Saturday, November 24, 2007

Burke's First Year in Portland


That's Burke on the right (with his predecessor Copilot to one side, Jodi's leg to the other).

It was one year ago today that Burke's foster moms Jodi and Lisa brought him up from their farm just south of Eugene, and he took his first tentative steps into Casa del Belmont. Well, not exactly 365 days ago, but it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so I figure today makes a fitting date for his first anniversary...

That moment last fall when this dysfunctional dog I ran across on the Pacific Northwest Border Collie Rescue website made the transition from rural Lane County orphan to fearful yet inquisitive resident of the mean streets of Portland came, in fact, not 23 hours after the untimely death of the mighty Copilot. And he's made some pretty impressive strides toward occupying those all but unfillable shoes... In the past year, he's established comfort zones in the kitchen and the living room. He no longer has to be dragged out to the backyard to "do his thing" (although he's still not entirely comfortable in that environment). And he's now capable of making his way from the house to the car without once crouching in fear of oxygen, sunlight or birdsong... although he is still a bit freaked out by the sound of the neighbors unlocking their front door.

In short, Burke has loosened up... a lot! Those of you who've met Burke have no doubt been struck by his overwhelming apprehension of anything that doesn't involve cowering in the most inconspicuous corner of any given room. When I first met this dog, his very being was defined by abject terror. Somewhere in Burke's obscure Montana past, somebody really did a number on him. But he's made enourmous gains in the past year. He now wags his tail once in a while. He's grown to tolerate, if not enjoy, going on walks to the local coffee shop. And when he hears the sound of Jenni locking her car and approaching the house, he turns himself inside-out with joy (something about Jenni just sends this dog into orbit).

So here's to Burke, this crazy border collie of mine. Nobody knows his history. Nobody knows what's wrong with him. Nobody even knows how old he is... but we know this: as long as he's carrying on Copilot's legacy, he's in a much better place than he was back in Montana...

2 comments:

Trisha said...

Yay Burke! And yay you for taking on this extrordinary task!!

Anonymous said...

Great tribute to both dogs! LGS