Resisting Temptation.

Last week, we stared temptation right in its brown puppy dog eyes and resisted. There’s a first time for everything. I have a rather poor track record with temptation, but I am learning…slowly!

As you may be aware, our much loved Border Collie, Bilbo, passed away a few weeks ago. I have already shared our unfathomable loss  and what it’s been like seeing him accelerate from a tiny pup into an old dog, in the time it’s taken our daughter to almost start high school. It’s been weird. Like two parallel clocks operating on different speeds. His clock was set on turbo-fast, while he probably wondered why it takes an eternity for us humans to grow up.

We already had another dog. We adopted Lady two years ago so that when this moment came, we were prepared. There wouldn’t be that echoing silence of a household without a dog.

However, we’ve become used to having two dogs and Lady has never been an only dog. She cries when we get home, even if she does sleep a lot when we’re here and isn’t omnipresent. So, we have been thinking about getting a Border Collie pup next year, after we’ve had a bit of time. I’m wary of getting a dog on the rebound as a dog is a long term commitment you can’t send back when you make a mistake.

Stella with shoes

You can see from these photos just how small Stella is…a real ball of fluff.

However, Little Stella caught us unprepared. A friend of ours belongs to a pet rescue group and they were taking care of Stella after she’d been rescued from a puppy farm and had been desexed. This meant that this incredibly cute white ball of fluff was looking for her forever home. I knew as soon as my daughter saw her, that we would be perilously close to taking her home, and that I’d have to mount a very effective “NO!” campaign to walk away. My daughter doesn’t understand the meaning  of “No”, especially if she can sense any kind of leeway or waiver and I must admit that Stella was very hard to resist and it took quite a lot of of self-control to walk away.

stella shoe 2

Almost Irresistable. 

As easily as it might’ve been to get swayed off course, we are looking at getting a Border Collie puppy sometime next year. On the other hand, Stella was a 4 year old Maltese x Tibetan Spaniel from a puppy farm. We knew nothing about her history and we’re not in the market for high vet bills. Stella has since found a wonderful home with a lady looking for a rescued dog, and has had experience with all that could possibly entail. Indeed, she even paid for Stella to be flown inter-state, and so she’s found a home which was a much better match. Our lives are so unpredictable and potentially precarious with my health issues, that we can’t really take on unknowns. Indeed, the timing will need to be right for a pup.

As much as I would like to encourage people to take on rescue dogs, it needs to be with your eyes open. There’s a massive distinction between giving a much loved family dog another home, versus taking in a dog from puppy farm where its been caged, and seen as a breeder rather than a family member. We had an Old English Sheepdog which had been abused, and much as he was loving, he was incredibly highly strung and went for my husband a few times. He’d clearly been hit and I now wonder whether he’d lived in a cage. We’ve had other two re-homed dogs, including Lady, and that’s gone well. I just think it’s important to consider the enormity of dog ownership and all it entails. Not every dog recovers from abuse…just like people.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the ease of having one dog and Lady is a really beautiful, happy dog. I’ve never seen a dog who wags their tail more.

xx Rowena




Introducing FB…Fake Bilbo.


9 thoughts on “Resisting Temptation.

  1. maxwellthedog

    Max is aghast that any Maltese was found to be resistible. Must have been the corrupting influence of the Tibetan Spaniel. Meantime, I am sure that Lady is wallowing in all the extra attention.

  2. Tails Around the Ranch

    Sweet little fluff balls can easily seduce the emotional unprepared. Coupled with all sorts of obstacles as a puppy mill pup, you get a gold star for resisting such a cutie. Trust me, it does get easier but it’s a process. When the right time comes, you’ll know. 💖

  3. Sascha Darlington

    Now that is a bundle of sweetness.
    I agree. You have to be prepared with a rescue dog. I love my Scout to bits, but because of his background he is never going to be the dog that kisses or demonstrates lots of affection. He is always going to be guarded. I was fostering him and never going to keep him, but after 5 months with no inquiries, I made the decision to give him a forever home. He made the fourth dog at the time 2009. Now, he’s the only one, 8 years later. He’s taught me a lot, much of it about people, myself, and resilience.
    Cheers, Rowena

  4. Rowena Post author

    Thank you so much, Monika. I really appreciate your understanding and support through this time.
    I have such a poor track record with resistance so even on that front alone, it’s an achievement.
    I can feel myself working through the grief. We have a toy Border collie in our loungeroom and that’s been an enormous help. It also acknowledges what he continues to mean to us and that he’s not forgotten. That’s also important to me, that you don’t forget and cancel out the past because it’s painful in the present. Our daughter had been keeping hold of a packe tof his fur which I’d kept and she brought it out to me a few days ago. She was ready to let go of it. I was pleased by that, especially as she still holds onto the memory of a friend who moved away when she was 4, which was 7 years ago now. She has seen her once, and they just picked up from where they left off and there was that special connection between them still.
    BTW, I saw a standard poodle like Sam doen the shops the other day. I had Lady with me and thought to take a photo of them together but wasn’t fast enough. It would’ve been great to send to you.
    I hope you are enjoying what’s left of your weekend.
    Best wishes,

  5. Rowena Post author

    You clearly have a huge heart, Sascha and your Scout does sound very resilient. My friend who was caring for Stella, has also had a guide dog puppy, which left recently. I really admire their courage in bringing dogs into their home, knowing they’ll be leaving. I get very attached.
    Actually, I took Lady, our surviving dog, round to their place and she is quite a hunter and used to live on a farm before she came to us. Well, we had to walk past the rabbit hutch and then out the back they had free range chooks. Lady was on the lead but my friend’s two year old brought one of the chooks round and gave it to Lady. There was a mad tug on the lead and a squark and the chicken escaped. I think the child had heard us talking about Lady liking chicken and brought one over. How sweet!
    Hope you’ve had a great weekend.
    xx Rowena

  6. Rowena Post author

    Naturally, I thought of Max when I met Stella and I was very tempted. I was concerned about how many litters of pups she might’ve had and how that would affect her long term health. They were also charging $400 for her and a Border Collie pup is $500-$ 600. You’re looking at around $1500 for a maltese x Shitzu.
    Stella was incredibly small, which you can see when you reference her to the shoe. The size did concern me a bit in terms of her health. A few too many unknowns.
    Lady is lapping up the extra attention, but she’s been quiet. She’s been sleeping in her bed a lot and keeping to herslef but if I a pan in the kitchen or move her lead, she’s there in a flash. Perhaps, she’s ust pretending.

  7. Tails Around the Ranch

    I would have loved seen a “down under” Sam. Thanks for thinking of us. When the sheepdogs passed, the vet who performed the euthanasia on both occasions, took a plaster paw print of each of the dogs and I have a tuft of fur too. Together with each of their collars I’m getting shadow boxes to honor their memory. That way I can always look at them and smile at all the years of happiness they provided.

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  9. Rowena Post author

    I should’ve got a plaster cast of his paw print. That’s such a good idea. Watch out Lady, here I come. I am planning to get a shadow box for Bilbo and need to get back to chasing up photos of him on my hard drive. It’s such a long process.

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