The Story of Hamish
Hamish died on 1/12/09 at the ripe old age of 16, but his legacy lives on. He will be sadly missed as he was loved in life. He taught Steve so much and many dogs--and their people--reap the rewards.
In 1993 Steve was working as a dog trainer in Georgia. At that time he did not have a dog of his own, and was looking for one that could be both a pet and a demonstration dog to use during training sessions. When he heard through a friend about a dog who desperately needed a new home, he immediately went to take a look. This turned out to be Hamish, who was living outdoors on 100 acres of land in the backwoods of rural Georgia.
His owner "didn't like the looks of him" so Hamish had never been allowed inside the house, even during the freezing winter months. Not yet a year old, the little dog had already lived through a lifetime of tragedy. A few months before Steve met him, Hamish had been run over by a truck and had severely broken one of his rear legs. The owner had found him dragging his leg behind him, washed the blood off in the creek, and gave him three days to improve or be shot.
Amazingly, Hamish survived. But shortly afterward he was hit by a car, and in this accident his jaw was broken and severely displaced. The owner pushed his jaw back into place, and once again washed the dog off in the creek and gave him three days to improve or else.
Again, the dog's will to live overcame the odds. But this second accident gave him a permanent sneer that has become his trademark.
On the day that Steve first saw him, the young dog was lying under a tree on a bed of leaves, attempting to stay warm. He was matted, dirty, and thin. Steve decided on the spot that this was his dog. Since Hamish's owner was only too happy to give him away, Steve took Hamish that very day and neither one of them ever looked back.
At first Hamish was afraid to enter Steve's house because he had never been allowed in a house before. Gradually, with patience and love from Steve, he adjusted and learned to trust again.
Hamish and Steve eventually moved back to California. In the spring of 2000 Steve and his wife bought a 50 acre ranch in Corralitos where they retire horses and take care of their own 5 dogs and assortment of other animals.