Rescue Success Stories: Abby


All dogs are special and need attention, love, and good homes. Abby spent the first four months of her life in a pet store and the second four with a family in Chicago. They really loved her and they still miss her. But she wasn't getting the exercise or the attention English Shepherds need and she started to be a problem for them. So they called National English Shepherd Rescue and we helped them find her a good home down in Texas with a woman who loves dogs and had land and some goats.

At the time of this tale Abby is still less than a year old.

Months ago I joined the Farm Collie list because I loved my Rough Collie so much, but also wanted to learn more about options for another dog to add to my family which might be a multipurpose dog for my hobby farm. I read with such warm and nostalgic feelings when there were descriptions of old farm collies who seemed to do whatever was needed whenever it was needed. That list directed me to the English Shepherd list. And that lead me to Jan who helped me get a rescue ES - Abby.

I am writing this with such overwhelming respect and affection for Abby that I am crying the good kind of tears. Some of you who have read my posts to the list know that Abby came to me as an 8 month old puppy who was exhibiting very bad behavior. We struggled, but she improved so quickly that I knew she would be THAT dog that I read about on the ES and Farm Collie lists.

A month ago, I moved from Dallas to Virginia and my little Nigerian Dwarf Goats were put on a very small piece of land. Others who had used it, recommended electronet fencing to me. It is fairly inexpensive, easy to put up and take down, and was so highly recommended that I ordered it. Wow, instant fence and the goats were happy. Then yesterday, one stuck her head between the spaces and when she jerked, the netting came down and for just a second it looked like she would get tangled in it. Nope, she just ran off. I did call the company though and asked if this was made for taller animals who would be too tall to stick a head in it, but were more likely to touch it on their sides. Oh, no, I was told. People use them for everything.

Today, I was gone for an hour. When I came home, I could see through the trees and saw no animals as I drove up. Oh no, such a sinking feeling. As I parked, I could see that the fencing was down and pulled inward as if an animal had ran with the fence probably caught on it. No animals in sight. I looked at the woods and was aware that I was down to only minutes of daylight. I cried aloud, "Oh, no!!!" Then a joyeous, high bark caused me to turn.

There was Abby, sitting just inside the barn door. She had gotten out of the house and jumped a fence that I didn't know she could jump and she had herded everyone into the barn and was holding them tight. She sat there while I got the fence unplugged (I could hear it crackling as if it was shorting out.) and examined it. There was a thread of the electonet that was broken, but I put it back up so it would look like a fence and hopefully keep them in until I can do something about it tomorrow.

When I got inside with Abby and was petting her, I got blood on my hand. When I examined her mouth, the corner was cut. I went back outside with a flashlight and closely examined the area where the fence pulled inward. There was a spot that had signs of a frantic struggle with many hoof and paw prints. I am convinced that Abby chewed that strand off a stuggling goat - taking shocks herself to do it.

So, she got out of a locked glass door (yes, the metal at the lock area is bent from her lunging to get out), she jumped the fence and saved the goat and then herded everyone into the barn. That dog that I read about and longed for? Well, this is THAT dog.


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