Capture the Angels
It’s been over four weeks since BB came to us and we, as foster parents, are supposed to write a bio for our foster pups after a month or so and post pictures so that potential adopters can view their information. Some of you know that I am still grieving after having to let Jazzy go and I don’t think I will ever completely heal from this loss. I still cry daily and I have the huge hole in my heart. I wasn’t sure if I could take on another Border Collie, especially black and white ones. BB (short for Baby Blue) showed up on my facebook feed just three weeks after Jazzy passed. She is deaf, apparently due to irresponsible breeding and she was surrendered to our rescue at 3 months old. I was reluctant but my husband suggested that we should foster her. “If anyone can, you can help her.” he said to me, knowing how to push the right button. I still didn’t know if fostering a Border Collie so soon was a good idea but I decided to drive to Dallas to meet this blue eyed girl. Needless to say, I ended up bringing her home despite the odd behaviors I noticed there.
First two weeks were challenging and exhausting. I work from home but I didn’t get much done as I was working with her all day and every day. Training a deaf dog is one thing, but when you combine that with other issues, it was a completely different story. She has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and she chases invisible things. Her OCD gets worse when she is on a slick floor, when she is bored and when there is dust in the air. Being deaf, we wondered if her sense of vision was heightened. We had to OCD-deaf-puppy proof the house right away with barriers, gates, crates and pens. Potty training a hearing impaired puppy meant lots of management and a tight schedule. She was sweet but independent. She could care less about where we were and what we were doing. For the most part, she cared about her food and chasing and pouncing at the invisible “something”. In the beginning, she tried to dig in her crate and in her pen, and cried because she couldn’t “catch” whatever she thought she was digging for. We couldn’t let her loose in the yard or she’d try to run the fence obsessively. On top of that, she has coprophagia (desire to eat her own feces), resource guarding tendency with my other dog and digestive issues. They all made the potty training and OCD training much more difficult.
Three weeks later, I started noticing gradual yet obvious changes in her. I was able to let her in the kitchen without having any OCD episodes. We were ecstatic when BB laid down and relaxed in the kitchen for a moment. She started caring where I was and wanted to follow me around. Using her drive for her food, I was able to teach her to fetch toys, which made exercising her much easier. Without mental and physical exercises, BB had a tendency to go back to her old self. Recall (coming when requested) in the house, in the yard and even outside of the house is becoming pretty solid. She wears a vibration collar (without the shock function) but these days I rarely use it. I still keep it on just in case.
On the fourth week, at 4 months old, new behavioral issues arose as the old ones diminished. I believe she is going into her fear stage. She is scared of shadows and other things that are out of ordinary like dry ice. She is also a mild car chaser. I am taking her everywhere to continue socializing and exposing her to new things. I take a bag of grilled chicken to work on her car chasing habit and she is doing better with that.
Now that her OCD episodes are less and less, she just acts like a crazy Border Collie puppy with puppy zoomies in between. We are working on other normal issues; mouthing, stealing shoes and socks, jumping onto the table (literally on top), and impulse control in general. She rings the potty bell when she needs to go out. She sleeps through the night quietly and she takes a nap during the day while I work. She likes her crate and goes in willingly and stays there until we let her out. She came to me with sit, down, shake and touch. I am teaching her variety of signs. So far she understands the signs for sit, down, shake, high five, spin, touch, point, potty, wait, OK, take it, watch me, walk, good girl, yes and get it.
She is affectionate, does not understand personal space (in a cute way), and loves being close to her people. She hasn’t met anyone she doesn’t like. She is comfortable with little kids and other dogs. She can be quite bossy with dogs that have a soft personality. She rides well in the cars and falls sleep on my lap. Because of her sensitive digestive system, she is on a special diet with probiotic and pumpkin at the moment. She is getting fish oil, and coconut oil for her dry skin. She is current on all shots, heartworm medication and flea prevention. Once she is spayed later this month, she will be officially adoptable.
Type of family BB needs: