Friday, November 11, 2011
Oreo came to Carolina ACD Rescue and Rebound from a home headed out of the country at the ripe “old” age of eight. Amazingly, he knew nothing about manners, whether be they basic commands, acceptable behavior, or walking on a leash. As his new foster home I was surprised he knew his name. He had spent quite a bit of time kenneled before we heard about him, and as with most cattle dogs, kenneling was not a prime solution for him, yes, it was better than a gas chamber, but he suffered. His allergies, coupled with anxiety, had caused him to lick most of the fur off his fore limbs by his elbow, his feet were saliva stained from his licking, and his ears were hairless from his constant rubbing of them due to the raging yeast infection he had in both.
He was not a happy camper.
We signed on to foster him and another CACDR&R alum that was in a boarding situation, Melissa decided that Oreo was the best fit as she was sure we could handle his large size, strength, and lack of discipline. In his time at the kennel, Melissa thankfully found out he is highly food motivated and taught the old codger “sit”. He came to our house in March of 2009, Oreo was now nine.
The summer came and went, as did Oreo’s tenth birthday, and Donovan’s reenlistment with the US Navy. We were set to move and no other foster home was available, we looked at Oreo and how well he fit with the our existing pack of four and signed the papers to officially become those” dog people”. It was Veteran’s Day, 2009.
It will be two years since Oreo officially became ours, his ears are gorgeous and the fur has grown in with matching white tufts of fur inside, we call them his old man hairs. His allergies are well under control, only acting up when spring pollen is rampant. He has learned several basic commands, leash manners, and impulse control (ok, we are working on this still). We have discovered that he has arthritis in lower back, and hypothyroid issues, but despite all this, our vet has declared him one of the best looking, and healthiest 12 year olds in his practice.
While Oreo can be cranky when being asked to do something he doesn’t want to do, like give up his spot on the bed to the humans, he is a lover. He will give up his belly for a good rubbing anytime, anywhere, even in the middle of a pet store or the vet’s office. Ear, head, and butt scratches are his favorite, and he is the only one of my five dogs that will take a treat from my mouth, this is also the only time he will take any treat without living up to his name of snapdragon. In typical cattle dog fashion, he needs to be near or touching you, at this very moment he is being an excellent foot warmer here in chilly New Hampshire.
PS: We will be moving back down south at the end of the month to Georgia, much to the delight of many of our CACDR&R “family” members.