Adopted: Rooney

Hi, my name is Rooney! I’m a beautiful, loving, and incredibly affectionate and deeply sweet boy!

Quick Facts:

  • Breed: Border collie mix (maybe mixed with spaniel)!
  • Gender: Male, neutered
  • Age: 8 years old
  • Size: 55 pounds
  • Good with…
  • Dogs? Dogs? Yes, see below
  • Cats? Yes! I am incredibly gentle with cats.
  • Kids? 12+ years


I hail from Vestal, NY where I was adopted from the Humane Society into a wonderful family in 2011 when I was 1 year old. I was so grateful to them and when I met my doggy brother, a Lab, we ran and ran, it was so much fun! They had 4 cats and I was great with them all too! I wasn’t OK with strangers and other dogs, though–they made me very nervous. Once I got to know people, I felt comfortable around them. I went to doggie school and worked with a trainer and I made good progress with my nervousness. My parents worked with me a lot, especially my Pa. We were great together. He said I was the most loyal dog he ever met.

I have been a very well-loved and cared for dog since then, but our family had a recent tragedy. My Pa, who was the best guy in the whole world, died unexpectedly a little while ago, tearing all of our lives apart. We were all grieving quite a lot, and mom had to start working 50-60 hours a week to make ends meet, and will be putting our house on the market soon. This left her very little time to get me and my brother dog out for exercise, or to spend much time with us which was breaking her heart and was really hard on me. Dad was my #1. His extremely laid back and calm personality was a perfect fit for me, I responded incredibly well to it and I miss that desperately. Mom is incredibly loving and took great care of me, but she’s more of an anxious type, which makes me more anxious. Since mom always wanted to do what was best for me, she contacted the great folks at CDR and they found a great foster home for me to stay in while we search for my forever home. We all want me to find a new home with a loving, calm, laid back person or family, where I will get plenty of attention and affection and outdoor exercise because we know that will make me the happiest.


Once I know you, I am a 100% lovebug, honey bear, mushy-lovey boy. I love being near you, interacting with you, hanging out beside you, being talked to, being petted, and gazing lovingly at you! I like accompanying you on walks, would love to lay next to you while you garden, and would love to go for short jogs and long hikes with you!

I get very excited when someone I know and love comes to visit. I do the wiggle-wiggle-wiggle and push my nose into them to let them know they can pet me or rub my ears or, best of all, scratch my butt! Ooohhh… that’s the best! Butt scratches feel so good!! You can scratch my butt until the end of time, I never get tired of it!

Next to butt scratching, I love a good belly rub. They feel so wonderful and I get an easy, peaceful feeling like all is right in my world. Sometimes my doggy brother and would I lay on either side of our Mom and she would rub both of our bellies. And if the belly rub stopped, I would use my nose to nudge her hand right back to my belly!

As you might expect from a Border Collie mix, I am smart-smart-smart! I am a really fast learner, and I love to learn new things and practice the things that I know. I have learned ‘wait’ and ‘stay’ and ‘come’ and ‘lie down’ and ‘leave it’, ‘drop it’, ‘inside’ and ‘home!’ If you wanted to teach me tricks I would love it!!

I am a very good listener! I would lay my head on my Mom’s knee while she was talking and look right in her eyes so she knew I am there for her. She could tell me anything–I like to listen. And sometimes I would nudge her hand with my nose so she knows that petting me will help her feel even better. (It’s true! There are research studies!)

I love walks! When I go for a walk, I walk proud! I love going for walks in the country where there is not much hustle-bustle and there are loads of smells and the nice calm sounds of nature. On a walk, I trot like a pony and I have been told that I am quite handsome! I am really good on the leash and don’t pull at all, especially if wearing my Sensation harness. Sometimes I get startled when a loud truck goes by or I see a person or a dog I don’t know. I get scared and want to bark at them! But my new foster parents have been teaching me that those things aren’t so scary. They give me treats every time I see something scary so I don’t think it’s that bad anymore. I barely react to cars at all anymore! I would really like to live with someone who could help continue to teach me that I don’t have to be scared. It makes me so much happier!

Leashed walks are great but I like running the best! I would also love to play in a fenced yard if you have one! They tell me I am a Border Collie mix, but my foster mom thinks that whatever I am mixed with is a little calmer than a Border Collie. I love exercising, but I don’t need tons and tons of it like most Border Collies do. I also really like taking naps on the couch and watching TV with you!

I don’t know why, but new people and new dogs make me very nervous. But if introductions are done slowly, then I am happy to meet new people. Especially if they bring me treats!!! It also helps a lot if everyone else stays calm even when I am nervous. I really feed off everyone else’s energy, so if you are calm, then I will be too! I have already made a lot of progress with some training (I LOVE treats!) and I bet that I will get even better if my training continues! Once I have decided that you aren’t actually that scary (which doesn’t take too long) then I am such a good boy and very trusting of my people.

I don’t like thunderstorms, but am NOT destructive when they happen. I head to the bathroom and camp out for the duration of the storm, and I appreciate it when mom puts my Thundershirt on me, because that helps. It’s best if she knows that a storm might be coming and puts it on me even before the storm arrives. It also helps if the TV or music is on during the storm so I can’t hear the thunder as much. My foster mom sings me a silly song during thunderstorms and that makes me really happy! Sometimes I even forget there is a storm going on! If we are outside and I hear a thunderclap, I used to freeze in place and not be able to move, so dad taught me the ‘home’ command, and then I would just (on leash of course!) head directly home. Sometimes when I am scared I don’t know what to do, but as long as you stay calm and just remind me that its ok, then I am usually fine, I really feed off my owner’s energy!


I used to live with a Black Lab and he and I always got along famously. So, even though I haven’t had much socialization with other dogs, chances are that I could learn to love another dog in the home as long as the introductions were done very carefully and slowly and I had plenty of time to get to know the other dog. Of course, the more calm and non-threatening the other dog is, the better!

I used to live with four cats in my old home and I live with two cats in my new foster home. I am great with them and I love them all! I understand that they are the bosses, and I don’t mess with them! See, I told you I was smart! I confess that I do try to sneak their food if they walk away from it, but if I am told ‘leave it!’ I do. Betty, the cat at my former home, liked me a lot–she often curled up with me to snuggle me and sleep next to me. And Betty liked to mother me by cleaning my nose! Lick-lick-lick on my nose… I let her do it because it felt good and I liked the attention. In my foster home, the cats weren’t so sure of me at first. But I was really nice to them and was sure to never scare them and let them come sniff me when they wanted to. Now they will sit with me on the couch. I bet soon they will be brave enough to come cuddle with me like Betty used to. I really love cuddling with kitties!! But, Shhh!! Don’t tell—the other dogs might make fun of me!

I am utterly and completely terrified of babies and small children and should not live in a home with either. If a baby or child comes to visit, it’s best to put me happily away in a bedroom with some toys and a bone for the duration of the visit! Win-win!

Favorite things

  • My humans!
  • Doggy friends, once I know them!
  • Kitties’ attention!
  • Butt scratches and belly rubs…the best!!
  • Treats and learning new things!


I am a healthy boy! I have some dry skin but with combing (which I love) and the occasional shampoo I do fine. I just started taking some fish oil supplements with meals too, and I think that is helping a lot!

I did have some allergies last fall that the vet gave me medicine for because I was so scratchy. She said it was seasonal and that it would get better, and it did! If they come again this fall, we will try me on some generic over the counter Zyrtec, as I am told that helps a lot of dogs.


I am a total sweetheart of a boy who is hopeful and excited about the new wonderful home that everyone promises to find for me!

I love to be loved: rubs, scratches, cuddles, lying next to a human, you name it! I love to be included in all activities. I love to listen. I love, love to run fast when I can but am a very good leash walker. And I need time–time to get to know people, time to get to know other dogs. I am willing as long as I have the time to become comfortable. After that, I am a loyal, loving boy. So I need a new mom or dad who understands me and is patient and will make sure that I am not put into scary situations, and who knows how to constructively help me gain more confidence in the situations that still make me nervous. Mostly, I need a new person or people who are very laid back types, and who have time to be with me. I’m a special and wonderful dog…maybe you will be the next chapter in my life!

If you are interested in adopting me, please fill out an online adoption application and live close to Ithaca, Syracuse, Binghamton, Rochester, or Elmira. We do home visits on every applicant, and can’t do home visits where we don’t have local volunteers.

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