The Red Collar...

There comes a time when you break free of the shackles that bind you.  Usually, it is your own doing if you have made a wrong decision or choice, and you have fought back to the freedom from the pain or anguish it has caused you.  If you don't know how to fight, or when you're fighting with all the wrong weapons, you may lose strength, lose faith, and confidence, not knowing how to fight back.  You ask yourself, "why did this happen" or say, "what have I done." You usually know the answer to your own question and accept the fact, "it's my own fault." Hopefully, you climb back and take the road to freedom, putting your past and bad decisions behind you and live a peaceful life.  For a Border Collie who has lost all freedom or hope, there is no choice or freedom, sometimes...

 Since the early conception of Clancy's Dream, we have seen many dogs that have lost strength, lose faith and confidence, and at times, just give up but we stepped in and gave them a new life.  We're sure that some take that walk down that long corridor to their eternal rest where no-one could care less or help, but there is hope! 

When we go to assist a dog at a shelter, we always take an essential piece of equipment that is simple but means so much.  After everything checks out, papers are signed and handshakes made, we place a collar around the neck of the dog that guarantees hope and safety, little do they know the meaning. 

He now belongs to us and will come into our fold, and it's a day filled with hope, promise, joy, and trust.  It has become a tradition of Clancy's Dream to place a bright red collar on a new rescue dog and declare they are Free at Last, and they are.   

Sometimes we never know where they came from or why they came to us, but they have.  Many times, after picking a Border Collie up, I have buried my head in my hands and wondered, how does this happen while the dog is in the back seat is smiling or licking my ear.

 When the vehicle is shifted into drive, we start our journey; it now becomes the most important journey in the life of "our" dog.   They are currently on what is called "The Freedom Ride."  Unlike the last journey they took in a car where they were dropped and abandoned at the shelter or side of the road to die; this ride is different in so many ways.  

Some Border Collies may have been left by people who do not know or care what happened, but this time, things are different.  To those who have left them, know that money flows freely, prayers are said, donations are given, calls are made, and there is an Army of people pulling for the dog you gave up on.  Many people will help and volunteer in any they can, spending hundreds of hours on the road while traveling great distances. Some spend countless hours searching for a way to solve a problem, and they do because all have stepped up to make sure the dog you left is forever safe.

When the red Rescue Collar is slipped around the neck of the dog, the life of the dog changes, along with the life of the person who slips it on.  The volunteers who have done this knew that time had no meaning, money flowed freely, prayers were answered, donations were given, and calls were made, and thousands of people pulled for the dog that was saved.  This is a magical moment for the dog but it's a magical moment for the rescuer too.

The red Rescue Collar means little to most, but to the Border Collie who was saved and to the person who traveled with them on the Freedom Ride, it means everything but most importantly, hope and freedom.  The bright side and good of all of this, all collars tell a story, you may not think it, but it does and will follow them wherever they go. When the time comes, we remove our Clancy's Dream Rescue Collar that was given to them, but when they leave with their new owner and new collar, it's with a second chance and fresh start. When they go to their new home, I know there will be happy faces and happy smiles of dogs that have a second lease on life.  

Life is just a whisper, and when my few seconds are up, I hope I made a difference, but in my next dimension of time, I want to sit in that field of grass and be with every dog I have ever touched and Clancy again.  Ken

There are many types of Freedon rides, thanks to all who care.

And in one day, Everything Changed because of you...

Time is Irrelevant... Maybe

It's now is getting dark earlier, but I realized that we are winding down this summer, and it's kinda sad. We just turned our clocks backward for daylight saving time, and in a way, it's unfortunate that the season is changing. I love the spring and summer except for the hot, humid weather, but it's worth putting up with for the long pretty days and dry weather. The only good part of winter that if I like is I can take longer naps and don't feel that I have "be on the move" the whole time. 

There is nothing like a long nap in front of the TV with several dogs in my lap and a warm fire. Every season has its perks, but spring is best for me. Spring and summer are always busy and packed full of adventures of play and fun and especially work, which never stops, and I'm sure my dogs suffer a bit and miss "our" time.

I'm sure the dogs will appreciate more time with "the man" and in truth, I will to, I just don't want to deal with the mud from the fall rains.  Frozen ground is good, but lots of rain and mud is brutal to everyone and then the nap time with dad is out until they are cleaned up, something they never think about when they are running and playing.  I wish they would think about that.

Cold winters seem to bring the best out, I put on my sub-zero coat and insulated boots, and off we go on long walks several times a day around the lake and down the long trails. In the evenings, Dutchess will park herself in front of the TV just to watch the local weatherman, and when the word "snow" comes on, a loud bark follows from her with eager ears and a spring in her step. I will tell you, around here, snow is excellent. The deeper, the better, and as long as it lasts, there is joy in the air.

The one thing I will never understand during the time changes is what time is it really.  Unfortunately, during this last time change, I was traveling to St Louis.  Not only was I wondering what time it was, but I also traveled to another time zone.  Was it 8am EST "slow" time or 9am "fast" time?  Were we on EST or CST, and at times, I didn't know what time it was even if I looked. My watch said one time, my car had another time, and my phone had a third time. At one point, I could have run through the street with my hair on fire.

So here we are wrapping down another year, I just wonder what it will bring. Hopefully, no mud, no work and lots of time to relax before we start over again, but I'm sure there will always be lots of work and the time change. Ken


And Everything Changed...

And one day everything changed... Yes, it does in many ways, sometimes good and sometimes bad. It's Friday morning, and I am at the 2019 National Border Collie Nationals in St Louis, and I drift back to a few days when I unpacked our goods at the conference.  Everything was fine until I rolled out the banner that had Clancy's photo on it, and I immediately went back to July 30, 2016, and "that" day, when we lost our boy.  I looked around to see if anyone could see me because of the tears that were present.  We all have had those days when one day everything is fine, and the next everything is wrong. 

One day a family decides to get a new dog. It's discussed in a family meeting, and everyone agrees to do their part in bringing a new member into the love and circle of the family, and a new dog has a new home.  As the pup grows up, he becomes the center of attention because he loves them so and they love him too.  Life is different, and things couldn't be any better.  He would go hiking with them and loved the campfires at night where he would lay by the fire, and he knew he was special, and he was.  The first day he came into the home, he had "that" feeling, but he knew everything changed.

I got that post, "Jackson - NM border collie, 5 years old, 62 lbs. Found as a stray on 8/29. Jackson has been at our shelter for a LONG time. Jackson came in very matted with burrs in his coat. Jackson has little time left before he is euthanized. He is a very smart dog and wants badly to be safe and loved." 

The next day, Jackson arrived safe and sound in the arms of Clancy's Dream. He walked around, smelling trees, never running or playing. Jackson has all but shut down and given up hope. That night he refused food and was content in his kennel and wouldn't leave. Jackson had to be coaxed out with a lead but sauntered back inside the house where he laid back on his dog bed. The spark did ignite again, and he came around. Jackson is the spitting image of Clancy, pricked ears, same markings, large head and piercing brown eyes, and even a half collar. As I sat in the kennel with him, I wept as I stroked his head.  A few weeks later, he was adopted, but one day everything changed.

When I arrived at the shelter, it was busy, and people were going and coming at a quick pace. Walking into the "dog" room, as usual, I heard the barking before I went through the door and even smelled the urine, feces, and antiseptic before I went in. 

A little dog was crouched in the corner with her eyes covered, hiding from the world and everything around her.  I went into the 3 X 5 kennel and sat on the floor with my back to the gate, I patted the floor, and she wanted to come to me but was scared.  When she did, I cried, she licked my hand as to thank me, and I thanked you for not giving up. I ask God how does this happen but was answered; it didn't this time she was saved. To many, it is just another night, but to this dog, little did she know that the night before, sleeping on the bare cold concrete floor, was a special night. Twas the night before she was rescued, where one day, everything changed.

As I traveled home from the convention after the last night, I pondered the trip and the effect it had on me.  Meeting many people and telling our story and making contacts was a great success.  You never know what a day or two can make.  While driving home, I drifted back to that day that Clancy passed and lived those few moments again.  At first feeling sorry for myself, I was reminded that one day, either good or bad, could change the outcome of many things to come.  

On the third night of the event, I was contacted during dinner about a litter of Border Collies turned over to a shelter where they tested positive for Parvo.  No one wanted them because of the deadly disease.  In one day, we had them placed in quarantine at a vet clinic, which will treat and monitor the dogs 24 hours a day.  So far, the outcome is guarded, but positive and in one day, everything changed.

July 30, 2016, was a day I will never forget, and everything changed, but for many...  Ken

Always and Again...

While I am working on a project in the house, I hear "DUTCHESS, DUTCHESS, D - U - T - C - H - E -C - S - S, COME HERE RIGHT NOW.  Don't run from me, come here dammit," and Elaine never curses. OH God, I thought, what now.  We nearly have had at least one day of peace, and I knew it couldn't last, it never does.   As I ran down the stairs, I could only imagine what could be wrong.  As I made the turn around the corner, Dutchess was weaving through the furniture and escaped under the dining room table, and she was safe.

Do you know what she did!  My eyes rolled back in my head, and a thousand things entered my mind because of the shenanigans she has done throughout the years.  No blood was visible, she was scampering at a fast pace, and she looked happy.  It couldn't be too bad, I thought, but she usually does some dastardly deeds most of the time.   "What," I ask, "she got a Q-tip out of the garbage by climbing up on the commode. " While this not as bad as some of the things she has gotten into, it's certainly worth looking into while wondering what to do next.

I grabbed my "go-to" tools, which consist of a bottle of peroxide and a 20 ml syringe.  This is something I have used often when a few of the dogs eat something that can be harmful, but Dutchess is usually my go-to girl for this.  I poured out enough to make her throw up, and off we went to do the deed.  As I headed down the stairs, Dutchess followed and hung her head.  She knew I thought, but in her mind, she got a snack.  "What kind of Q-tip was it? I ask.  "Paper," Elaine said, and I stopped and thought I wonder if she'll be Okay.   I always worry about the dogs and would hate for them to go through something that could be prevented, but with Dutchess, anything is fair game to eat if it even has an odor on it, and sometimes, that's better.  As I was ready to administer the peroxide, I stepped back; surely, there has to be a better way.  After a long thought, I deferred my deed because it just didn't seem like it was necessary, and hopefully, it's not.  She is so used to it, and I even think she is immune to the peroxide.  

Dutchess is the worse of any dog that seems to be obsessed with food ar anything to eat.   While I am grateful that she has not ever been interested in sticks or chewing on them, I would assume that she could clear a forest with her appetite.  I don't know where this came from; she always had an affection for humankind food, but don't get me wrong; she loves her kibble too, along with anything that resembles a tasty treat, including kibble that comes from another dog if they are sick.  Just don't let her kiss you.

I never understood dogs that would eat rabbit, deer, raccoon, cat, duck, or any kind of poo but turn their heads up at the best and expensive food on the market.  At least Dutchess is a consumer of every type of item that has any resemblance of food, including ear wax.  I just hope it didn't come out straight...  Ken

It's a Beautiful Day for Friends...

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood
A beautiful day for a neighbor
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

One thing I have enjoyed about working with the dogs we love and meeting the people who come through the portals of Clancy's Dream is the group's desire to make a situation better and to improve the life of a Border Collie. What I also see is the friendships that are made by people who have never met each other, and at times, they live many states apart. At the Nellie Effect 5K Run, I saw seen people who met up and hugged each other because they met on Socal Media. Each friend was glad and excited to finally put a face with a name, me included.

While it is a common desire to assist people and friends out, with our group, it seems to go beyond what some people do and to the depths of support or help we give each other. While this is not always privy to everyone, being on the inside of this cause, I see it every day. Each of us has gone through, is going through, or will go through a time when we need help and understanding; inevitably, we will all be there at some point in our dog's life. On our social media pages, it is more visible of the care and love each member has. Everyone gives support, recognition, and praise without anyone being bossy or unruly, something that says a lot about the people involved who we each care so much about.

 I have been privileged to see presents, flowers, letters, and notes passed to each other in times of praise or sadness, and at times, it is anonymous. I know people who have traveled hundreds of miles to visit and even stay with people they have never met, why is this? Is it because we have a connection, an inner spirit, or something that can't be explained?  I know that if a tragedy or death occurs, our friends always come to the rescue because most of us have been here.

True friends aren't phony with you. They show you who they really are. They're honest with you when it matters most. They never try to deceive you into making themselves seem stronger, more successful, or better than they really are. ... A true friend is not only honest about themselves, but they are also honest about you.

With true friends, like the 10 reasons below, I could say that with our friends and dog family, it's the same with both...

#1 You share EVERYTHING
Food, furniture, laughs, clothing, tears (wails), you name it… 
#2 They know what you're feeling just by being around you
Dogs can sense emotions and know how to respond. When we're not at our best, a little sad or under the weather, dogs know exactly how to make us feel better just by being by our side. 
#3 You feel like a celebrity every time you step through the front door
The minute your key is in the door, your dog comes bounding through the house to greet you as though you've been away for six months. 
#4 They've seen you at your very worst
Your dog has witnessed how you are first thing in the morning, seen you before your first coffee of the day, wild hair, dark circles around your eyes, losing your marbles, etc. They've seen you ill, they've seen you in all sorts of situations very few will others have witnessed. Yet there's no judgment, they just love you as you are… if not more if that's even possible!
#5 They remind you to appreciate the little things
Dogs see the world through the eyes of children. Their rose-tinted glasses make everything magical, surprising and unique, and they're not afraid to help you see things from their point of view!
#6 They inspire you
'Be the person your dog thinks you are'. You may well have heard this quote and we think it's a great way to always be the very best you - with your dog and in your life.
#7 No one can come between you and your dog
If you're out together, you know your dog's got your back. Woe betide anyone who wishes you harm!
#8 You always have a good time...
... no matter what you do! Whether it's a play in the garden, shopping, a walk or just watching TV at home, you know you'll smile more than once simply spending time together.
#9 They're there to lend a hand
Or a paw at least! Ok, they may not be able to physically help you out, but when our human friends can't be there to support you with small day-to-day tasks, you know your dog will always cheer you on when you need it. They're your own personal cheerleader and they wouldn't miss a minute of supporting you!
#10 You light up each other's worlds
Dogs enrich our lives with their unconditional love, kindness and, more often than not, their craziness too! They put a smile on our faces just by being there. For them, you are the ultimate friend, you're their everything, and they're just happy to be with you. And that is amazing!   Yummy Pets

So we are friends and neighbors because of our like minds and want to share our happiness, love, concerns but most importantly our support.  Just by 'being a friend is a tremendous thing."

So let's make the most of this beautiful day
Since we're together, we might as well say
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?