Jed is the most loving , beautiful, friendly dog. But he is also the biggest handful. He’s overly active and constantly needs attention. Or at least that is how he was early last year. When I was thinking about how to describe his behaviour to you at this time I stumbled across this letter I wrote to Better Homes and Gardens (seeking help from the famous Dr Harry) which adequately summarises the situation as it was in March 2013:
Sadly, Dr Harry didn’t save the day, or even respond for that matter. The situation continued to deteriorate. We wrote letters to all our neighbours apologising and explaining the steps we have taken to prevent him from barking when we left the house. I felt like the Mother that tries so hard to teach her son well, but continuously finds herself sitting behind an oak desk in the principal’s office and then facing the surrounding mother’s scorning looks when leaving the school each afternoon.
We tried, believe me, we tried. Through many tears (mostly mine), we had to make the tough call though. We couldn’t live with Jed any longer. I felt like a bad mother. If I couldn’t deal with a dog, how the heck was I going to ever deal with a child?! The situation has certainly stilled any looming ‘cluckiness’.
So we sent him to the farm. People stared at me with a look of horror, secretly thinking ‘MONSTER!’ when I told them this. I soon found out ‘going to the farm’ has another meaning. Be assured – Jed was not put down! He actually went to the farm. A warm Brisbane evening in late April, Jed and I flew an emotional flight to Sydney and then Reis’ Uncle Dooley (a farmer) picked him up, tied him on the back of the ute and drove Jed five hours to his new home, in country New South Wales.
Jed, little did he know, now had a job. To round up sheep. He had two pals for constant company, Barge and George (below – Jed is in the middle) – his new ‘pack’. He would never be lonely or bored again. We just prayed that he would be a help, not a hindrance to Dooley.
Eight months later, just before Christmas, we road tripped out to the farm to visit the family and little Jed. He was so excited to see us. I was just chuffed that he remembered us. On the last day we told Dooley we would come around in the morning to drop off some Christmas treats for the dogs. He told us Jed would be at work by then but to meet him at a certain road. I was surprised to hear that Dooley actually took Jed to work.
The next morning, Dooley and the dogs were moving the sheep. In the distance I could see Jed rounding them up like the other dogs. I thought, surely he will run right through the middle when he sees us and ruin it. For that reason, I didn’t really want to stop. I was wrong.
Jed continued to push the sheep up the road. Right until he reached us when he rushed over, jumped up to say hello, gave us a lick and then…went straight back to work, as if to say ‘Sorry Mum and Dad, I can’t stop – I’ve got to finish this job and the boss is watching!’. TOO CUTE.
Jed is wearing a red collar in the photos below:
It melted my heart and I knew at that point that we had made the right decision. Jed was happy, we were happy. He never barks now, he is incredibly settled (compared to what he was) and will sit still long enough for a cuddle. The decision to send Jed to the farm was one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make, but we trusted God with the situation and the outcome is a great reminder that he works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). What an answer to prayer.