Flame was found at his home where his owners had up and moved away 3 weeks earlier and left him in the backyard!
Sure they were coming back for him, a neighbor was occasionally giving him food and water. Finally the neighbors called someone to alert them of his being there and they called BC rescue.
He went into the wonderful foster home of Elaine Coupe....for whom, luckily for me, it was not a good time to add a new dog to her household :)
Flame was approximately 13 months old (give or take a month ), heartworm positive, unneutered, and knew absolutely NOTHING!!
Elaine did wonders with him for the 5 weeks she had him...did his HW treatments, got him neutered, and started teaching him "house manners".
After a lot of talking and sending pictures and hip x-rays (knowing he'd be doing agility and such he needed to be structurally sound!), we agreed to meet in Pensacola, Florida, halfway between her place in Tennesse and mine in Central Florida at a Red Roof Inn. I took Dreamer with me to meet him on "neutral" ground.
Never had a fear there...they have loved each other from day one...and are not very far from each other at all times.
Coming in...Flame knew nothing. He wouldn't play with toys and didn't even know "come, down, or sit", although Elaine had worked with him as much as she could with him being restricted due to the heartworm treatments.
I also changed his name so that didn't help either.:)
I had to teach him what "life" was about and that it didn't mean living in a backyard amusing yourself with no human contact or responsibilities!!
It was a slow, "maturing" process! But Flame now is a happy (though very soft) toy-LOVING, retrieving fool, who has learned to be a productive, important part of the "dog world"!!!
Sometimes wouldn't you just like to know who those people were that just up and left him and say to them, "LOOK WHAT YOU LOST OUT ON!!!!" ?
Flame came a year after I lost "JJ" my Golden Retriever (Jumpin' Jack Flashback).
It was at this time I knew I needed to get my next dog started for agility (it takes me approximately 2 years to get one ready for the ring!) but I just could NOT face getting another golden yet!! See I lost "JJ" to Lyphoblastic Leukemia at the young age of 7 yrs old!! It was a devestating blow to me and my household.
Flame's name *Jumpin' Jack's Eternal Flame* was given to honor "JJ"!!
Having had Ashley all these years (my BC X) and showing, living, and training with a friend's border collie for 3 years, a BC rescue was my logical choice.
Though the next puppy was another golden, I think Flame is holding his own. He does continue to be his own little "self" that keeps him different from the rest :)
Jokingly he has earned the name "stepchild" - just because he is so different at times :).
Flame had many, many goals to obtain. His "life" was truly just beginning!
Flame has finished up his "MX" and "MXJ" in AKC (and has 11 QQ's towards his MACH with 851 points) and has earned his "MAD" title in USDAA - by not only Q'ing in the last Standard leg he needed but also taking a 1st place in the 22" class on that run!!!
We're now playing in NADAC 100% of the time where he finished his
"NATCH5" title and has earned his 3,000+ lifetime achievement award and his Elite Triple Superior award. Flame has completed his Versatility NATCH 2 !!! (he is the FIRST dog in Florida to have earned a Versatility NATCH and #2!). Flame just earned his "Medal" (= to a NATCH but earned when running in "skilled") at 12.5 yrs old. He is the FIRST "Medal" earned in Florida!!!
Flame has also finished his "ATCH-OP" (ASCA Agility Trial Champion - Outstanding) title.
We tried our hand at herding...a BRAND new endeavor for me (having sporting dogs) and boy just who IS that dog out there???? He's not Flame, the sweet, soft, mush dog we all know!!
We both held it together to earn his "PT" title. He truly does love to be out there........