Hi my name is Gatsby and I'm 5 years old. I'm a border collie and I live with my family in Knebworth. I joined them when I was 2 and a half after living in a rescue in Cumbria for six months. I'm black and white and have one brown eye and one blue eye which Dad says gives me superpowers. I'm originally from Ireland where I lived until I was 2. I'm not sure why I ended up in a rescue. It might have been because my old family didn't have time for me anymore or that their circumstances changed.
People think that because I'm a border collie I need loads of exercise. I get lots of exercise now but Mum says what I need is "mental stimulation". I'm an athlete just like all of you. After six months in the rescue with not much exercise I was really unfit and struggled with running. I remember Mum being really excited one Saturday morning about us going for a walk. Turns out we were doing the running thing instead. Running means you have to try and run on the lead at the same pace without stopping to check every other bush for new smells and without running off to chase squirrels. I didn't get it at the start and found it really hard but Mum's been really patient and just like humans I've built up my running over time and now as long as she's not doing that weird thing where she runs up and down the same hill 10 times, I always go along too.
My life with my new family is very different to the rescue. I now get woken up early in a morning and I go out for an hour either walking or running. We go whatever the weather, even when it's still dark. It's fun when it's dark as I get to wear a light. After the walk Mum plays with me for a while, I've heard her telling people that spending the morning with me is the highlight of her day. My Dad wakes up a little bit later and plays with me and feeds me and then I sleep until Victoria arrives. Victoria is from Hounded Out and she walks me every day. I go off in a van and race around with lots of other dogs. I'm normally out of the house for a few hours and then I get chance to have another rest so that I'm full of energy for when my family come home.
Things I don't like:
I'm not a big fan of really small humans. When they cry it hurts my ears and so I howl really loudly like a wolf. Mum says I can't be trusted with children. I don't really understand what she means by this as I'm the most loyal and dependable dog you'll ever meet. I'm always excited to see the people I love and I'm always there to meet them when they return from ... well wherever they go all day. I guess it might have something to do with the time a small human threw food on the floor and I raced them to catch it first. Mum helped me win by scooping up the child off the floor before I reached them.
I also hate baths and being washed. I snap at the water which comes out of the long snake thing because ... well, it's a snake of water. I've been sent home from three groomers who have been unable to wash me. I now go to Geraldine at Bony Barkers. It's fun there but Geraldine didn't believe Mum when she told her I would be able to jump over low gate and open the front door handle with my paws. I managed to prove Mum right in less than five minutes.
Things I love:
Food, I am a dog after all. At the moment I really enjoy turning away from mum when she holds up the square block. It gets great results, see above (!) Jumping up on stuff is one of my favourite things as well as going on adventures to new places, especially when I get to go for a sleepover. I managed to stay awake all night when I first tried camping and barked at every noise I heard so that mum and dad woke up and heard it too. I'm part way through my jabs at the vet and get my passport next month so I can go to France in the summer.
I believe that the Dogs Trust does really important work to help dogs just like me live happily ever after. It's really important that they receive all of your hard earned money so that they can continue to rehome dogs like me and match them with their perfect human. If you're contemplating getting a dog, which you should because we are amazing, don't buy a puppy. We're only small for such a short period of time and when I moved in with my family I was fully house trained and big enough to go on long walks and do the running thing. There are so many dogs just like me who are waiting to find new homes and families. If you can't commit to rehoming a dog you can still support the Dogs Trust in a number of ways. You can donate money, donate your time at a local centre, fundraise, leave money in your will and even make Dogs Trust part of your wedding. Make sure you check out the rehoming page, to find out who needs a new home. My life has completely changed since being rescued and it would be incredible if other dog's lives could too.