Photos provided by Beth Okeon
Beth Okeon, Poppy, an Australian Shepard, and Beignet, a border collie, are one big happy family. While none of them resemble each other, “it’s more that they act like someone in their family (me!), because we’re all three neurotic – hopefully in an endearing way!” says Beth.
When Beth rescued the pups, she kept their given names to make the transition from their previous and foster homes feel more comfortable.
“Poppy came to me from a wonderful woman named Vickey who rescued him but was moving out of state and needed to re-home him. I had been wanting an Australian Shepard to play with my then 10-year-old border collie, Andy. I mentioned it to a friend, and it turns out that her roommate’s customer (Vickey) had just mentioned her predicament.” Beth met Poppy, had him over for a visit and the rest is history. “Vickey and I keep in touch to this day,” said Beth. “She visits sweet Poppy every time she is in town.’
Andy passed in 2019, and Beth began fostering for the West Tennessee Border Collie Rescue (from where she rescued him) to find another pup. “As soon as I saw Beignet’s picture on the rescue’s Facebook page, I knew she was the one,” she said. “After an hour-long visit, I called the rescue and told them to take her off the list, because this was her forever home. I keep in touch with her previous family who has been super helpful in giving me guidance as we got her adjusted here. We are a happy pack here, and I love living with these two – even if they are both smarter than I am. They herd me all over the house.”
I don’t love when Beignet gets into the food. Last year, she ate an entire box of matzah, and the next month ate two sleeves of Hawaiian buns. Seems she’s trying to help me avoid carbs. We now have trash cans she can’t get into, and we store all food up high or behind a closed door.
Poppy is not very good in the car and is an escape artist from harnesses, etc. In fact, he has turned off my car while on the expressway by somehow getting up to the front seat and hitting the push-start button before I could stop him. I only bring him somewhere in the car if it’s a short trip or absolutely necessary, so we try to have lots of playdates over here.
(Beignet loves car rides and the wind on her face as we ride down the road to the dog park or to see her favorite cousin dogs.)
They’re so consistent with their unconditional love and never-ending energy.
Dr. Thomas Slattery or anyone on staff at Walnut Grove Animal Clinic. The whole team is so great.
Melody at Hollywood Feed at Yates and Poplar makes them both look like show dogs when they emerge. It’s well worth the car ride with Poppy to see them both looking and smelling so fresh and clean for weeks!
Sometimes I cook for them. They love boiled rice, chicken and sweet potatoes, and I love to get them treats from the Hollywood Feed Fresh Bakery.
Extra Special Stories
Both Poppy and Beignet think it is their job to herd the other dogs at the dog park back to their owners. While most of the dogs are chasing a ball or playing with other dogs, my two are playing a giant game of roundup, and they love it! When we get home, they’re exhausted for a total of 30 seconds before they are ready to do it all over again. Beignet has worn an 8-shaped track into my backyard that she runs regularly. We call it her crazy eight! Even though Poppy is now 10 years old, he can still run super-fast and jump really high! He proves it by jumping as high as my head in excitement every time Vickey comes to visit. I sent both of their DNA in for testing (one via Wisdom Panel and the other via Embark) and found out that Beignet is 100% border collie and Poppy is 100% Miniature Australian Shepard. I was just sure they had some of those good mutt genes, but these two turned out to be purebred rescues and the truth is that they rescued me.