Monday, May 21, 2012

Woof, Woof, Black-Faced Dog

After spending three days at the Bluegrass Classic Stockdog Trials, I was reminded of the beauty of the working dog.

These Border collies, because that's what most of them are, come in sizes ranging from 25 pounds to 55 pounds. Some have short coats. Some have rough, or long coats. Some are prick-eared. Others are floppy-eared. Many are black and white. Some, mostly black. Others black, tan and white. One or two might be red. A few more have a lot of white. Only one of the dozens was a blue merle.

All worked sheep. Because of this, most of their handlers cared little about their dogs' appearances.

Today, though, I left that working dog world and entered the rescue world, where I was evaluating a dog from a shelter. He was a mild-mannered boy, a nice mover, and had a nice disposition around people and other dogs. But he had a major strike against him. He had a black face.

In the pet world, black-faced dogs, no matter how mannerly, how sweet, how nice, are often passed over for adoption.

But after spending three days watching the beauty of the working dog, the dog that listened to its handler, that covered yards in seconds, that brought the sheep around the course, I'd become accustomed to looking at a dog, not a face.

I wanted to give this guy a chance. He's in rescue now, hoping someone will see him as a wonderful dog, not a black face.

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