I adopted Willow about 14 months ago and today, she is absolutely my most prized possession who makes me smile everyday.

When I headed to the AWLQ in Helensvale last year I was hoping to meet a beautiful Boarder Collie, but when I arrived he was being adopted. I was very sad and that’s when I realised, I really wanted a dog.

My sister, brother-in-law and I walked down the ’mid sized’ dog aisle, and at the end on the right hand side was Willow. She was sitting on her bed, and so calmly-we joke about this now and say she knew how to put on front.
The staff seemed a bit surprised that I went from wanting an older Boarder Collie to this young Husky Kelpie cross. We had a play and I decided, this is my dog. Willow had already been adopted and returned twice! The detail was a bit spotty on why, but she seemed ok.

It took us three months to adjust to one another, there were definitely tears involved on my behalf and even a few good panic attacks, I was a mess. Willow had not been socialised with other dogs and she didn’t know how to walk on a lead and she never came back if let off the lead, but somehow, after months of socialising her and going to dog obedience classes and reading and learning about me needing to be Alpha, I have the most wonderful dog. She is sweet, so affectionate, obedient, knows her boundaries and her little bit of naughtiness is normal for a dog. It is one of the most rewarding things when someone says, ”what a great dog”.

Willow has a fantastic life! She’s an indoor sleeper, gets to go to daycare M-F while I’m at work, and spends the nights and the weekends with me at the beach, the dog park, walking, running, having play dates with neighbourhood dogs and her other doggie playmates.

My life has forever been changed by Willow and I am so happy for it! I hope that others who may be questioning their decision on adopting a pet stick with it. It does take time and effort, but the reward is like nothing else.

I read a book that said dogs need three things and in this order: Exercise, Discipline, Affection. This rule worked wonders for me-I hope others will embrace it. We are now happily in Level 2 of our dog obedience classes.

I’m so proud of Willow and of myself for not quitting and making this animals life great.
Taryn Mathis