just know. 😉

    • bwbc
      November 17, 2013

      I hope so! Thank you 🙂

  6. Denise Paniconi
    November 19, 2013

    I filled out the adoption papers 2 days ago. I only have one other dog – a border named Finnegan who is 9 years old. I am ready for another and Finnegan has responded well to other dogs in the house who I have had here while dog-sitting. We also have 2 cats who are fine with dogs. When are you going to respond to me?

    • bwbc
      November 19, 2013

      Adoption coordinator/volunteer will be in touch. We have a lot of applications to process but she should contact you soon. Thank you for your patience.

  7. Pingback: #GreyIsBeautiful | Just me, my camera and my Border Collie

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