Rockys Road The Misadventure of a GlobeTrotting Boarder Collie

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Rockys Road The Misadventure of a GlobeTrotting Boarder Collie

by Nola Kelsey

Whish! Tracy swerved, nearly having to pull her car over. She was laughing to hard to drive. Whish! Plop! Jingle! Then, another Whish! Dog toys were flying past her rearview mirror like fuzzy meteors headed for earth. She was not two miles form Best Friend?s Animal Sanctuary and Rocky?s antics had already rendered her incapsitated. Again, jingles erupted out of the musical walrus.

Rocky has always loved his toys. Some wonder if he had them on the streets of Beirut. His handlers always picture him gathering stuffed animals from the collapsed rubble of bombed out homes. No doubt he?d pile them up, keeping them close together in pure Border Collie fashion. Soon rescuers came, but not for his playthings.

Rocky is one of hundreds of animals rescued by Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) during last falls conflict with Israel. When Betas?s shelter was damaged the animals were moved. When neighbors threatened to kill them all, they moved again. This time the refugee pack came to America. The kind souls at Best Friends Animal Society evacuated the rag-tag menagerie, bringing them all to their facility outside Kanab, Utah.

At two years of age, the stunning Rocky was already better traveled than many American citizens. Now, he was on his way to Colorado. Would this finally be his forever-home? A flying tiger toy balanced off the dashboard as the Jeep Cherokee rolled up Hwy 89. From the back, Tracy?s own Lebanon Rescue, a cantacourous terrier mix named Flipper, snarled his disapproval. Why had Rocky gotten the good seat?

As the Muttly Crew crossed Utah and wound up the Rocky Mountains, Tracy reflected on the past three weeks. It was her brother and his wife that were adopting Rocky. Or, so she thought. Tracy had taken the dog to obedience classes, drove him on outings, worked with him on the Best Friends agility course, etc. One of them had a natural talent for agility. It wasn?t Tracy. She believed she laid the foundations of a great pet for her family. There was one flaw in the plan.

Within a Colorado day the blemish appeared. It was Tracy?s family that needed intensive training, not the dog. True, Rocky was not yet perfect. He needed house training and paced and whined when left alone or shut in a room. But, why not? He was a Border Collie after all. While he has a dash of husky or ausie, Rocky?s needy heart and wrestles mind are Border through and through. Tracy was aghast by her own family?s lack of preparations.

Her brother had actually taken down his dog run. It was ugly. Sure, he had a dog door. It was in the box lying against the garage wall. Rocky?s ?facilities?? They were a massive porch with a whopping three foot railing and almost that much dirt area for his bathroom requirements. Tracy hung her head in shame. Despite having ample acreage and money brother dearest was not prepared for his commitment. ?And, he?s literally a rocket-scientist,? she mumbled under her breath. Lord help genetics.

?Your enclosure will not work, she told Tim, her big brother. ?You need to fence part of the actual yard.? Then he iced the cake. ?But, I have to work tomorrow.? ?I thought you wear retiring,? she said. He had not. Nor was he willing to add more fencing or work a trainer. We both have the same Father?s eyes, Tracy silently pondered.

The next morning, Flipper snarled his disapproval at the world. Tracy went to Denver to meet her ?normal? brother, John, and Rocky was shut inside. He was shut inside his giant new home with all white carpets. Happy, happy, joy, joy, Rocky took his revenge.

As John approached the restaurant table the following morning he told Tracy, ?I have some bad news.? She didn?t miss a beat. ?Tim just called and I?m taking Rocky back to Utah with me. I?ll have a large chai with soy.? ?Ah, you?re right,? John stumbled. No doubt thinking, his sister should have been the rocket scientist. Tracy pretended to be undaunted.

Inside she dreaded ten more hours in a car with Rocky and a disgruntled Flipper. She was mortified at the thought of telling Best Friends her own brother, whom she recommended, was such a wanker. Overall, however, her mind was dancing with glee.

She?d already decided Rocky could not stay with someone unwilling to prepare for him, work with him or provided him a secure home and continued training. (The mind and body of a Border Collie needs more.) Now she could play apologetic instead of condescending. Now no ?Breaking and Entering? would be on her record.

Back across the country the trio rolled. Tracy?s heart broke when she returned Rocky to his run at Best Friends. She?d chosen the wrong home for him. Even the greatest sanctuary on earth is no substitute for a loving home. His rocky road will continue a little longer.

To this day Tracy, a Best Friends volunteer, still walks Rocky, bumbles through the agility course and takes him for drives. Whish! While he waits for his forever-family, he keeps his toys on her back seat.

Nola L. Kelsey is the author of Bitch Unleashed: The Harsh Realities of Goin? Country and coauthor of the scathing political satire Keeping the Masses Down. She is currently wandering the globe while volunteering with animals. Read more of Kelsey?s work and see Rocky?s photos at: If you think you can offer Rocky a loving forever-home with plenty of companionship and a large well-fenced yard, please contact the Best Friend?s adoption center at:

To learn more about Best Friends Animal Society visit:

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