CGC ABC 183159
We acquired Chance in the early spring of 2003. I had been searching for a sable Border Collie for a long time, and finally in the spring of 2002 I saw Chance on the website of a breeder in New York State, Kim Baumgart, and I wrote to her asking about him. He wasn't of her breeding, but she had bought him from a young girl who had lost her apartment and needed the money. He came from working lines with O'Brae's Coach and Jagger's Celt in his background. But, I had wanted a sable female, so by the time I made up my mind, someone else had claimed him. A year later, I heard from Kim again. Apparantly the woman who had wanted Chance, never came to pick him up, and Kim offered him to me again. This time, no closer to my sable female, I decided right away to take him. The next problem was getting him from Western New York State to eastern Massachusetts without my having to drive 7 or 8 hours. This was solved by Jennifer Fuller, a rescue colleague in New York State, who agreed to meet Kim in Albany and keep Chance for a month for me until another transport was coming further east.
Chance has turned out to have rather a schizophrenic personality. On the one hand he is very, very sweet. But he has a lot of fears: thunder, of course, but also riding in the car, other loud noises, and noises that we can't hear or they were so much part of the normal environment that they did not make any impression on us. If he is fearful, he trembles and pants. If you try to get him to do something while he is in fear mode, he will bite (and then feel bad about it afterwards). We took him to the dog shrink, but he didn't exhibit any fear aggression and she could not adequately address it. We've tried the usual drugs often recommended for dogs with phobias and fear aggression, but they did not work for Chance, and we didn't want him waling around in a stupor all day. So we've adapted in order to live with it. If we are going somewhere in the car, we leash Chance, and he gets docile and goes in readily enough. If we need to groom him, he must be muzzled. Ditto at the vet.
Chance is very smart, and has figured out a little scam all on his own. Our younger dogs are crated at night, but for a time (especially during thunder storm season) Chance would not go in. In order to get him to go into his crate at night, we began to use liver treats. Now, he goes into his crate all by himself at around 10:00pm and, in order that he will always do that, we, of course, give him his treat immediately and close the door. All winter long, he stayed there, even when 11:00 rolled around and the other dogs were being taken out for the last time. One night, he began scratching on the door of his crate to be let out when the other dogs were going out. Thinking it was a good thing that he wanted to go out, I let him out of his crate and out with the other dogs. When he came in again, he rushed back to his crate expecting another piece of liver, which, of course I gave him, because I don't want to discourage him from going into his crate. Now that is a regular occurrence every night!
Above Chance (foreground) with puppy Sage early spring 2003.
The above two photos of Chance were taken at the 2008 NEBCR Reunion. Chance is almost 8 years old in them.
Found this definition of "chance" in the dictionary:
"Noun meaning fate, accident, destiny, but also meaning possibility and opportunity, risk, unexpected adventure."
All these apply to our lives with Chance.
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