Upham's Corner Online

 Most Adorable Australian Shepherd and Spaniel Mix - Whose Dog is this?

Hickory Ridge AKMeet the most adorable Australian shepherd and spaniel mix you ever did see.  Hickory, a babe in arms just over the age of one, was recently adopted by someone in Uphams Corner who loves dogs.  (Do you know who??)

Hickory was adopted but the "getting used to" phase of the adoption was not easy.  You see, she had a troubled youth, having been abandoned before her first birthday on the side of the road in Arkansas.  In fact, the town where she was so crudely cast on her own was Hickory Ridge Arkansas, hence her name.

The rescue agency said it's really common in the South for people to not spay or neuter their dogs so they have lots of extra dogs that they don't take care of.

More about Hickory Ridge AK

The map shows that Hickory Ridge lies at the intersection of Route 42 and Flora St and ends where Sewer Pond Rd meets Jimmy Freeze Rd.

According to Wikipedia, Hickory Ridge is 0.6 sq miles (twice the size of Uphams Corner) with a popuation of 384 people (2000 census) or 640 people / sq mi.  By comparison, Uphams Corner has around 8000 people or a population density of around 24,000 people.

Animal Rescue League to the Rescue

The local animal rescue league secured the dog and made arrangements for its transfer to a "foster home" in New Hampshire.

Meanwhile our loving "Adopt a Dog" Dad had been pining for a four-footed companion and had been reaching out to pet other dogs in the neighborhood.  Sarah, who lives within dog walking distance, was crazy about him.  Passing by his place, she would stop and whine, asking to go in to see him.  With her tail in full motion and up on her rear legs giving him a hug and a kiss, she was living proof that Adopt-a-Dog-Dad would make a good dad.

Well, the time to increase the family's size had arrived.  Dad's partner, Misses Dad, began looking for a dog online and stopped at PetFinder.com.  "What a cute dog," she said and fell in love with the photo immediately, especially given the dog's relatively close location in New Hampshire just over the border from Massachusetts.

So after consultation with the dog adoption agency, up the two adoptive parents traveled to see their soon-to-be loving daughter dog.

Hickory, an adorable Australian Shepherd and Spaniel Mix Hickory, an adorable Australian Shepherd and Spaniel Mix

Meet Ms. Growls

Woah!  What a shock.  As beautiful as Hickory was, she was not welcoming - not to Dad, not to Misses Dad.  Growl, growl and more growls.  "We can't take this dog," they both said, disappointed.  "She doesn't like us."

But the adoption agency salesperson, whose job it is to convince future parents they are perfect for the dog, was very smooth in her manner and delivery, convincing the young couple to give Hickory a second chance.  This time only Misses Dad went up to visit their misfit child and Hickory was better behaved, staying the weekend with Mrs. Dad.

Next step:  Hickory came to visit Mom and Dad for a week but stayed for two weeks.  And wouldn't you know . . .

"We can't take this dog back," they both said.  This was in the face of Hickory still not treating Dad well at all, growling and being downright unfriendly.  Worse still, Hickory nipped at their roommate.  In fact, to this day, Hickory likes strangers better than she does the roommate.

"So how long did it take Hickory to get used to you?"  Dad looked out calmly from a set of glazed eyes that showed there is more to this story than meets the eye.  "A couple months," he said.  Wow!  What a patient person.

Hickory, the Love of their Lives

Hickory has now worn a deep spot into the hearts of Dad and Misses Dad.  On "Take your Dog to Work Day," Dad took Hickory with him and periodically let her perform the one trick she will do for Dad.  "Touch," he says.  Hickory jumps high into the air and grabs the peanut from Dad's fingers.  Throw the peanut at Hickory and it lands on the ground.  Hickory does not know how to play "ball."

"Is she good traveling in a car?"  "No," Dad said. "She throws up. Not every trip but long trips. If we don't feed her for a bunch of hours before the trip, she still throws up but at least it's not food."

"So she's a little bit of a troublemaker, huh?"  Dad smiled. "We take her to a park where we can let her go and she runs really fast. She is crazy fast. I have never seen a faster dog. She likes to play 'chase.' And she'll have other dogs chase her. When the other dogs want her to chase them, she acts bored."     [A little spoiled??]

Hickory, an adorable Australian Shepherd and Spaniel Mix Hickory, an adorable Australian Shepherd and Spaniel Mix

Good Job!

Life changes when the children arrive.  Time is no longer your own.  The kids want a lot of attention and that's how the bonding forms and the love grows.

Yes, Hickory growled at me, too, when I first visited.  But I know dogs well.  She was telling me she wanted to visit on her terms, not mine.  "Sit down, relax," she said in that special dog body language. "I'll be over to visit in a while."

And, yup, that's what happened.  A little nose here, a little nose there and soon, she let me pet her.  Hickory is as adorable and soft-furred a dog you could ever want to meet and cuddle.

Mom - Good job and Dad, you, too.  Good Job!

Now it's your turn . . . Whose dog is this?  Do you know?  Send email to : uphamscornernews@gmail.com
Or use the COMMENT LINK below.  We'll announce the winners in the next issue.

Posted: April 2, 2013     Nancy J Conrad

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