We had decided our house
was too quiet. Six months prior we had lost our 15 year old Border Collie,
Webster, to a combination of ailments. So we found a listing for a rescue
group and contacted them asking about adopting a BC.
They told us that just down the road was a breeder who had a small female BC she was trying to place, but that this girl was deaf. We decided to meet this dog and that we would be willing to work around her deafness. When we contacted the breeder, she informed us she was moving and we would have to come over right away.
I had to go to work, so my wife went over to meet her. I told her whatever she decided would be OK. When I came home that night, I found my wife sitting on the floor with a small white dog on her lap. I came over and sat down next to them and Misty looked at me, got up and crawled in my lap and has been "my" dog since. She was gaunt, mostly white with fur stained from the dirt. She hadn't been abused, but she was certainly suffering from neglect. We took her to our vet who said she wouldn't spay her until she gained some weight (she weighed 25 pounds then compared to 37 today). To make matters worse, we were having Santa Ana winds then and her long, dry fur made her a static electricity ball. The poor girl was shocked by everything and spend a lot of time hiding in corners.
As time passed, she became more confident and started doing Border Collie things like playing ball at all hours and manipulating her humans. We worked with her and taught her sign language. We primarily use American Sign Language, but do make up signs for things we can't find in ASL dictionaries.
Then she had a seizure. That's when we found out she had epilepsy. Fortunately to this point, it has been successfully been treated with Chinese herbal medications and she has not had a seizure in over a year and has not had to deal with the stronger medications used in more serious cases.
Anyway, that was thenů
Now she is the alpha bitch in our house of 4 BC's. She has no idea she has any disabilities. She is confident, outgoing and we often introduce her to prospective rescue adopters as an example of what dominant BC bitch is like. She has a vocabulary of over 30 signs which vary from come, sit and wait to being able to tell her I'm going to work or I'm staying home that day.
One sign she learned recently was the difference between "lets go for a ride" and "lets go for a LONG ride". We drove with her and other rescue dogs across country to the BCSA National specialty where she got to strut her stuff in the rescue parade.
We are quite proud of Misty and hold her up as an example that dogs can overcome many barriers and have a happy life.