by Lee Juslin
Riley, a black Scottie, came into rescue as an owner turn-in but with a worrisome background.
Riley’s owners were an older couple in their mid sixties who both had some health issues. The wife was in a wheelchair and dependent on her husband for care. When the husband went into the hospital, he left Riley at a boarding kennel the couple had used many times. Sadly, the husband died unexpectedly and the wife had to go into a nursing home, leaving Riley’s future uncertain.
No family member wanted to take Riley, but an aunt who had dogs of her own, called Scottie Rescue. She was reluctant to take him herself because the rap on Riley was that he was aggressive and had bitten several family members. She was afraid he would be aggressive with her dogs.
Erica from Scottie rescue agreed to take Riley, but she had some concerns about his reported behavior and, because no family member was able to meet her halfway, getting him meant a long trip into a deserted and wooded area of Pennsylvania.
On the day she was to get Riley, it was cold and snowing. Erica started out early in the morning and despite her GPS not connecting as she traveled into the wooded area, she was finally able to locate the kennel. When she arrived, Erica was pleased to find a well kept, immaculate kennel area run by a lovely and knowledgeable couple. In addition, Riley, like the other dogs in residence, was quiet and seemed happy. Between her observations and what background information the couple was able to provide, Erica began to revise her feelings about Riley and realized that a lot of the behavior described could be chalked up to Terrier-rude and inexperienced Terrier people.
Erica placed Riley with one of her foster homes, and both she and the foster mom were pleased to see how easily Riley fit into the pack. Riley has proven to be well-behaved and not aggressive towards other dogs. He walks well on a leash and is housebroken.
Riley’s only health issue is dry eye and, because it was not treated, it has taken the rescue some time and aggressive treatment to get it under control. To maintain control, Riley needs eye drops twice a day and eye cleaning as necessary. He accepts the drops and the occasional wiping out of his eyes with no problem.
Riley is a good looking Scottie and, though he connects with his person, is not a lap dog. He is a typical Scottie behavior-wise and would need an owner who is the alpha. He is an active, athletic Scottie and would be a great companion for someone who enjoys hikes or long walks. He would also enjoy having his person at home, at least part time, and he would like a fenced-in yard where he could play and run.
Although Riley is not aggressive toward other dogs, he isn’t interested in interacting with them so he should not be adopted to be a pal to another dog. Riley has shown no tendency towards biting or aggression at the vet’s, the groomer’s, or in his foster home, but he would probably not do well in a home with young children.
“He’s been neutered and fully vetted,” said Erica, “and he’s just a beautiful Scottie, a wonderful dog, who is smart and learns quickly and who deserves a great forever home.”
If you would like to apply to adopt Riley or one of the other dogs in Scottie Rescue, volunteer, or make a much needed donation, visit the Greater NY/NJ Scottie Rescue on their Facebook page or their website.
Check out more animal rescue & therapy animal stories in our Pets section.