Joy lives up to her name everyday, which has helped immensely in light of the state of our country. She always make me smile and i think I do the same for her. She is the light and beauty of every day. She is always happy, always ready for an adventure to go seek out the turtles around here or the fish in the bay. “Let’s do anything,” she says, even it’s cuddling or playing with her toys in the house. She is the best of our world and I am sure many people feel this way about their companions. This is love the way it should be. Pure and unconditional.
When my husband goes fishing with his buddy Paul, Joy and I always do something together. The other morning we headed to the beach despite the rising temps in the Spring of Southwest Florida, when the heat and humidity swell and make life quite uncomfortable until we head back North.
To get to the part of the beach where dogs are allowed on leash, it takes about 20 mins to get there. After dropping off the boys, we were there by 9:15 and as soon as you hit the beach, you can feel the ocean breeze which makes the heat seem a bit more tolerable. Still, Joy is chocolate brown and white and she is just like me. We get hot quickly and although I put 40 minutes in the meter we only lasted 30. It was a nice 30 minutes though.
Most Border Collies love to get into the water. Not Joy. She will stick her paws in the ocean with encouragement, but she won’t swim. She loves to get in the shower and be clean but her adversity to getting wet in any other manner is deep rooted, I think, because of being born into a horrific Amish puppy mill situation, where little wire cages, as small as chicken coops, were stacked floor to ceiling, which means getting peed and pooped on was the disgusting norm.Thankfully she was rescued by a small (but mighty) rescue called Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue.
We adopted Joy on May 11th, 2012, which was the day before Mother’s day that year. She was just going to turn 2. A friend, looking at some Facebook pictures I posted of Joy, the other day, commented that I am such a good mother. As a woman whose children have four legs, not two, I have prided myself on being a great mom to the many fur kids that God has put me in charge of in the course of my life.
Joy is exceptional and so easy to love because she is so loving. She is so very grateful for her life, which is pretty exciting. She gets to live in two states and never has to put up with winter.
As her birthday nears, I am equally grateful for the opportunity to be her mom.Not just anyone could have filled this role how Joy needs it to be. I have to credit Victoria Summers, the founder of Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue, with that “thing” that tells her heart and then her head, “yeah this person is the best one for this dog.”
She was right and thanks to that intuition, Joy has the best family for her and she is the greatest girl for us, especially me. Mom. Dog Walker. Adventure Seeker. Playmate. Comfort and Love Giver and everything in between.
This picture was the day we adopted Joy, the day before Mother’s Day which was May 11, 2012. To this day Joy still barks at strangers, yet when we came for her it was as though she knew she was going to her forever home because she came running over and kissed both my husband and myself. I was so happy about that and I thought of this moment today when we were out for a ride in the car as she was barking at people passing by.
Victoria Summers, her rescue grandma, told me that Joy and I were going to be a perfect match before we ever met her or Joy. With an amazing sense of everything Border Collie, Victoria turned out to be very right and as we approach our 4th year together I know I am as grateful for Joy as she is for us, and especially me. I am the true animal person in this house and always have been. I do not believe in life without cats and dogs because I think that would be no real existence.
Joy has an amazing life. Her paws never see snow because like us, she is a snow bird, or in her case, a snow dog with no snow. FL in the winter and western PA in the summer. Her life is filled with as much sunshine as God bestows upon us. She doesn’t like being in the water (except to get a shower) but she loves being on or by the water. When she came to us our beautiful Cat Safari was 11 years old. My big orange boy crossed over the Rainbow Bridge last year at age 14-1/2. We knew she would want another cat so Sabie the kitten cat was adopted from a local shelter. I always have to say, “Joy quit chasing Sabie” and then I think, Chasing Sabie would be a great name for a book.
There is nothing greater than knowing you have been part of the process of rescue and adoption. It warms my heart everyday to think how lucky Joy was to have been rescued by Victoria out of a horrible puppy mill situation and adopted by us. No work I do gives me a better feeling in my heart than that.
I love this little girl with all my bones and I know the feeling is mutual. If you have never known this kind of love, you need to experience it to make yourself aware of who you really are and who you can truly be.
At this time of the year in Southwest Florida, the heat can be taxing. If you get up very early though, it’s okay to be out and about, so that is what we did so I could try taking Joy to the beach one more time before we head North. I stopped at a different part of the beach and it was very pretty. The houses were set far from the shore, which made it a lot nicer than when we stopped the first time. The Atlantic was so warm; well into the 80’s, hot and salty like a good pretzel at a ballgame.
It was breezy that morning, which made for louder than usual wave talking, which Joy was not sure how to interpret. As the waves crashed upon the white, sandy shore she backed up, which is Border Collie specialty anyway. “No thanks,” I think she thought. “Princesses are not supposed to get wet unless they are in the shower.” I am sure that is what she was thinking. Joy thinks likes a princess and I am glad she does. Her Grandma Summers, who had the high intelligence to rescue her told me that she was a princess before I ever met her. Dr. Summers thinks princesses get a bad rap. “Princess do good,” she has told me, pointing out the marvelous example of Princess Diana. “They are social, hard-working, they help people and are charitable. I think princesses are great,” she said, adding that Itoo am a princess. Dr. Summers has told me more than once that Joy a nd I were perfect for each other because we are both princess-like. I take it as a compliment. In fact, my dad always told me I was his princess, so I think I was raised to be one anyway and I agree that princesses are do-gooder types and should not be looked down upon.
As a lady stopped d to pet Joy, she marveled at how sweet she was and how pretty her coat and colors are. “She is really beautiful. What a good-looking little girl,” she said, lovingly stroking the top of Joy’s head. Joy loves being paid attention to and loves when people love her. The funny thing about Joy is she knows who is good and who is not immediately! That lady was no problem, someone else might come up to say hello and she suddenly sounds like a big dog that you do not want to pet. Dogs know things and Joy certainly had enough experience with the horrible puppy mill people who treated her unkindly and she has not forgotten. Not yet. She just turned 3 on Mother’s Day so the memories are not foggy. Someday they will be but I think dogs know things and are quite keen on picking out the good from the bad. I think it’s a beautiful, innate quality they have and Joy is no exception. She is a finely tuned detective of good and evil.
Even though going in the ocean or a pool is not for her, she likes to be on the water in a boat or near the water on a dock, a marina, or a beach. I think she just likes to be with us – close, protective and leading the way, that is what princesses do.
Joy likes to drink water a lot more than she likes to stand in it. Most dogs splash in puddles, Joy, our princess of a Border Collie prefers to step around them. We have tried to introduce her to water next door at Anthony & Julia’s pool, Anthony tried really hard to hold her gingerly so she would not be afraid. She made progress after 3 or 4 tries one day, but I figured pools were just not her thing. Maybe it’s the chorline I convinced myself.
A couple of days ago we took her for the drive to the marina where we will dry dock our new boat next season here in Southwest Florida. When we had our other boat this particular marina was the first one we kept it at but then they had a grand idea to make it all boat condos for a million dollars each, so we left. Guess that did not work out so well after the crash, since now they have re-opened it up to the public and interestingly, have the lowest monthly fee we can find. When we got there we were amazed at how gorgeous the place now is, with all the fabulous amenities, restaurant, water sculptures, a big maine store and a simply beautiful marina. While my husband looked around, Joy and I sat on the big outdoor couches. It only took two minutes before various people came up to her wanting to meet her, pet her and love her up.
I knew we were going to head to the beach after visiting the marina and it dawned on me that I had forgotten the regular camera. Sure I have my camera phone, but in the very bright May sun in Florida, you may as well be looking into the abyss because you cannot see the screen. I pointed a shot a few pics which are here, but that was it. This was Joy’s first visit to a beach and I was wondering how she would like the soft white sand and the gentle, rolling waves of the salty ocean water. To our surprise she did go in at the shore, just a little bit, so her toes could get wet. I had to prompt her a touch to let her know it was okay, because the first time she saw the waves and the water roll ashore, it puzzled her. The water rushed up and then it was gone! “What?” She did take a lick of the water, I knew she would and after tasting the salt, she did not like it, thankfully so I did not have to worry about her gulping some down and then getting sick later on.
She went in a few times with her toes and enjoyed it. A nice family came up and said they loved dogs and thought Joy was so adorable and pretty. They stopped to talk and pet Joy. She loves when she gets attention from perfect strangers and she rubbed up against all of their legs, happily. Before we head north, I will take her along with extra new camera I bought so I will always one with me, wherever I go. I love to photograph her and chronicle her life, especially since she is such a happy girl. When I think that this poor baby was once in a puppy mill and how far she has come to be able to trust, it’s simply amazing. She truly does live up to her name. Joy, I love you.