Sam was surrendered at 7 months old as the person who bought him soon realised he was not going to be an easy dog to care for; boundless energy and intelligence are two of many Border Collie traits. He was - he is - very affectionate and loving too.
I fostered him with a view to sending him at the first opportunity to a friend who had lost her Border Collie. Asap became 4 months as sadly after only one week with us he became aggressive with other dogs (only when walking on a lead). Off lead he was every dogs best friend, he played and was loved by virtually every dog we met. And yet as soon as the lead went on and we left the trail, dogzilla emerged!
All manner of training and all the usual things we know and do worked for a day or two, or at least until Sam figured out what you were doing / going to do. It got worse and in the end I realised I couldn't possibly home him. To prevent another dog being bitten or me as I received a few bites though accidentally to my legs and feet mainly - he was muzzled for every walk on the lead!
I was not able to have a single full nights sleep from the time he came to stay. I'm not a patient person (with people, I'm sorry to say, ha ha!) but I am with dogs as a rule. However Sam pushed every button and drove me to distraction in ways no other dog has ever done.
He constantly herded my dogs and cat making them really miserable and unwilling to even come into the house, preferring to stay on the terrace to get away from him, regardless of the weather. He wandered around during the night and early hours arranging my shoes, and demolishing the plants, turning over the water bowls and lying in the water.
I went so far as to contact a Border Collie Rescue in Warwickshire, England who agreed to take him. I then told them about his quirks and I never heard from them again. A 'no sorry' would have been fine but alas nothing. I wasn't going to do what so many people have done to me and lie about their dogs behaviour and say how lovely the dog was when in reality, their dog has a colourful variety of problems and issues.
Border Collies are beautiful dogs but they are so smart, they anticipate your next move, and can run rings round you at times. Constantly herding and trying to get you where they want you to be - they can wear you down and wear you out. They should NOT be in Hong Kong - they need space and a job. I fully appreciate why the rescue organisations for Border Collies are full to overflowing and I mean always with a long waiting list.....
Sam was very lucky as he went to friends in Singapore where he ran on the beach for hours before the world woke up. He was walked, loved, trained and learned to follow the lead of his companion - a large, highly intelligent German Shepherd who was very much a 'take no nonsense' type of dog and just what Sam needed.
After 3 months he started ignoring some dogs, without warning. Not all dogs mind you, he always reacted to Retrievers, Lab's and Huskies + anything that yapped at him.
Then disaster. His skin erupted and he had awful skin problems which grew worse, causing him to scratch almost non-stop after walks. He was tested and the results showed he was allergic to grass, some trees, many plants not to mention a number of foods all in Singapore - and the heat was aggravating it further!
Yet again, Sam's luck held out and he's now in the UK on a farm and thriving. His last adopter sent him there over a month ago and he is having the time of his life - he runs around the acres of farmland with another rescue dog herding the horses. He has 'his person' so life for Sam is perfect - he is thriving!
He's a very fortunate dog indeed, not many dogs get four opportunities, let alone in three different countries and in great homes. I wonder if he'd have been so fortunate if he'd been a mixed breed?
The moral of this story is thinking of adopting a Border Collie? Then think again!