|"Switch" first appeared 4½ years ago in a Las Vegas shelter identified as a female Golden Retriever. He was soon placed in a home, however this was not to be his "forever home". Three years after this placement his new person passed away. "Switch" once again fell into Rescue's care. In July 2005 I picked "Switch" up at Dr. Steve Ayres'. He had developed flea dermatitis which advanced into a massive staff infection. "Switch" had no hair from his neck down. He desperately needed hugs and love, but I could barely stand to pet his scaly, scabby, skin. Antibiotics, baths, and a year later, "Switch" is not the same dog.
"Switch" and I went to the field. At his first hunt test he quickly acquired the title of "Bird Box Dog". We went to the line and when the judges said "handlers whenever you’re ready", Switch did a 180 and ran back to the bird boxes. My brace mate continued on. I retrieved "Switch" and walked him 100 yards into the backfield. Once again he made a 180 back to the bird boxes. Again I collared "Switch" and walked him directly into the bird field. He repeated his previous performance. As I left the field this time, the judge asked me if we were done yet, to which I could only respond "we're done". At the next hunt test "Switch's" reputation preceded him. When the judges came to the line and saw us the comment was "oh, the Bird Box Dog". To my glee, he received passes both days and finished his Junior Hunter title the following weekend.
"Switch", who is now 10 years old, is much more secure these days. He is the first one on the bed every night, walks on a leash, is my constant shadow, and is just a love bug. He has been a challenge but with time and patience, you can teach an old dog new tricks.