Ryker is a 4 to 6 year old Tomball Collie taken from a hoarding situation in Tomball, Texas along with 149 other Collies. He is extremely people shy and conversely other dog savvy. He had never lived inside a home and I believe I can guess the size of the kennel in which he lived by the size of the circles he constantly paces. He has difficulty approaching people as they scare him and I suspect he is so emotionally shut down that I have barely met the real personality of this dog; yet the glimpses I see of the true Ryker have completely stolen my heart.

The courage it takes for Ryker to face a world completely new to him at his age and with his history commands admiration. In his life before rescue he didnít have choices, he didnít know how to eat out of a dog food bowl, he didnít see any value for humans to be in his life. I ordered a Thundershirt for Ryker hoping to squelch some of his anxiety and it has. Post Thundershirt he now boldly uses the doggy door he had only attempted using twice before. When I was doing Yoga lying on the floor looking a great deal like a turtle that had been flipped upside down he suddenly approached and played with me tail wagging furiously.

Every single time I tell myself this is as much as Ryker is going to heal he proves me wrong. Gone are the days of cornering him (which requires two people), and leading him by the collar to where you need him to go. I won't miss those days although I do have flashbacks when I try to gather him up to put the leash on him as he does not savor the thought of going on walks. He takes treats most time from my hand. While he still circles, when he gathers up his wits about him he suddenly stops right at your feet, which I have taken to be him asking to be pet.

Ryker may never be an average dog. His new home here in Reno, Nevada came to be out of the generosity and cooperation of Houston Collie Rescue, Southwest Collie Rescue who kindly fostered and cared for him, a network of volunteers who transported him and Sierra Nevada Collie Club who kindly provided home checks for the Tomball Collies placed in Nevada. Ryker is growing. He is quirky and he is loved. I should face the world with as much courage as this dog.