Sunday, October 16, 2016

Zia - Border Collie Search & Rescue Dog in the Snow - Donation #8

I am in the process of moving the Search and Rescue paintings that I donate from my website to this blog. 

Zia - Border Collie Search and Rescue Dog
From her partner Marjorie C.:
"Zia is proof that a very shy dog can
overcome her problems and lead a wonderful life.
"Zia, our border collie, started to show extreme shyness around new
people when she was just a few months old. She expressed it by
barking, growling, and other shows of aggression. We seriously feared
a biting incident. I was scared.
"We worked so hard with her. We followed the conventional wisdom of
this list and the agbeh list. I read "The Cautious Canine" religiously
and incorporated all the advice as best I could.
"How did we do? Of course Zia never became one of those dogs who makes
overtures to strangers. But she was described as no worse than
" reserved" in an otherwise glowing temperament evaluation for
search-and-rescue training. She could circulate at a social function
with lots of people and dogs with no problem. She could catch the
scent of a strange man hiding under a bush, go close enough to make
sure he was there, and then lead me back to him with confidence and
pride. When we moved into a new house a few months ago she supervised
the plumbers, painters, tree-planters, and movers without a
hitch--keeping an eye on them without the slightest show of
aggression. She learned to manipulate new acquaintances into throwing
a ball for her over and over again before they knew it. She came to
know more and more new people--not just my friends and relatives but
especially through our SAR training--and they came to know her.
"Zia died two days ago. At an out-of-town SAR training she got into
another dog's Rimadyl supply and consumed four times the toxic amount
for her weight. We fought to save her but failed. Since she died I
have received so many phone calls and e-mails from people who loved
her, who knew what a wonderful dog she was. Perhaps it's strange of
me, but I take comfort at the many people who tell me they cried when
they heard the news. I have heard over and over again from other
people, people with dogs of their own, telling me that my dog was
amazing, wonderful, and the smartest and most sensitive dog they had
ever met. They tell me they feel fortunate that she was part of their life.
"Concretely, Zia and I trained with Grand County, Colorado's search dog
team from summer 2005 (when she was just a puppy) through summer 2007.
She was qualified for in-county searches after about one year. The
members of that team considered her the most motivated search dog they
had ever seen. We moved to Salt Lake City in September 2007. Since the
team out here, Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs, does not accept other
teams' certification, Zia and I were only candidate members in Utah,
but she had already amazed the RMRD people with her intensity and her
speed. They assured me that she could already easily pass the tests
that we were going to have to wait several months to take.
"Zia loved searching more than anything else. At a dog park she might
look like just another ball-crazed border collie, but when I put her
orange vest on and she heard those magical words, "Are you ready to
work? Find them!" she came truly alive. She was never more beautiful
than when she was zig-zagging back and forth at the speed of light,
nose in the air to pick up the scent."

If you are a member of Search & Rescue, K-9 or Mounted Patrol, please allow me to paint a small portrait for you at no charge, in gratitude for your service.

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