The Dreaded Cone of Shame?

Many times we think of the Cone as a symbol of “shame.”  In our house, it is anything but.  We are very familiar with them and have several on hand because of the activity that goes on around the house and property.  Here It’s usually a badge of “honor” because of the feats that they do to get their Boo Boo.  My dogs are the “Evel Knievel” of Border Collies you could say, and I’m surprised that they do not have more.

Back in September of 2012, Abbie was in a cone for who knows what.  For me, the injuries seem to run together, or it’s an age thing, I just know they love to run, and I try to pick up the pieces.  Now I really don’t care if they do run, I just want them to be careful because we've had had many vet trips for sutures and x-rays, and nearly every one of our dogs has made that journey.  Sometimes they will run into each other, nip at each other and even run into anything or everything.

“Over the river and through the woods to grandmothers house” is a beautiful verse to a lovely song, but with Border Collies, the through the woods part scares the bejeebers out of me.  I've seen them run through overgrow shrubs and around trees missing them by only a smidgen of space, gritting my teeth the whole time, wanting to turn my head and look elsewhere.  
Of all the past “cone weares” Abbie is the most active.  Once when wearing it, she would run as normal and while I tried to limit her activity and you know it’s impossible with a BC, so she went off into her domain.  After nearly knocking the back door off its hinges, tires off of the car and whizzing past me knocking me to the ground, the “Cone” had seen better days. In two days, she went through 2 “cones” and luckily, she healed fast because I couldn’t afford too many more.

Cone one, she said she was sorry...

Cone two, day two, "I did it again, HA HA."
Nearly everyone has had to wear the “cone,” and sometimes I think they are proud of it because it means they will take nothing or back down even a tree, and while they may by pleased with themselves, I believe they are a little silly. 

This last episode with Abbie was a little worse than expected.  After we had come inside to cool off and rest for a second after some playtime, I noticed Abbie licking her leg, sometimes a tel-tel sign of a Boo-Boo.  As soon as I pulled the fur back, “Oh my God” was my first words and then said, “we’re going to the Vet."  It was a bad time all around because of appointments and stops I needed to make, so I called the Vet’s office and pleaded, “Can you take me in now” of which they did.  I dropped her off and went to the errands I had to do but when I picked her up.  The Vet and I had a little talk,  “I don’t feel good about this, with her cancer medication she is taking, her immune system is practically nonexistent, and it’s in a dangerous spot and may not heal.”  Things turned south very fast, but he also said to “keep her restricted and in a cone at all cost and the stitches will be in at least three weeks.” 

 Wow, I thought is the beginning of the end?  With that, I decided that no cheating or out of the house activities were in order.  So far, as of day four, we are doing OK, a little weepy and swollen, but everything seems to be holding.  Time will tell.  Ken

Cone three, yesterday...
 On a lighter note, we have decided to make this a fun time with their “cone.”  We have searched the internet and found a few they might like in the future… 

Even for the barn cats

Looking Back...

While the Board of Directors and I have been officially working with Clancy’s Dream since August of 2016, we have been working to rescue dogs since 2010.  We only officially put it on paper in August of last year because of Clancy's death.  We are in the process of updating our Webpage, and while we’ve only had it for 6 months or so, it needs to updated with several things.  This is truly a trial by fire, and at sometimes, I get burned, and we can always use some extra help.

One thing I am doing for the Foundation is to go back in some of our records and get information and photos of dogs we have helped and put them on our website.  It is bittersweet to see the dogs again because we all, including the foster parents, miss them and it brings back memories.  At times because they were fostered I may only see them for a few hours or when they are transported to the Vet or their new home, but I never forget the look in their eyes.

One of 5 dogs we drove to Glen Highland Farm in in upstate New Your.
Since we started working, rescuing and rehabilitating Border Collies, we have traveled to numerous states, driving thousands of miles and literally spending thousands of dollars and up till now, it was our gift to the breed, but now the foundation has stepped in, and we can do more.  The one thing I have seen is the love, attention, and drive that people have that want to help, who also love the breed as I do.

Karen Newhall and I taking 5 dogs to New Your to a Border Collie Rescue.  This was when my life changed.
Some may remember the puppy mill that I was involved with in 2012.  This literally changed my life, and I think for the better for many reasons.  I won’t go into the hardships of any of that but I remember and cherish the joy it brings to us when we not only help the dog but the entire family.  I only wish I would have copied or saved the comments that have come my way from various sources, but when I am down, I do remember the kind words that I don’t deserve.

What I do cherish is to hear is the comments and read the stories of how their life has changed because of their new dog and to see them love their dog as much as I did and this makes my heart warm.

It's exciting to see and watch a dog bond to its new owner and observe the life change on both sides and to be part of it.  Not in my wildest dream would I have thought I would have become and "animal activist"  but I guess I have.  Not necessary by choice, but by need.

This is a roller coaster to be able to put things together and at times see them fall apart., but in the end, you see those eyes telling you that they are happy...  Ken  

Clancy's Dream

To understand some of my feelings you can go to;
Let it end...
A Rescue Trip

Below are "just a few" of the dogs we have rescued, I will never forget any one of them…

Getting close…

For the last several days, I have been taking Abbie out to play by herself.  I do this for several reasons, the first is, with her illness I don’t know how long she has left with us.  So far, she has outlived everyone’s prediction and has been doing great since her diagnosis in October 2015.  The second is it’s hard for her to play with dogs chasing and nipping at her.

It started a week or so ago when we had to visit Kaycee and pals just to check on them while their Mom was at work.  I walked over to their house, and Abbie was at the gate with me, and I said, “let’s go” and out she sprang, knowing she was going somewhere but what she didn’t know where and to do what. 

I was to let Kacie, Lit Bit, and Izzy out of their kennel and exercise them for a while until Mom came home from work in a few hours and everyone was going to have some fun.  As I walked out of their garage, I grabbed two Frisbees off the counter and into the large open outside area we went.  Everyone was so excited, and Kacee and Abbie were turning circles as we walked to our destination.  Off they went into the distance waiting for me to throw the Frisbee.  Zoom it went, and their eyes were as big as saucers, and they pranced as it came their way, but when we were done, dissapointnment and sad eyes were all around.

When we play ball or Frisbee at home, it’s hard to get everyone to cooperate and be on the same page.  It always seemed that nearly everyone picks on Abbie when she plays.  She is ONLY focused on the ball, stick or Frisbee, nothing else and nearly everyone is focused on her because of her excitement.  The exception is Dutchess, Molly, and Meggie, they play with whatever we’re throwing and watch the ball or Frisbee, not Abbie.  The rest of the pack is picking on Abbie, and the only thing I can attribute that too is because she is so focused.  Several times I have had to take her to the Vet for stitches, and once even Crazy glued her wound, but it was small.
For the next several days I would put all the dogs up in the kennel to feed them except Abbie, and she knew what was going on.  She would look at me then glance at the cabinet which held her treasures and then back at me, but she is heading for the door because she knew, and when outside, let her carry her Frisbee.  She is so excited.

Yesterday, I kept Dutchess and Molly out because they like to play too, but Molly is just as content to hold a tennis ball in her mouth and run with them.  We played hard, and everyone was tired and thirsty, and I knew what they wanted.  

As hard as I tried, I attempted to lead them away from the lake so they would stay dry.  Didn’t happen, Molly got into the water up to her belly, but Abbie and Dutchess were different.  As she has done thousands of times, Abbie went to the dock with the Frisbee and sat it down in front of her.  Her usual routine it to taunt the other dogs with her toy and push it into the water where she will immediately jump in after it, which she did.  I can only assume she this is her way to play by herself or to make sure she gets it back.  This time was different because Dutchess knew and was ready too.

No calling them would keep them dry, and as soon as I heard that ever-familiar sound of a plop, I knew it was too late, and she was wet.  In just a few seconds, Dutchess joined her in the water where they both got a long drink and back to the house, we came.  But guess who didn’t get to come in… but only for a while… We are getting close to dock diving season and they are ready.  Ken.

Clancy's Dream
The dog's Facebook page

What did you say?

As I sat down in my recliner, the dogs gathered in their usual spot, but this time, things were just a little different…

“Hey, get out of the way, I can’t move,” Dutchess said as she moved to “her” spot.
“Don’t get up there, that’s my spot” as she gave her scowl looking at Meggie who also went for the recliner but was beat out by the beast.

“Get off my butt, I’m trying to lay down,” Shepp said to Doc as he was getting into his spot in the chair.  Doc always pesters him when he is walking by.
Something is different, I can hear what they are thinking.  This is new, can I talk dog talk?  Have I entered their work or have they entered into mine, this is scary but fascinating, but I’m just a little bit worried.
Most of the dogs filed into the room taking their usual spot.
“I didn’t get enough food,” Dutchess said as she was talking to Gabby, but was rebuked by most of the others, and in unison, they shouted, “You never do!”
My mouth flew open, and I watched in amazement.  This is scary, they don’t know I can hear!
“I watch him eat his meals and snacks all night, and we get just a tiny bite, and the drinks they have, is there no end?”  Dutchess said.  Oh, my God, I thought, this is insane.  “Well at lease we get more as the night wears on,” Annie bellowed.

“Why can’t we watch something else on TV, is there nothing on about dogs?” Abbie said.  “I’m sure there is some tennis on, don’t we have ESPN?”  “I’ve never seen as many the tennis balls they have and when he’s not here, and we get to choose what we want to watch,”  Annie said.  “I’ve watched him hold onto the remote so long, I know how to change it.”  “I love it when he falls asleep in his chair,” Gabbie said “I bet he falls asleep because he is well-oiled” Molly shouted over the laughter.
I can’t believe this, am I losing my mind as I watched my dogs look at each other and make nods and shake their head.  Everything calmed down, and there was silence among us.  Maybe I am working and thinking too much if I hear voices and I've not even had a drink, but I tell you, I think I need one.
Just when there were peace and things were back to normal, I heard it.  “Who did it?” and Shepp looked up putting his nose in the air and sniffed.  “Can’t you wait until you go outside?” Dahlia said as she came from the other room, lying down for just a second before going back to where she came from.

“Who did it, it’s a killer.” everyone laughed.  At that moment every dog turned their head and looked at me with a stare of disenchantment and the first time I answered them “I did not do it!”  This has gone too far, now I am answering them.

According to Juliane Kaminski a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Portsmouth.  “Dogs are special. Every dog owner knows that. And most dog owners feel their dog understands every word they say and every move they make. Research over the last two decades shows dogs really can understand human communication in ways no other species can. But a new study confirms you should be speaking to it in a certain way to maximize the chances that it follows what you're saying.  The latest research affirms the idea that not only have dogs developed an ability to recognize gestures but also a special sensitivity to the human voice that helps them identify when they need to respond to what's being said.”

While I do agree with the author, but I think my Border Collies have gone a little further.  There is no doubt that our dogs understand us and will even react and mind us, but when you find yourself answering them, you better be hiding your car keys and apparently there is no reason to spell certain words.   Give your dog a hug today before they drive off.    Ken

A Purpose...

As promised, I said I would follow up my Blog from several weeks ago after watching the movie “A Dog’s Purpose.” Giving my point of view, it is a very heartfelt movie about the life of a dog that comes back in several versions of other dogs when he passed away.   If you see it, don’t be late because the first 60 seconds sets the stage for the whole crux of the movie and you could easily miss it.  I ask, what is their purpose?

“Humans were capable of so many amazing things, but too often they just sat making words, not doing anything.”
 W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog's Purpose

I loved the movie and saw things from a dog's point of view, some things I never thought of before but are probably right.   I ask my Facebook followers what were some of the purposes to them were regarding eating, sleeping, and things you do with them and was amazed by some of the answers and how much they did and tolerated their dogs in some of the behavior.  In truth, most of us do the same things with our dogs.  I don’t know why but we usually treat them like family, and they get away with most things we wouldn’t let our kids do.

The movie will have you laughing, crying and just feeling good but it all comes together at the end. Buddy is the dog in the film and Ethan is his owner. The last thing Bailey experiences before he dies is the love of his boy. It's a big deal for him because he has never felt this sort of unique love.  With Ethan, Bailey is special.

Buddy and Ethan
Buddy- “I was a good dog. I had fulfilled my purpose…I understood it now, why I had lived so many times. I had to learn a lot of important skills and lessons, so when the time came, I could rescue Ethan, not from the pond but from the sinking despair of his own life.”  W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog's Purpose

As Elaine and I left the movie, I try to look at the ceiling and floor but not at any other faces; I tried to put on a brave face, It was happy and sad in a good way.  Elaine was "How Long Can You Possibly Cry?" crying while we walked to the car and I just couldn’t understand what was so wrong.  Through chopped words, she said to me after composing herself and said.  “I’m too old to see Clancy again, and he won’t come back to me, but to somebody else.”  I now know why she was so upset, as Buddy moved through his lives, he helped many people, always to the end of his life.  Clancy came into our life after our “Morgan” was killed very unexpectedly and tragically.  We went looking for a new dog and went to a breeder and picked one out but he was taken.  We only picked Clancy because all the others were taken, little did I know.  

Fate… maybe, but some pretty strong forces were directly pushing Clancy into our life and the lives of many dogs that needed help, we just didn’t know but was shown the way.

In the movie, Buddy was a dog that traveled through people's lives to give them "everything" he had, including his life.  He did not see it as a sacrifice but a duty and honor.  He understood more things than we usually will see or know.  He experienced life in a beautiful way, helping where he could.

Quote from Buddy- “I was a good dog. I had fulfilled my purpose…I understood it now, why I had lived so many times. I had to learn a lot of important skills and lessons, so when the time came, I could rescue Ethan, not from the pond but from the sinking despair of his own life.”  W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog's Purpose

Kenny- “Clancy was a good dog.  He had fulfilled his purpose…I understood it now, why he had lived so many times.  He learned so many important skills and lessons, so when the time came, he could rescue other dogs from the sinking despair of the life they once lived.

“Humans were capable of so many amazing things, but too often they just sat making words, not doing anything.”  W. Bruce Cameron,  A Dog's Purpose.  As Clancy taught us, let's not make words, let's make a difference.

Somewhere, someone will receive a nudge or a lick and not understand why.  It may be something they may not be able to comprehend or understand, at that particular moment.   Be patient with your new dog and take the love and kindness that comes your way and look into their eyes and see their soul, especially through "those" eyes, that will pierce your heart.   

Delight in the love and licks on your leg and know you will learn to love this, as I did.  You can’t envision the ride you will have if you choose.  Life is a dream if that’s only what you what, a reality, if you listen and act, it's up to you.  We now share a common love, and please give our Clancy a hug.  He now has another purpose with you, and someday, you will understand…but it may be hard.  

I now know “A Dog’s Purpose.”   Ken…

It was the worst of times... but got better.

In August of 2012, I received a lengthy email about a Border Collie breeder in Northern Indiana, and after reading it, I wrote back and asked the writer to call me, I needed more information.  They mentioned they had made a stop to visit this breeder, looking for a Border Collie while traveling back home to Michigan. She was shocked and just needed to vent and a shoulder to cry on.  I was familiar with the breeder because I had received an abundance of calls, but nothing like this one. I felt after talking about this breeder, it was time to take a trip up north, and we did.

Chase, his owner, started it all when she called and needed help, Chase is a Sanders dog.
Karen Newhall, a BC owner, and friend of ours went with me to check it out.  As we pulled into the driveway, I turned to Karen and said, "I hope it's not as bad as we've been told," and she said, "Me too." We were wrong, very very wrong.  I will tell you, that trip affected me in ways that will haunt me for the rest of my life.  Sleep escapes me on more occasions than I like.  I just can’t seem to get the faces of those sweet dogs and the smell of that place out of my mind. To the dogs, we did everything we could do, your faces will live with me forever...

On January 30, 2017, nearly 5 years after our visit to that horrible place, the many court appearances, repeated testimony, and legal battles, Thurman "Randy" Sanders, Jr., 69 passed away. He spent his life fighting the legal system for what he believed.  The courts, Karen, myself and many others disagreed with his thoughts and ways.

Randy Sanders
He received nearly $85,000 in fines, and restitution, jail time, a lifetime ban on ever having/owning a dog.  The courts spoke, it was final and loud.  In comparison, Michael Vick a sports figure received only three years’ supervised probation during which he cannot buy, sell or own dogs. 

Boone, a Sanders dog, he captured my heart when we worked with him...
When I learned of his death, my mind immediately went back to the years that we spent fighting for the lives of those dogs. We wanted nothing but health, happiness and a forever home filled with love for those Border Collies.  Some had never set foot on grass, never set a foot outside that small prison of a kennel that Randy Sanders had put them in.  The worst part of it, some of them never will because they didn't make it.

Boone having a ball with his new owners...
When his death was published, many people were excited. According to them “they wished he would burn in hell” and some comments were even worse.  I saw his death and life somewhat different. At times, I had sleepless nights and thought of the scenes and the smells I will never get out of my mind.  I hated what he did to those precious dogs that I love so much and the train wrecks he made of the ones that he sold.  This pain will go on for an extensive time, both for the dogs and the dog's owners. Like a rock thrown into a calm lake, the ripples go on forever, both good and bad, and then they bounce off the shore and return.  What he did will reverberate in the Border Collie world for generations of dogs to come.
Echo, a Sanders dog was broke in so many ways.

Ruby a Sanders dog, so shy but finally came out of her shell.  Like Boone, she is missing part of her tail, it was pulled off.

What he also did was to wake up a community and change people’s lives and laws.  While it has certainly changed the lives of the other people that were involved with the case, it has also changed my life forever.  Through the many struggles, I have had to deal with, I know, I am who I am, because of my past.  This is true for your good and bad experiences both.

One vow I made to myself was to assist and rehabilitate any dog that was the product of Randy Sanders. I am doing this for love and will continue doing anything in my power to help.  A year or so after we started the process of the court proceedings, I got that opportunity.  I got a call from someone that lived a few states away, they owned a Sanders dog and needed help with him, so they came to see us.  When “Chase” arrived, he ran for hours never slowing or stopping.  About midweek, I wrote this email to his owner.  “I put Chase on the exam table, I needed to brush him because he was matted pretty bad.    At first, he didn't know if he liked it or not but soon settled in and he actually went to sleep.  I worked on him for about an hour and got all of the tangles out.   After I  had finished, he turned and started licking my face showing emotion for the first time.”  

 At that very moment, it came to me that "Chase” is the “very” dog that started it all with Sanders.  He is the actual instrument that shut down an institution that had lasted for 40 years and ruined so many dogs and the families that had to cope with these mistreated dogs and most of all, the greed of one man.  The lady who called me in 2012 is the owner of “Chase” that spurred Karen and me to go and investigate the puppy mill.  After I had pondered these thoughts, I got a little misty-eyed, Chase then rose from the table and crawled into my lap and put his front paws on my shoulders and licked my tears and sweat away on a hot August night trying to comfort me.

If ever God has talked through an animal, he did so through Chase.  I wrote to her “I also want you to know that all the effort, phone calls, money, and trips were well worth it.  I guess Chase wanted me to know that he was grateful, but I am thankful for you (Chase’s owner) and your husband for doing the right thing.”

I am sorry Mr. Sanders passed from this world alone and isolated, but I believe that we will all face our maker. I have prayed for his soul. I will not judge him, just what he did to my beloved breed.  I remember that day so well that changed my life.  “I want to be part of the solution, not the problem,” I said, and now it is my mission.   If I would never had met or known of Mr. Sanders or seen the sights I saw,  chances are I wouldn’t be where I am now in this world of broken dogs.  “You just have to visit” was the statement from everyone that I talked to who went to his farm and left crying…and I did go, and glad of it and I did cry…

In November, Clancy’s Dream re-homed six dogs in one month along with some surgeries, food, shots, and microchips and is well on its way helping Border Collies with more on the way.  There is a team of dedicated people who are on "Clancy's Dream Team" and it is Mr. Sanders who also played a part in this whether he wanted to or not.  Thank you, Mr. Sanders, for showing me the way and making the difference in my life and in the lives of the dogs we rescue through Clancy's Dream, who would have thought Clancy's Dream will live because of you.  Ken 

A special thanks to a very special person who also helped tirelessly on this and still does for the dogs that don't have a voice.  You are a special Lady.  

Thank you my "Clancy Man."

Clancy's Facebook Page

Copied, but very nice...

Unlike most days at RainBow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All the recent arrivals were confused and concerned. They had no idea what to think for they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had spent some time waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was happening and began to gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge to watch. They knew this was something special.

It wasn't too long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung heavy and low with tail dragging along the ground. The other animals on the pathway...the ones who had been at RainBow Bridge for a while...knew the story of this sad creature immediately. They had seen it happen far too many times. Although it was obvious the animal's heart was leaden and he was totally overcome with emotional pain and hurt, there was no sign of injury or any illness. Unlike the pets waiting at the Bridge, this dog had not been restored to his prime. He was full of neither health nor vigor. He approached slowly and painfully, watching all the pets who were by now watching him. He knew he was out of place here. This was no resting place for him. He felt instinctively that the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be.

But alas, as he came closer to the Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who spoke softly to the old dog and apologized sorrowfully, telling him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their special people could pass over the RainBow Bridge. And he had no special beloved people...not here at the Bridge nor on Earth below. With no place else to turn, the poor elderly dog looked toward the fields before the Bridge. There, in a separate area nearby, he spotted a group of other sad-eyed animals like himself...elderly and infirm.

Unlike the pets waiting for their special people, these animals weren't playing, but simply lying on the green grass, forlornly and miserably staring out at the pathway leading to the Bridge. The recent arrival knew he had no choice but to join them. And so, he took his place among them, just watching the pathway and waiting. One of the newest arrivals at the Bridge, who was waiting for his special people, could not understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the pets who had been there for some time to explain it to him. "That poor dog was a rescue, sent to the pound when his owner grew tired of him. They way you see him now, with graying fur and sad, cloudy eyes, was exactly the way he was when he was put into the kennels.

He never, ever made it out and passed on only with the love and comfort that the kennel workers could give him as he left his miserable and unloved existence on Earth for good. Because he had no family or special person to give his love, he has nobody to escort him across the Bridge." The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the all-invasive gloom lifted. Coming toward the Bridge could be seen a single figure...a person who, on Earth, had seemed quite ordinary...a person who, just like the elderly dog, had just left Earth forever.
This figure turned toward a group of the sad animals and extended outstretched palms. The sweetest sounds they had ever heard echoed gently above them and all were bathed in a pure and golden light. Instantly, each was young and healthy again, just as they had been in the prime of life. From within the gathering of pets waiting for their special people, a group of animals emerged and moved toward the pathway.

As they came close to the passing figure, each bowed low and each received a tender pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. Their eyes grew even brighter as the figure softly murmured each name. Then, the newly-restored pets fell into line behind the figure and quietly followed this person to the Bridge, where they all crossed together. The recent arrival who had been watching, was amazed. "What happened?" "That was a rescuer," came the answer. "That person spent a lifetime trying to help pets of all kinds. The ones you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of such unselfish work. They will cross when their families arrive.

Those you saw restored were ones who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are permitted to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor pets that couldn't place on Earth across the Rainbow Bridge. You see, all animals are special to them...just as they are special to all animals." "I think I like rescuers," said the recent arrival. "So does God," was the reply. --Author Unknown--