Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meet Kaleb


We've adopted!!

Despite the blurry pic (my fault, I'm not yet worthy of my camera), this fellow's personality and beauty shine through! Meet Kaleb, our first official farmstead-to-be resident...besides our tenacious goldfish...
He's a five year old Australian shepherd we just adopted yesterday, much to our elation. What a great experience so far, and what a great dog...hooray!! I've been wanting an Aussie for such a long time, but we needed to wait till the right time. For many reasons, the primary one being God's blessing and timing, the day finally came. I'm sooooo happy!
I'm particularly happy because Kaleb is so good-natured and has dealt with the transitions of the past couple days so well. He's good on the lead, enjoys rides in the car/truck, endured a very long trip, and seems to be in good spirits and good health. We'll get things all checked by the vet to be sure on that score. He sleeps right beside our bed and prefers being indoors unless we're outdoors, in which case he wants to be wherever we are. And he's house-trained...double yay!



Here he is all curled up on the cool tile floor. Little does he know a bath is in his future today...
We were fortunate enough to find him via our Petfinder search...there's a story behind that...after having looked and dreamed for several months (maybe longer).
For anyone needing a dog, I can't say enough about all the exceptional dogs needing rescue from shelters. Every region in the US has rescue organizations, usually by breed, and supported by private donation and dedicated foster homes. Every person we've been in contact with through these has been great to work with. When it comes down to it, there are so many dogs to choose from it becomes more of a matter of how to choose rather than availability. We had several different breed mixes in consideration, though we preferred Australian Shepherd. Some of the best dogs I've known are of mixed breeding. We were looking for breeds that met our criteria for farm dog instinct and behavior foremost.
I'm not paid for this plug, but please please consider a rescued dog, even if you're needing a purebred for whatever reason. It ends up that Kaleb is purebred, though we didn't know that initially when we began inquiring about adopting him. Many MANY purebred dogs are turned into shelters ...Googling a breed you love and the word "rescue" and your State will bring up great resources for finding a dog near you who's likely as pedigreed as any breeder's, and many who are not but have the best qualities of the breed and the advantages of hardiness due to being mixed breed.
I could tell you all the individual Aussies listed on our state Rescue pages and in the Petfinder listings, that's how often I looked and bookmarked listings. And I can tell you when most of them no longer appeared because they'd been adopted (more sweet than bitter...it's always a happy thing to see them find a great home). It seems that the individual dogs I was enthusiastic about were quickly adopted out. We weren't yet ready to adopt at that point because of the priority of needing to pay off debt. But you can be sure I had a wish list going for when that day came!More details later (I'm short on time just yet) but Kaleb has been in foster care for several months, which makes it even more amazing to us that he was still available...saved just for us, we like to think :) Again, we thank God!
Our "homestead" is currently one in transition and limbo, and eventually will be in a different location and setting. There are many reasons we want to take on the acquisition and care of animals slowly and deliberately, and with a lot of forethought. A lot of thought and preparation went into this decision because we want a breed and individual dog that would be good with a variety of (future) livestock both big and small, with a protective but not bullying nature towards people, a strong bond to his people and territory, and ability to bark and warn against things that threaten the peace. Because we're in a limiting location at present, we want a dog that can be indoors a lot, but that likes activity and exercise daily. I wanted a companion dog for the times Jack and I can't be together, a dog good with either of us. I like most dogs, but I am really drawn to medium to large sized dogs.
And I particularly love intelligent goofballs ;-) Kaleb definately qualifies...his sense of humor is already coming out and he LOVES to play. He gives romping, running, playing, chasing things I throw, eating...and sleeping...his all, and whatever my genetic programming, I am SO HAPPY seeing him "smiling," hearing him "talk" to me (seriously!), and getting those big wet dog kisses.
(though we'll see if he pouts for a while after today's upcoming bath)
He's our first farmstead animal...and essential to all the rest to come. There's no puppy stage to go through since he'll be turning 6 in November, and I hope he has a long lifetime in dog years with us. Kalev is the Hebrew for "dog" and also the name of the biblical hero (a favorite of mine) who was one of those "majority of one" men who demonstrated courage and confidence in God's instructions at a time when nearly everyone else refused to...and later he earned a great reward. The name Caleb is the anglicized spelling, so we split the difference since it's all transliteration anyway, and that's how Kaleb came about.
He very well could have been given any other name, not with a Hebrew connection (you know how we love our Hebrew things), but it worked out to be a great fit for him, so yay again :)
Ultimately, we envision our farmstead including another Aussie, chickens, bees, a milk cow, a few sheep or small goats, and a few head of beef cattle. I'm not sure which of these will be in our future...maybe some and not others, and maybe a donkey or a horse. We feel that a farm dog is vital to the success of any and all of these, and we believe Kaleb is evidence that we're progressing that direction steadily.
In all these things, we thank God. Again, there are specifics for a future post.
It boils down to this: We were able to pay debts off...again, thanks to God! There is a wonderful momentum that builds as those awful debts are being wiped out. That in itself is a story I don't want to skimp on.
But I wanted you to see dog pics, and couldn't stand to wait!
More to come...thanks for being happy for us! Yayyyyyy!!!! :)

18 comments:

Irma said...

He's beautiful and I am so happy for you not only to have found The Right Dog, but that he is settling in to your home so well.

Robbyn said...

Thanks, Irma!!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Congrats on your new addition, he looks and sounds like a sweety :o)

Melodie said...

Kaleb is beautiful !Congratulations!

fullfreezer said...

Hoorah for Kaleb! I'm sure you will be very happy! We recently adopted two cats from our local shelter and our dog adopted us after being abandoned near my parent's farm when he was about a year old. He was a bit rough around the edges but after a few years with us he has turned into a wonderful dog.
Congratulations! I can't wait to see what's next.
Judy

Wendy said...

Congrats! He's a gorgeous dog, and I am familiar with the breed. He'll be a joy to your family :).

Alan said...

That is SO COOL!!! The first is key. Our Sandy (a pure bred shelter mutt) has welcomed every other new creature to the farm. He grounded us here and, being first, has bonded with all the others. He is a bit like glue on our farm. Hope your new life partner turns out the same.

jack-of-all-thumbs said...

A tip of the hat to Kaleb! We currently have three dogs on our rural piece of the planet, but have shared the space with many over the years. Each now 'sleeps' under a wood-framed flowerbed in the orchard, marked with a cast concrete nameplate lest we forget. We're up to seventeen total, so forgetting who's where is a possibility.

Enjoy him totally.

Robbyn said...

Ken, Melodie, Judy, Wendy, Alan and Jack....thank you! As I type this, we're both tired from a day of fun, chores, walks, and a reallyyyyy good long dog bath. Doin' the Happy Dance! Thanks for being happy for us :)

Sue said...

Robbyn, I'm so happy you got such a wonderful dog. May you have many years of happiness with each other!

Paulette said...

He's beautiful, congratulations!
I'm a dog lover, if my little Boston Terrier was more laid back I'd probably have way too many dogs. He keeps me in check by only tolerating one other.

You will so love it, I can't wait to hear the stories.

Michelle said...

Our dogs have brought SO much joy and companionship over the years, including our current pal, Jackson the Aussie. So I couldn't be more THRILLED for you, and really do think God saves the RIGHT dog for us if we are willing to listen and wait! Kaleb has such a kind, beautiful face, and black tricolors are one of my favorite color combos. Congratulations!

tina f. said...

Congratulations! He sounds so perfect for you and he really is beautiful. Good for you!

Lilla said...

Robbyn, congratulations on the new addition...he's gorgeous! And Aussies are such great dogs. Thank you for mentioning all the animals available in shelters, including many purebred dogs and cats. There is something special about a rescued animal. I think they sense that they've been given a second chance and show their appreciation tenfold. Enjoy your new bundle of joy!

Killi said...

He is gorgeous ~ not quite as gorgeous as my baby boy, but still gorgeous. I love big dogs, too & my baby is 30 inches tall & still growing ~ another 16 months of growing to go. :)

killimengri said...

so you can see early pictures of my boy :)
Killi

Robbyn said...

Hey, Killi...long time no see! Your baby Borzoi is beautiful...looks like your animal family is expanding in every wonderful kind of way :)

Killi said...

Computer died, then fell in love with repair man. Still isn't right by any means, but I'm living with it.

Skoryy has changed so much in the last 4 months ~ his whip of a tail is now feathered up & he has the start of his skirts