Rusty came to us after I received a call from a woman who was trying to place him. She explained that her 4 year old granddaughter hit him and he nipped the child on her nose. I had never done rescue before and was a little reluctant because of the biting incident. The owner told me that he was very hyperactive and sound sensitive, so much so that he wouldn't stay outside by himself. If she didn't go outside with him, he spent the whole time just running from one door to the other. The owner mentioned that she had a female that was in season and she had hoped to breed the two. I explained to the woman that temperament is inherited and that using him for breeding would produce dogs with the same type of personality. I then told her that I would take him and find him a home. I explained to her about rescue groups and assured her that he would not be placed until the right home was found for him. Because of State laws concerning dog bites, the dog had to be quarantined at her home for 10 days, so we made arrangements for me to come and get him when the time limit was reached.
When I went over to the owner's house to pick up the dog, I was greeted at the door by a very friendly Sheltie, named Hershey, with the reddest coat I had ever seen! Hershey was 2 years old and had originally been purchased from a pet store. His original owners had sold him through an ad in the paper when he was about 1 year old. After talking with the woman, it was obvious that she loved the dog very much, and did not blame the dog for what happened. To prevent another incident, the woman had been keeping Hershey closed up in a room while the child was at her house. Because the child spent a lot of time at her house, she didn't feel that she was being fair to the dog.
I had already been in contacted a rescue group and they said that they would take him. Unfortunately, because of summer vacations and other factors, they were short-handed. I agreed to keep Hershey for a couple of weeks until the rescue group was able to foster him and give him some individual attention to ease his relocation. In the mean time, I had him neutered so that he would be ready to go when a new home was found. After 2 weeks, a friend of mine, Gabby, came to pick up Hershey and take him to a member of the rescue group. I took some pictures of Hershey, and handed his leash over to Gabby. The next thing I know, here comes Hershey running back through the gate and into our yard and he runs straight to my husband, Martin. Hershey had slipped out of his collar. After that, Martin couldn't let him go, and the rest, as they say, is history. Hershey had made it clear what he wanted.
Because of his bright red coat, the name of Hershey just didn't seem to fit. We searched through name books, but couldn't come up with anything that seemed right. Both of us found ourselves calling him Rusty without thinking, so we decided to go with the what came naturally.
Rusty is a "special needs" Sheltie. He is indeed hyperactive, always on the move and pacing constantly. His activity level and sound sensitivity level are abnormally high. It is almost like his senses are being overloaded. Right now, we are working with some basic training, but his behavior may require drug therapy. We have not had any problems with aggression or biting. I can only assume that his prior incident was purely self-defense. One thing Rusty does not have to worry about anymore - he is home to stay.
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