When I got Tatum from Houston Collie Rescue back in 2007, I knew she was special. Though when I say special, I don’t mean she was exceptionally smart (though she is very smart) or would go far in dog sports, or would excel in anything I was going to do with her. No.. not in that way. Because she came from rescue, a hoarder with 70 collies running amok in her back yard. So right from the get-go Tatum had issues, and I also knew that in a way, they made her special.
She’s special because she is very timid when I take her outside, but she recovers really fast when she’s at home. She bosses the boys around, but what girl doesn’t? She growls at the other dogs if they get too close to her on the bed or on the couch. She’s a bit full of herself sometimes, and at other times she likes to be on her own.
Tatum is hard to quantify, really. She loves to do agility training, though at trials she’s not so sure. She doesn’t like people all that much, but she likes us okay, and will nip at us in her herding collie way to get us to play. And the louder we squeal, the more she likes it. I couldn’t place her in a home where, if she nipped, they would punish her or think she was doing a bad thing. Her nipping is for play, and she needs people who understand that, even it hurts!
She needs someone who understands her growling, too. It’s not aggression at all, it’s just that ‘stop touching me’ thing that even human kids do. She’s very picky with food, but she loves Tuna! She needed someone to build up her confidence and help her to accept people as good things, and as part of her life.
She’s not a dog that could be put in just any old home and be expected to adapt. She needed to understand people rules, in a good way, to build her confidence and help her live a happy life.
Some dogs are special and need special homes. When I met Tatum, I fell in love with her. I was afraid no one else would really understand her. And so we kept her. And we understand her. And we just adore her to pieces.