Piper is one of the sweetest, reserved, and, often times, surprisingly loving border collies with the deepest, most soulful eyes that you'll ever meet. She doesn't solicit attention or affection often, but when she does she will scoot quietly up next to you and gently put her paw on your arm and look at you pleadingly if you stop petting her.
Even at a petite 28 pounds, she can also be quite a sassy lass. She found her voice awhile back and she isn't afraid to use it repeatedly to get your attention when she is excited about going outside.
While she's comfortable on her own, crated or not, she will return barks to other dogs or noises heard outside, so she would probably benefit best from living with someone who is home during the day.
She absolutely loves running around outside with the resident male border collies in her foster home, she exhibits a classic crouch and outrun to get ready to chase after a thrown frisbee, she is quite possibly the cutest border collie-shaped fish when she is in water, and she gets excited about trips in the car.
She originally came from a place with many other border collies and that former life gave her excellent dog skills. Her focus now is following the lead of one of the resident male border collies in her foster home and annoying him by playing frisbee by her own rules. Frisbees currently appear to be the only toys she'll play with, she's not interested in stuffed toys, and she's nervous of bigger toys, squeaky toys, and balls.
Although she's experienced many places and people while in foster care (she's been to her foster mom's work office and met coworkers and friends, she's been on boat rides and camping trips and hikes, and she loves going for a trail walk to the local swimming hole), she still gets nervous in new places and around new people especially without another dog around.
On the surface she now has many normal, well-adjusted border collie-type behaviors and continues to relax a little more into that each day, but she still has an extensive and questionable background that shaped the other aspects of her personality that cause her to withdraw and want to find a safe place.
Piper came into rescue with seemingly no understanding of how to live joyfully, she did not have any need for people or playing or toys, and she didn't even understand what a leash was. She was very scared of everything and afraid of interactions with people, would struggle against a leash, and did not react well to being touched. Today she blissfully appreciates a good neck scratch, keeps tabs on her foster mom, comes when called inside and outside, greedily takes treats handed to her, and wags her tail happily more often than not.
She's clearly come a long way in foster care in the year she's been in rescue, but she will continue to require infinite patience and understanding in her forever home while she's still figuring how who to trust and, more importantly, how to trust. She has learned much from the other dogs in her foster home and follows their lead often especially when it comes to interactions with people. Piper would prefer to be the one to approach people on her terms for attention, and she's not a dog that appreciates forced interactions with people. For this reason, she will only be placed in an adult only home where there is at least one confident, friendly dog. However, she's not necessarily going to be another dog's playmate.
Piper has a non-negotiable fence requirement due to how quickly she can go from being ok to very nervous. She currently knows her environment and where to go to feel safe, but especially while transitioning to a new environment, constant supervision, and leash or long-line usage will be mandatory even in fenced areas. If something triggers her fears or makes her feel pressured, she will run away. She reacts this way to loud voices or noises, objects being touched with feet or toys being kicked, too much handling or pressure, and sometimes if she's just in a place she's not familiar with and she doesn't know where to go. When her fears take over, she will not come when called and will run until she is in a place she feels safe.
Piper has a few health concerns that will need continued care. She has severe hip dysplasia that's currently managed very well with fairly inexpensive pain medications. She had a consult with a orthopedic veterinary surgeon who determined this was the best treatment considering how well Piper gets around and her current quality of life. Piper will need her teeth (the ones she still has) and gums monitored for infections and growths due to prior issues. Piper is currently on a raw diet and is able to eat raw meat and bones without issue. This diet also helped her lose some weight and build up some muscle in her hind end. While a raw diet is not a requirement of her adoption, a high-quality diet and joint supplements are recommended given her current health issues.
Check out Piper in action!
Piper is being fostered in southern New Hampshire.