Fusion is the one who started it all. I wrote about the long road to getting him in my own biography as well. After 23 years of wishing for a dog who would do everything with me, Fusion came into my life.

But let’s start at the beginning:

On February 16th 2013, a very good puppy was born and moved in with me in Albuquerque. I found him on the internet after looking for a Border Collie puppy, I had not actually spent any time around Border Collies or met them. Their breed description however sounded exactly what I was searching for in a dog.

(This would become a theme for me as Party also came to me without me actually having spent any large amount of time around Chinese Crested dogs…)

When the fluffy red merle puppy arrived I was over the moon. I remember picking him up at the airport, looking into his crate and thinking : “This is just the most beautiful dog I have ever seen.” As we were driving home, the most beautiful dog became car-sick and puked all over himself and the crate. At home I lifted him out and hugged him for a long time, vomit and all. To me, he was everything.

From the moment I met him he has loved every person he meets. He is the only one of my dogs who came to me without any fear issues, without being standoff-ish or aloof or worried about anything at all in life. He rarely startles from any noise. Fusion is happy, relaxed and content.

We went to agility classes. We learned first one trick, then five, then ten and twenty…and then counting, imitation and everything else I could think of. He was so smart and always ready to learn something new, as long as his favorite reward was involved: either any kind of food, or his beloved tennis balls. I trained most of his behaviors with tennis balls: Handstands, everything he learned in agility, counting, heeling, rebounds…

As much as he loved his tennis balls, as bad he is about loosing them. They were always disappearing at an alarming rate. In our house, in our yard, on the walks he took them, at the training field and in the river, Fusion was not the best at keeping track of his balls. (And I wasn’t, either)

So I went on a quest to find him as many balls as he could ever need.

On Craigslist someone offered a tub full of used tennis balls. I drove to the address, thrilled to have finally found what I was looking for: All the tennis balls in the world for my Fusion. The guy selling the tennis balls warned me repeatedly that they were used and dusty and that I probably would not want them. Apparently he had had several others interested that were intending to actually use the tennis balls to play tennis, and not get them since they were not pristine anymore.

This was not what I had in mind for the tub full of balls! I was ecstatic. There must have been 300 balls that I took home that day. Now, 6 years later, Fusion is still using them (though there are definitely fewer balls than when we started).

When not learning or playing, we go on adventures.

Fusion has been to California, to the Grand Canyon, he has climbed 14,000 ft high peaks in Colorado with me and swam in many lakes and the ocean.

He has a funny way of being perpetually underwhelmed, no matter where we go, his face says “Ah yes, I figured you would take me here eventually.”

Fusion is incredibly reliable. He comes with me to trick demos, to schools, parks or dog training sessions around Albuquerque. He is the dog I never have to worry about.

Never has he messed up in any public performance or been out of control. What a good, good boy you are, Fusion!

Here’s a video of baby Fusion starting out in Silvia Trkman’s puppy class: