I was making my way from town to town, traveling by car, or maybe it was by bike, I really can’t remember those things. All I know, is that one day, my human companion vanished. One minute I was standing by his side, the next minute, he was gone. I was all alone and I was a bit frightened.
I guess I was just ten months old at that time, but nobody really knows for sure. And now that I was without my human, I had to go with another, as it would be unsafe for me to walk the streets by myself, and also, I needed someone to feed me.
I rode in a car that day, it’s one of my favorite things to do. And they’re really fun to chase too. I was dropped off where there were a lot of my kind but we could only play with each other through the fence, and I didn’t like that much. I can’t recall how long I was there at that place, it might have been two months or more, all the while, everyone was really nice to me.
If you could imagine, I was pretty wound up, spending most of my days inside, in a kennel, looking at my view of a concrete wall. I’m a border collie, that’s what I’ve been told anyways; black and white with fancy spots and I’m extremely smart, one of the smartest.
I love herding and being out in the wide open spaces, giving chase, doing what I was born to do. And I love it when everyone is together, gathered around in a circle. That’s when I’m the happiest.
A woman came to my kennel one day, I think she wanted to take me with her. She must’ve looked at me through the chain link fence, making eye contact with me. I don’t like that much, the staring into my eyes, it’s uncomfortable. She took me outside though to play where the sun was shining and the breeze was blowing.
Out there in the fenced yard, on the green grass, I could run around in huge circles. I would go one lap after another, my tongue flopping about. I love sniffing everything I can; fire hydrants, fence posts, but I prefer butts.
The lady that took me outside, she was pulling tightly, I was pulling too in the opposite direction. I was trying to get ahold of another inch of the rope, clamping down tight with my jaws. That must of been how I bit her. It was an accident, I really didn’t mean to do it.
Because she said that I hurt her and that I drew blood, I was put back in my cage and now was spending all of my time laying around indoors. Another human walked by, a lady in blue, she must’ve worked there, hanging a sign on my kennel that said, “bite quarantine, don’t touch”, whatever that means.
I have these floppy high pointing ears that make my hearing impeccable. I cocked my head and listened as a voice was approaching, it was coming from the other side of the room, a real deep voice. He was saying hello to every dog as he walked by them.
I sensed his slight fear and hesitation when he looked down at me and then up at the sign they hung, the one that warned him not to touch me. I wiggled and I pranced, being sure to let him know I was friendly, that I wouldn’t bite him. Really what I was doing was trying to encourage him to give me a scratch through the fence. I’ll do anything for a scratch.
I’ll never forget the first time he touched me, it felt so good. He got that spot right behind my ear that gets me every time. My eyes must have gone droopy as he sat their talking to me, continuing to rub the side of my face through the fence. I only understood two of the words he said the whole time he was there, “good” and “boy”.
I saw him again the next day. He was making his way through the big room, saying hi to the other dogs, but he arrived quicker this time at my kennel, bringing me a bone. It was a milk bone, and it was much different than the the other bones I had been eating lately.
This time I would lean the entire side of my body against the fence, pressing firmly up against it, making it easy for him to reach through and touch me. He was talking to me, and even though I couldn’t understand most everything he said, it all sounded so nice.
I didn’t understand why he couldn’t take me with him. I was ready to go. I hear the other other humans telling him that I might have to be moved to another place, a border collie rescue, or perhaps be euthanized. I didn’t even want to know what that word meant.
It seemed like eternity before I saw him again but it could have been just a minute or maybe just a day until he returned. I wagged as enthusiastically as I could but I was also trying not to be to rambunctious and turn him away. One of the the other humans that wears blue, and is here all the time, told him I was un-adoptable, another word I don’t know, and didn’t care to know.
I have no real concept of time, but it seemed like he was coming around a lot. One day, he put a leash on me and took me out into that same yard where they say I bit that woman. I don’t remember that either, or maybe I do.
While we were out there playing, he tossed a tennis ball. It was flying through the air, and so was I, going after it. It felt like I woke up at Wimbledon or in dog heaven.
I showed him how good I was at playing the entire field, returning every ball to him that he threw. And I wasn’t quick to let the ball go either when I returned it, trying to make him tug it from my teeth, but he wasn’t having any of it. I had to sit and leave it. I’m really good at sitting.
There I was again, in my kennel, laying on my green plastic hammock, passing the time, the last turd I laid, laying there next to me. That’s when I heard his voice come through the door. I knew his voice well. He calls me Jo. I think I like that name. He walked over to visit with me, this time with the lady in blue. She was holding a piece of paper in her hand.
I had never sat at a desk before, so I laid under his chair. He was reaching down and patting my head with one hand and playing with the papers on the desk with the other. He and the woman sat there playing papers together for awhile.
Now it was just the two of us, him walking me outside, beyond the doors, where there were no fences. It was all so big, and so exciting, so much in fact, that I actually pee’d myself. I was finally free.