I have been trying to convince Graeme we need a second dog ever since our lovely Dione succumbed to old age shortly after Christmas. Graeme has of course resisted. A few days ago he mentioned going away for a few days and I pointed out either Athena would have to come with us or she'd need a friend to keep her company. After just a little thought Graeme opted for the Get Athena A Friend option. I threw myself into action before he could change his mind and searched the agricultural newspaper for Border Collie pups.
I have wanted a working dog for myself when I help in the sheep yards. With my back injury I'm severely limited in how much I can help, but with a four legged assistant I should find it a much easier and less painful job.
Yesterday I rang the dog owners from the first ad I found but all four male long haired Border Collies were sold. I looked in the Rural and found another lot of Border Collies - these ones smooth coated. They had two females and four males for sale and were in Wagga. Yesterday was the best day for the owners for us to go see them so we headed off straight after lunch. After a short discussion before we left we decided there were more advantages to a female pup than a male pup. Females, in our experience, tend to be a bit more sensible.
Choosing between the two cute female pups was difficult but eventually one pup seemed to show a bit more independence and interest in her surroundings. The owner told us she also had the best voice (important when working sheep) so she was our choice. I apologised to the other pup for slighting her and told her I hope she found a good home with someone else (earning a strange look from the owner).
We are now the proud owners of Demeter (Greek goddess of crops and harvest - very appropriate huh?). She and Athena made instant friends. Demeter was glad to see another dog and Athena has wanted a doggy friend ever since Dione died. Demeter has no problems with being followed around by a giant puppy and Athena is besotted and gob smacked that dogs come in such small packages. She met a whippet yesterday when the people came to buy a ram and thought that was on the small size for a dog, but Demeter is tiny!
Speaking of the whippet - the poor little girl got a grass seed in her side a while back. She's had five operations to remove it as it travelled under her skin. She now has to see a specialist vet at Charles Sturt University Veterinary School because the seed germinated inside her and she has multiple lumps and infections in her little body. She looks healthy and happy, but of course the germinated seed has to be located by ultrasound and removed. Her owner told me the total surgery bill (counting the previous operations) will come to over $2,000.00.
It's been 15 years since I've had a tiny pup and that was Dione and Juno who had their mum with them all through their growing years. It's ages since I've had to look after a sad little pup who misses its mother, but Athena is doing a good job in keeping Demeter company and making her happier to be here. Last night they curled up on Athena's rug together and slept the night away without so much as a whimper from Demeter.
Taking photos was an adventure in itself. Then getting the two dogs to smile at the camera at the same time took me back to my kindergarten teaching days. So photo quality isn't great. Anyway ... presenting Demeter Small aged nine weeks (that collar was the smallest size we could buy without insulting her by buying a cat collar).