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Darwin, The Border Collie-Lab Mix

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Neha and her husband skipped this honeymoon because they couldn’t bring their new wedding present, Darwin.

“We were so excited to get to know him,” Neha says. “We’ve had Darwin now for a little over two years!”

Darwin was living as a street dog in Beirut prior to Neha adopting him. While his origin remains a bit of a mystery, she believes he is a Border Collie with some Lab mix, and around three and a half years old.

“A friend in our community was living in Beirut and working with some local women to get dogs living on a construction site adopted,” she says. “They were concerned for the dogs’ safety. Our friend took the lead on coordinating the logistics of getting Darwin to the U.S. when they were about to return.”

Neha crowdfunded the effort to get him here, so a lot of people helped contribute to Darwin’s new life in the states! Read more about Darwin and his journey here:

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[Darwin] has adapted to a complete change in environment quite well and became socialized with people and other dogs… My husband and I love border collies and how smart and well-behaved they tend to be.

Dog Whisperer: What do you like about Darwin’s breed?
Neha: Border Collies are known to be very intelligent, adaptable, sociable, affectionate and vocal. I would say this definitely describes Darwin! He has adapted to a complete change in environment quite well and became socialized with people and other dogs. Despite being a street dog, he quickly adapted to barking whenever people showed up at our door! My husband and I love border collies and how smart and well-behaved they tend to be. We love the “cookies and cream” coloring on Darwin’s nose and paws.

DW: Tell us about you and your husband.
N: We are a couple that loves animals! I am a scientist who focuses on water and environmental issues, and my husband is a musician who owns and runs a screen-printing business. We have a bit of a dual life at the moment where we are based both in Cincinnati, Ohio and Tucson, Arizona.

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Neha (right), her husband and Darwin!

DW: What is it like having a rescued dog?
N: It is both an incredible joy and a lot of work at times. Darwin is very smart and world-weary, so we do not have to worry about him getting too adventurous and getting lost or running away. However, he was also abused when he lived on the construction site, so he came to us with some trauma when around men. It has been a lot of work to get him to a place where he feels safe and joyful.

DW: What is your relationship with your pup like?
N: Darwin has been a part of our family and a great adventure buddy since day one, but now, with the pandemic affecting so much of our lives in 2020 — including working from home most of the year — he has also become our coworker and confidante.

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Darwin has been a part of our family and a great adventure buddy since day one, but now, with the pandemic affecting so much of our lives in 2020 (including working from home most of the year), he has also become our coworker and confidante.

DW: What are Darwin’s favorite activities?
N: He loves car rides and walks, especially if the walks involve bodies of water or puddles that he can drink and/or sit down in. Darwin also loves canoeing, though he mostly prefers to stay in the boat and soak up the scenery. He has a lot of FOMO, so he will often run into the car as soon as the doors open, so he doesn’t get left behind!

DW: What are your pup’s favorite foods and snacks?
N: He loves chicken and rice more than anything! He also likes to eat apples and nibble around them until he gets to the core.

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DW: Does Darwin have any best friends?
N: His best friend is our neighbor’s dog, Gypsy Moth! They love to run around together and play in our field outside, and visit each other’s houses (and food bowls).

DW: What are some fun facts about your pup?
N:
One of the most interesting things to us was that when we got Darwin, he was never and has never been food-motivated! He’s a picky eater, and is hardly enticed to learn any tricks for treats. Instead, he responds to positive feedback and affection. It has made for an interesting (and loving) time trying to train him.

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