10 Good Reasons to RESCUE an Adult Sheepdog

I agree
Respond to this topic here on forum.oes.org  
There are a couple of oes in need of rescuing right now.Go to petfinder.org.I believe one is in Georgia.I can't remember where the other one is,maybe someone else knows.I just wish I could provide a home for a unspayed female.Are all recue sheepies spayed and neutered?
gumbo41 wrote:
Are all rescue sheepies spayed and neutered?

I'm not sure, but I think it depends on the Rescue Program that you get your dog from. I believe, for instance, that New England OES Rescue takes care of that before placing the dog as part of it's veterinary care. Other rescues might require an agreement that you have the dog altered after adoption.

Most rescue programs don't want MORE sheepies to rescue...
I just happened across your forum. It's great! My husband and I have been surfing the web, and calling local SPCAs, looking for an OES to adopt. He's contacted the New England OES Rescue, so I guess we're on Grannie Annie's list, but nothing yet because we don't have a completely fenced in yard and that's one of their requirements. We're planning on going that route, if we have to, in the spring.

Anybody know of any OES, 2-5 yrs old, in the Southeastern PA area?
I am very interested in rescuing an OES. My five year old Bella just died about two weeks ago. She was a rescue dog, and she was wonderful. I could not have asked for a better dog or friend. If anyone knows of any OES out there that needs a loving home, please contact me.

Lonely without my Bella,

Hi Tracy,

I'm sorry to hear about Bella. I know what you mean once you have an OES....well they are such a wonderful breed.

Good luck in your search.

I wanted to tell the truth, or at least one story about rescuing an adult OES. While I am happy to hear suggestions from others who post here, I want to add a disclaimer: yes, I have worked extensively with caring dog trainers, attended obedience classes, and provide regular socialization (dog park and doggie day care.) I am constantly working on training Henry and we make progress, perhaps it is slow as molasses in January, but it is progress.

10) In a Word--Housebroken.

Henry was sort of housebroken when I got him as a 1 year old. And he is sort of housebroken now. Sometimes we go weeks without him peeing in the house. Then there was last weekend when he peed three time in three days, and he did something he hasn’t done since the first week I got him home. He peed in the house when I was there! In addition Henry has irregularly timed but never ending diarrhea and has since I got him: both large and small intestinal. Small intestinal diarrhea means I need a plastic bag and a hose to clean up the back yard. Large intestinal diarrhea is characterized by the inability to “hold it” which requires all kinds of cleaning equipment, a strong stomach, and that I have no particular attachment to my tile, hardwood, and carpeted floors.

9) Intact Underwear.

Henry only slightly chewed the legs of all the dining room chairs, ate one pair of shoes, and took a piece out of the oriental carpet: one corner was turned back on itself drying the white vinegar soaked pee spot – I walked out of the living room for five minutes and Henry had eaten a jaw sized piece out of the fold in the carpet.

8) A Good Night's Sleep.

Most of the time.

7) Finish the Newspaper.

Except when he soaks the paper after using it as his napkin. But that is part of being an OES.

6) Easier Vet Trips.

But not cheaper. A dog that has been on its own for some time can have significant health issues, some of which you can heal and some of which you can’t. Henry had a rash on his back that was treated as a flea allergy and then general allergies for six months: that treatment was an anti-itch steroid (Prednisone) that made him unable to control his bladder. Finally, he was diagnosed with mange (demodex (sp?) mites.) Try to find some food that will disguise the disgusting taste of that poisonous medicine! By the end of the treatment, I was making peanut butter and ice cream sundaes just to get him to take a few cc’s of the medicine. The good news is that he recovered completely and the hair grew back completely.

Henry has regular diarrhea and has since I got him. He has had giardia. Even after the treatment, he has one or two days of diarrhea a week. You can bet I keep his hair short and do quite a bit of carpet cleaning. I also carefully regulate his diet to make sure he gets the best gentle food and nothing that could upset his tummy.

5) What You See Is What You Get.

This is too true. I have not eliminated ANY bad habit Henry had when I got him. I have reduced most of them to a tolerable level but I have never eliminated one! I have had Henry for almost two years now and I can’t even fall back on the old adage that if I knew then what I know now I would never have gotten myself into this. I DID know then what I know now – I knew then that I did not want a one year old male who had been abandoned because he was too big and the original owners had done too little training. (I know I am at fault for taking the wrong dog for me but see number three below.) I knew that he would be nearly untrainable as an adult and terribly insecure. And guess what? That is exactly what I got: Henry is nearly untrainable and the little restraint he does have falls apart completely when any new element is introduced into his life.

After walking him nearly every day for two years, Henry still randomly lunges at passing cars, he cannot heel consistently, and he still pulls me over onto the ground regularly. We still walk at times and on streets where we are unlikely to see another dog – he falls completely apart when he sees other animals, desperately straining to get to them. He has to be on a double collar when we walk, there is no collar that he can’t escape when he goes crazy on the street. I also have a specially designed double handle leash because I live in fear of what could happen to him when he pulls the leash right out of my hands.

4) Unscarred Children (and Adults).

Unless no one taught your dog bite inhibition. My first month I had bruises on both arms, wrist to elbow, with the occasional skin puncture. He started to learn not to bite after about the first month but I used a soft mesh muzzle for the first year fairly regularly. I still get mouthed regularly but more gently now and I know how to avoid situations where he will try to bite me – wait who am I supposed to be training here, the dog or myself?

3) Matchmaker Make Me a Match.

I admit I have the term “soft-hearted mush-head” tattooed to my forehead and Henry could read it a mile away. I fell for a pair of big sad blue eyes —it was puppy love, and I knew all his bad character traits. I never knew I was one of those girls who fall for bad boys. Fortunately, a bouncy 1 year old does become a more mellow 3 year old.

2) Instant Companion.

Henry barks constantly in the car, it takes an enormous amount of patience to put up with that ear shattering bark right in my ears while trying to quiet him. I could have selected the most compatible companion but the soft-hearted mush-head part of me took over.

1) Bond--Rescue Dog Bond.

Some good news. After the first year, Henry decided to tolerate affection and now even seeks it occasionally. He would rather play tug than almost anything else but he has learned that I insist on hugs, cuddles, and quiet affection. He fell asleep with his head in my lap last week for the first time. That is quite an achievement for a dog that couldn’t stand to be touched when I got him. And at night he occasionally will sleep up against me, although he really prefers not to be touched when he is sleeping. He will even sleep on the bed for part of the night now, as long as he is not touching me at all.

I am pretty sure that Henry would go to anyone and not miss me at all. I am pretty sure that while he sees me as the source of all food, he is at best just at the beginning stages of forming a particular attachment to me. But I am a selfish person, I didn’t adopt him to make his life better or to make the world better, I adopted him to make my life better. And Henry does that to perfection.
If you spend any time reading this forum you know none of our guys are perfect. Rescue or not, this is a large dog. All dogs need to be taught and watched and cared for. Rescues can even be more trying, because you are taking somebody elses problem dog. And you don't know for sure why it has the problems it has -- is it normal, normal for this dog, or has it been .....
Rescues can be great alternatives. But not for everyone or every dog. We had similar experience with a rescued Spaniel. But my girls loved that dog so much. You know what, after having it for 3 years, it ran out of the door and disappeared. Just like that. We searched for it for weeks. I think it ran itno somebody elses house and got adopted, but the girls think it was kidnapped. I like my kids view better.
I hope your dog continues to bond with you and you find more positives with your Rescue ... and I admire your truthfulness.
It is refreshing.
If we can help with anything, just let us know. Anyone with children or a pet will sympathize. I wonder if there is anything that would make a dog learn loyalty? Besides food. And even though you know why he has diarrhea, maybe you should add rice water or more white rice to his diet?
Thank you and thanks to all of you who post regularly. I discovered this forum recently when I was disheartened about how little progress I have made with Henry. Your postings make it easier for me -- I know that I am not alone with these problems.

Did I mention in my 10 Reasons response how much I love my dog? I love my little Henry. And I think that he is beginning to understand how to love me too. I read a long time ago that if dogs don't learn to bond with people during their early weeks (6-?? weeks) they never learn. I will not give up on my little love puppy . . . .

Stupid question: is rice water just the water than rice has been cooked in? I will try anything to eliminate Henry's diarrhea.
Your 10 Reasons were wonderful. I could tell how much patience and love you have for little Henry. I know bonding can start at the early ages but I never got either of my girls until after they were 1 year old and we bonded like glue. As I've mentioned before, they both tested me for awhile, not as well as Henry seems to be doing with you, but from what you've said, you two sound like a change is in the making. I truly believe a dog can change and become totally in love and devoted to it's new family. Hang in there, you sound like you both are on the same track.

Also, my vet always recommended just a diet of rice and hamburger, nothing else, for 3-4 days, whenever anything unusual happened to my dogs. They also said only dry kibble is all they need when they are back on track again. Nothing fancy, although I'm sure the ones with extra nutrients and all can't hurt unless the dog was allergic or something. My Rosie also had trouble with anything with beef in it.

Good luck to both you and Henry.
Hi Henry's Mom,

I think you are an angel for taking on the challange of raising Henry and loving him the way you do.

When I write stories of Shaggy's and Big Dogs incredible turnarounds from badly behaved dogs to awesome members of the families it took a long time. The first year was all the challanges ...after year 6 they were the dogs I always wanted them to be.

I applaud you and am touched by your dedication to Henry. He's one lucky boy!

Hi Marianne,

You are my inspiration. You and everyone who contributed to Robin's rescue restore my faith in humanity. And you take time to post nice messages to me. You have such a great heart!

Reading this forum has made me far more patient with Henry. There is a pervasive myth that all rescued dogs are so profoundly grateful to their new owners that they bond instantly and are so willing to please they will do anything. I wondered what I was doing wrong that I did not have one of those dogs. I was truly discouraged when I found this forum. After reading it I know that so many OES rescuers face the same concerns I have. Some have far bigger issues than mine — my problems pale in comparison to yours right now. (I love your video, “Buns of Steel: First Get 3 Large Dogs.”) And everyone is so kind and encouraging on this forum, it is a pleasure to read. Henry gets a big hug after I read the daily posts.

So thank you, and more importantly, Henry thanks you for making me a better mom. Only 3 more years to perfection.
I am sorry I did not get back here sooner ... yes rice water is the water that you cooked the rice in before it is boiled down completely. A fourth to a half of a cup will help solidify most loose stools and give the intestines a chance to heal. And it is easy to digest. Cooked white rice and broth will also work, in moderation. I wouldn't add any meat ... especially if he is eating kibble too.
Every year Henry will make progress. As with kids it is an ongoing work of art and skill. You will see progress before the end of the year, and he will just get better and better.
I think that is what Ron's original message was ... that the OLDER OES rescues are generally already calming down and should have been pre-screened ... so you know what you are getting.
Even if you had Henry as a pup (at a year, he was still a pup) he would still be putting you through your paces.
Hang in there and thanks for being a thoughtful contributor too! :D

And remember, just because there's been one bad marriage doesn't mean that nobody else should ever get married. It takes work to make something flourish, but in the end your love and pride will multiply also.

If somebody out there is looking for a new dog, please consider a Rescue. Dogs, like people, shouldn't be considered disposable.
Henry's Mom wrote:
I didn’t adopt him to make his life better or to make the world better, I adopted him to make my life better. And Henry does that to perfection.

Amen, Henry's Mom. My little (heh!!) OES isn't a puppy any more, she's FAR from perfectly trained; but she's survived a lot, and she's perfect enough for me. :)

I thank heaven for my sheepie -- (most) every day :)

Hi! I don't have an OES yet, but I have two other rescue dogs and am considering adding an OES.

Just wanted to add to Henry's Mom's post--I've seen that same Top Ten list for adopting older dogs, and you're right to point out that it's not always true. One of my two girls meets nearly everything on the list--she did a little chewing, and was only partially housebroken when I got her, but her bad habits were cured to a tolerable level within a short period of time. I don't remember ever having any serious problems. My second dog, Daisy, however, had been neglected in someone's back yard for her entire life, and still has some issues. She's not good with strangers, and still isn't 100% housebroken. I've never taken her for a walk without getting the leash wrapped around my legs at least once, and the only word she seems to recognize is "out"--which to her means "go outside and point at wherever a cat has been recently, and then pee on the floor if you forget to do it while you're out." Luckily, she doens't have any major medical problems, but an awful lot of rescue dogs do.

Good luck with Henry!

We rescued Otis, who turned 8 years old yesterday, about a month ago. He had been hit by a car as a puppy and the )($*#%&W$ owner did not take him to the vet. :x If I ever found out who he/she was, I'd turn into this: :evil: :!: :!: :!:
Due to this he limps on one hind leg and puts extra pressure on his good hip, and he has developed arthritis. He's also missing 1/2 of one ear and his nose has either been ripped open or it's a birth defect.
Besides these issues, he's the biggest lover. :wink: He wants, and needs. love all the time and we have plenty to give! Our other two sheepies have accepted him into our home. Love them sheepies!
I am attempting to set up my own website, but am not having much luck. I did get one picture posted of our three sheepies and my youngest daughter, you can see them here: http://www.geocities.com/findme777/OES_RULE.html

This is my first time posting. I rescued a OES in May of 2003. She was found on the expressway in Arkansas. I have a friend that knew I was looking for a Bearded Collie, so she called me and told me about this female which was alittle bit on the large side for a Beardie but was all Beardie. I hadn't seen Mollie and trusted my friend, since she owns a Beardie.

Well, to make a long story short :D I had Mollie flown to Michigan. She was totally shaved and I didn't know what a Bearded Collie looked like without any fur, so I took her to a Bearded Collie Breeder who said that I had a Old English Sheepdog. I then took Mollie to a OES breeder who confirmed that Mollie was indeed OES with a tail. By the way, Mollie was approximately a year and a half old when she came to Michigan.

Mollie was pretty female dominant when she arrived last year, but after two obedience classes and alot of love and work she has turned out to be a good girl. We do have our days when she doesn't stop barking at the dog behind our home, however, she is housebroken, doesn't chew anything except her chew bones. When I got Mollie she weighted 55 lbs. and a year later she is 80 lbs. which the vet said was good for her size. The vet in Arkansas, who gave her all her shots and fixed her wrote down that she was a Bearded Collie. Anyway, I love her and she loves me and the house wouldn't be the same without her. That's our story on adoption.

Thanks for listening,
Karen and Mollie
karenskorner9657 wrote:
She was totally shaved and I didn't know what a Bearded Collie looked like without any fur, so I took her to a Bearded Collie Breeder who said that I had a Old English Sheepdog. I then took Mollie to a OES breeder who confirmed that Mollie was indeed OES with a tail.

Karen, Welcome to the Forum! I had to share with you (after reading this).... I rescued what I thought was an OES (possible mix) with a tail - and have been told by a Bearded Collie breeder that she's actually a Bearded Collie! :lol: I'm not sure what she is - and that doesn't matter to me! She's been an absolute joy and I couldn't love her any more!

Hugs to Mollie! I bet she's absolutely beautiful!

Hi Kristin,

Thanks for replying to my message. I think that Bearded Collie's and Old English Sheepdogs are very similar in facial features. :D Now that I have an OES I'm extremely happy! :) I'm glad that you're happy with your Beardie.

Thanks for sharing with me,

Karen and Mollie
8) sheepdogs are cute
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