The Story of Tori

We adopted Tori from our primary care veterinary hospital in September 2015. Initially, the hospital staff called to ask for help finding a 12-week-old border collie + Australian shepherd puppy a home. They do that sometimes — because of the blog and our overall social media reach.

The Rest is History?

For some reason, Tom (Mr. Champion of My Heart) asked to see the photos the hospital sent. This one shows where she was born near Torreon, New Mexico. [That’s where her name comes from — Tori from Torreon.]

dog blog champion of my heart puppy photo, Tori

This one was taken of her at the veterinary hospital that morning.

dog blog champion of my heart puppy photo, Tori

She looks much bigger in these photos than she actually was. Only about 15 pounds when she came home.

I get and show him pictures of puppies ALL THE TIME. Maybe it was that he had a milestone birthday coming up. Maybe it was that we knew our time with our old boy Ginko was short. Maybe it was fate in the same way me seeing Clover’s photo was fate.

Next, Tom asked if he could go meet her at the veterinary hospital right away, and the answer came back. YES!

Love at First Sight!

So, Tom drove down to town to run some errands and swung by the hospital to meet her. Instant LOVE on both of their parts. Apparently, she shied away from everyone until Tom walked through the door, and she ran RIGHT to him.

Next thing I know, I’m getting an email / text from the hospital saying Tom is on his way home with the puppy on a “trial basis.” Yeah, right, cough, cough.

I replied something like, “Are you effing kidding me?”

Tori came home on a Wednesday. We had planned on seeing how things went for a few days and taking her to meet our trainer that Saturday, before we made a decision, but she easily fit right into our family … which suddenly had THREE dogs for the first time ever. (Two dogs is our limit for many reasons.)

Tori was VERY shy and scared. It was hard to get photos of her where she didn’t look all squinched up and worried:border collie, australian shepherd, puppy, dog blog champion of my heart

Clover won her over, though.

border collie puppies, champion of my heart

And, soon, they were more BONDED than any pair of dogs we’ve ever had.

border collie puppies smiling, champion of my heart

Tory’s Back Story

One of the veterinary hospital’s staff rescued Tori (and later several of her littermates) from a pretty bad situation in a rural-ish part of New Mexico. As far as we can tell, Tori was born outside and lived outside the first 3 months of her life.

The staff member had actually gone with a friend to get a puppy, but Tori was so bonded to this other puppy that they felt like they could NOT leave her behind alone. Almost like she would be in danger.

Things were pretty rough for her, apparently. She was covered in scratches and dog bites, like the other puppies and adult dogs had been kicking the crap out of her. She had one large / deep bite on her cheek. You can see it in this photo.

dog blog champion of my heart, border collie puppy photo

Who is Tori?

Tori is such a sweet puppy. She has learned to feel safe and be more confident with lots of love. We call her the Awesome Possum, Awesomus Possumus, and often just … the Possum. She is pushy in a really funny way, and she does NOT honor boundaries. Baby gates that all our current and past dogs have respected? Tori leaps them or pushes them aside. She is great with people and other dogs.

All in all, she really is a good puppy — with strong bonds to us, an already great recall, and a few tricks under her belt.

Best of all, she is Clover’s baby sister, SOUL sister. They clearly were meant to grow up together.

dog blog champion of my heart, 2 border collie puppies