Murphy is currently six-years-old, I got him on my birthday just two weeks before he turned two. I lost my first mixed Border Collie to cancer and was not sure if I wanted a puppy or an older dog. My trainer told me for five months about a really great rescue that was being foster. I looked at him just two weeks after my Molly passed and had no interest in him. As time went on and with the encouragement of my trainer and still not sure which way to go, I decided to give Murphy another look. When I arrived at the foster family home, Murphy laid down, rolled over, and wanted a belly rub. I was hooked. I watched him run and jump, he could jump like a gazelle. I was Murphy’s fifth home as he was turned over to a rescue because he was deemed “untrainable.”
I had trained and competed in agility with my first Border Collie and knew I wanted to continue but wanted a dog with a little more spirit. He certainly filled my wish.
When I first brought Murphy home we had lots of issues to resolve. The major one of running off and he had no recall. It took several months to get through to him it was better to be with me than running off. Agility has improved our relationship so much, he loves it and sits by the car when he knows we are going to class or a trial.
Most of my challenge in agility with Murphy has been me keeping up.
We have only been competing in USDAA for a short time so only have a few titles, Starters Jumpers, Standard, and Snooker. Last year I wanted to start qualifying for nationals when Murphy broke his leg. It was not certain if he would ever do agility or even compete again. Once released from his surgeon, we started an extensive rehab and have continued with it to this day. One day early this spring I was telling my trainer what my goal had been before his broken leg. She encouraged me to try to obtain this goal for this years nationals, so here we are. It has been such a reward seeing this dog gain back his strength and do as well as he has since his injury. My goal has been met. I just wanted to be able to qualify him for the nationals, anything else would be “icing on the cake.” Whether we do well at Cynosport or not, I’m so thankful for being able to get him this far and have him running and playing again.
Having a rescue can be very challenging, at times I was questioning myself as to why I decided on a rescue, but the reward has been over the top. We have a great relationship now, he is my pal and I absolutely love him. I believe rescues realize when they have found their forever home. They seem so thankful and full of happiness. I have a paw print I keep on my fridge that states: WHO rescued WHO. That tells the whole story.
Photo Credit: ML Photography