Written by Cathie Garner
Professional photography by And so it is Photography
When an adorable black, white and grey puppy was rescued from a township near Bloemfontein, many hands went up to adopt him. But I was the lucky one to adopt “little” Ferguson Ferrie.
How it all began
Just over two years ago, Border Collie Rescue Gauteng’s Julie Morris posted a photo on her Facebook page of a cute little scruffy pup that was up for adoption.
The lady who’d found him in the impoverished area had persuaded the owner (after much discussion) to hand him over for adoption, along with his father, whom they believed was a Border Collie. Both father and son were flown by CemAir to Johannesburg to join the other dogs at BCR looking for a home.
There were three of us – two other ladies and me – who all jumped up and said we wanted this pup.
My special and much-loved Border Collie/Maltese dog, Monty, had died a few months before, and we were ready for a new addition to the family. This little guy looked just like Monty had as a puppy. We wanted a smaller dog, and they estimated that he wouldn’t be much bigger than a Maltese. I just knew I had to adopt him.
Eventually, the other two ladies withdrew from the “fight” (but only after many spirited and good-hearted Facebook exchanges!) and, finally, he was MINE! As I’d been involved with BCR for many years when I lived in Jo’burg, they trusted me to give him a good home. I live in Knysna, some two days’ drive away from Johannesburg, so the pup was flown by BCR and CemAir to nearby Plettenberg Airport and the journey began.
Originally named Tokoloshe by his first owner, Julie and co had named him Scruffles, but we felt he needed a new name. When he arrived, I told my partner (who’s Scottish) that he could name him. He decided to name him after his clan name, Ferguson, and so Scruffles became Ferguson Ferrie (my partner’s surname).
Training and changing
I’ve been training dogs for 30+ years and am a trainer for our local dog school, so Fergie went to training as soon as he arrived.
However, Fergie has been the most – shall we say – challenging dog I’ve ever trained. I’ve always had Border Collies, which are so easy to train, but this has been hard work. He was about 10 weeks old when I adopted him and already had an independent streak a mile wide and was permanently hungry (from growing up in the township). Plus, he was a VERY busy boy.
He then started growing… and growing! Now, at two years old, he has calmed down a bit, has some training and eats very politely. But, boy, has he grown! (It’s still a topic of discussion between everyone who was involved in this rehoming, and poor Julie gets teased every time for her very poor assessment of his final size.)
Bringing smiles to faces
Ferguson has turned into the gorgeous shaggy dog you can see in the photos.
I drive around Knysna with him in the back of my car, head out of the window, fur flying, and everyone who sees him smiles and laughs. I’ve had people driving alongside me filming him, and he’s brought smiles to the faces of many people. I’m hoping to get him some film/TV work when he’s calmed down a bit more… one day.
He’s truly very special; not what we wanted or thought we were getting, but I reckon we’re blessed to have him belong to us.
About Border Collie Rescue Gauteng
Border Collie Rescue Gauteng was founded in 1997 out of the need to find homes for the growing number of unwanted Border Collies. They rehome around 250 Collies and Collie-mix dogs every year and aim to educate the public about the breed, and to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome these lovely dogs.
Read more in our article here: Border Collie Rescue SA Gauteng (https://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/news-articles/border-collie-rescue-sa-gauteng/)