Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pretty Little Angel Eyes

This lovely girl is Angel. Angel is a 10-year-old Smooth Collie. She is a pure-bred Collie like Lassie, but with short hair. Some people like to call Smooth Collies “Wash & Wear” Collies!

Angel came to us when she was 4 months old. It was clear from the beginning that she was a very special dog. I suppose the best way to describe her is to say that, even with her petite little body (she only weighs 40-45 lbs), she is packed with personality plus!

Altho Jet & Mariah are herding nuts, & virtually obsess about the sheep, we learned early on that Angel was not so inclined. You could call her the UN-herding dog of the house. We tried her in the training pen a couple of times, with very gentle sheep, but when her trainer smacked the ground with the herding stick, Angel was outta there! No stick whacking for her! Whatever spark of herding drive she possessed went >>POOF!<< that day, & never resurfaced.

Even tho she doesn’t herd the sheep, there is still plenty for Angel to do here at Waggin’ Tails Station. For example, she is our “Nurse Dog”. Now that Jet is deaf due to old age, Angel considers it her calling to be aware of Jet’s location at all times. When I call them to come in the house, Angel tracks him down & torments him until he heads for the door. She’s also something of an Enforcer. If one of the younger dogs gets too rambunctious, you’ll hear Angel let out a sharp bark, & next thing you know, that pup is flat on the ground with Angel’s paw on top of his head! She’s a great “mom” for our younger generation of pups & doesn’t tolerate any bratty behavior! If the younger dogs are playing too roughly, we can count on Angel to break it up & calm everything down.

A few years back, a foster dog that someone had brought to the house leapt out from under a chair & bit a little girl who was running past. Four punctures later, her screams were resounding throughout the neighborhood, & we were rushing her up to the house to check her injuries.

As the little girl sat crying in the bathroom while we did first aid, Angel peeked her long Collie nose in the door. For the next half hour, the little girl wrapped her arms around Angel’s neck & cried as her bites were cleaned & bandaged. Angel would reach up & lick the girl’s face every few moments, as if reminding the girl that she was there & everything would be OK. Angel knew that she was needed, & she knew what to do. Even after the tears were past, Angel stayed glued to the little girl’s side for the rest of the day, happy to be dragged around the yard on a leash held by that small fist.

Because she is so friendly & outgoing, Angel isn’t much of a guard dog. She has always eagerly approached any stranger visiting the Station. She considers it her calling to be the official greeter of the household. In fact, if someone were to break into the house (they would have to be crazy with 10 dogs!), it would be Angel who would help them carry their booty out! {{“Can I help you with that?”}} She would helpfully offer to open the doors for them, even! Such a sweet friendly girl, but definitely not the Sentinel of the family! Fortunately, we have Aussies who are more than able for the job!

About 4 years ago, Angel’s eyes were attacked by a very rare auto-immune infection, which had apparently lain dormant for most of her life. By the time we realized what was happening, she had lost much of her eyesight. Now, combined with the cataracts that come with old age, Angel is virtually blind, altho she is still able to see light & shadow.

Even with her limited sight, you’d never know it! She is a bit more timid these days, but she runs through the house & plays with the other dogs as if she is sighted. She is a tremendous example to us, because she continues to enjoy her life & doesn’t let her disability get her down. We should all be so positive in our outlook!

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