"Please," I have said this word many times in the dog world, and I know I will say it thousands of times more. While I'm not as religious as I know I should be, I do have firm beliefs from my childhood when my father was the choir director in a small church, and I was forced (because I wanted my allowance) to play the piano for him. While I do have a repertoire of gospel hymns in my memory and play often, the events helped me to know there is a higher power, and in the rescue world, I see it every day.
I don't know if I was in Heaven or the other place...
The one thing I don't miss about playing the piano at church are the pats on my head when I'm pulled into a big busted blue-haired lady along with a kiss on the cheek after I play, and that Eau de Toilette Parfum. Now that I think about it, maybe this is why I have OCD, and I may need therapy. I can see it now, "Tell me Kenny, how do you feel?" "I can still see her, coming straight at me smelling like Lavender, and I won't be able to see anything as my breath is cut off for what seems like an eternity." "HElP, I'm drowning in breasts." "Well, times up, I will see you next week."

Many times during the week, I get that call from someone needing help. Sometimes, it's about a dog in a kill shelter with only one day left or an injured dog, and no one can pay. Sometimes it's about a dog tied to a chain. Sometimes it's about a dog that has cancer, and they are scared.  Sometimes we don't have any fosters, and I get many calls for help because they don't know where to turn to for help. 

Just this week, I got a call with one of our fosters, and they needed some help with a situation. We talked several times, and I researched the issue. But while I'm not an expert and don't give advice, the veterinarian is the expert and should always be consulted and was. In this case, like many others, I buried my face and rubbed my temples and wondered how this could happen and how to fix it "Please, Lord, let this workout and give them an answer and make this better." Of course, I worry about it and hope and pray everything works out, and it usually will, usually. 

It is truly a curse to be so concerned about everything and want everything to work out, and it's hard to see a positive outcome when your glass is always half empty. While I see dogs in situations where help and immediate responses are necessary, I try to respond as fast as we can, but I always want to fix the problem "right now." Sometimes this is not always possible or the right way to do things. At times, time is needed to correct the problem, but I always have a soft spot for the ones that can't help themselves.   

In high school, there are always some bullies and creeps. I was only in two quarrels, one I'm ashamed of and one I'm proud of. In my days, we had a Physical Education class in Junior High. Most of the boys loved it, but the girls hated it. Once while I was standing in line, the class bully started picking on another kid. Of course, the kid was intimidated and started to cry. Something happened, and I jumped from the line and grabbed the thug around the neck with one arm. I wrestled him around and started punching him in the face with my free hand until he begged me to stop through tears. A bloody nose and hand resulted, but it was worth it, and the thug never did it again, I didn't even know the kid's name but he needed help and no one else would. Thank God, a teacher did not see it, but I don't think it would have changed a thing, something needed to be done. I have always had a special place for the unloved, unwanted, and helpless, and always pull for the underdog and some Border Collie situations fit right into this spot.

As I got off the phone the other day after talking about the dog with the issue, I thought of the many times I have said those exact words through grief and tears.

Please, let us get there before it's too late!
Please, help me understand!
Please let us find a foster, no two fosters!
Please let us find a home!
Please let us get them out of there!
Please help us pay for this! 
Please take care of the ones I left behind!
Please let me sleep!
Please help us fix this!
Please let the dogs understand!
Please let them get better!
And the hardest one is; 
Please let them leave this world in peace and let them know we tried everything, please!

While I have always loved playing the piano and can play the dickens out of it, I learned many lessons.  It's not about you,  it's about others and how you can serve them.  I promise that if you focus your life on the ones that need you, not only will you help them, you too will be rewarded.  Like the kid in Junior High, although he was not a friend and I never saw him again, he will never forget that day and after 50 years, I have not either, nor will the dog you save.   This life is not about us...   Ken

Off We Go...

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun...

As I mentioned last week, there is a follow up with the Pilots N Paws program and a deaf Border Collie Puppy in Beckley, West Virginia.  Lyla's family knew they would not be able to give her the training and life that she deserves. "Sometimes loving is letting go," her Mom said and Lyla needed a home.

 Over five years ago, the plan to rescue Lyla was put into action, and people didn't know it.  Melody Reese owned Balti and he was everything to her, and it was unbearable, and very hard to cope with when he died unexpectedly and when it was time, she looked for a new companion.  Balti was a Border Collie - Corgie mix and it was a perfect breed for her and she looked for another dog.

When Balti died, she tried SO hard to find another Borgi for Target, her other dog.  She tried rescues and shelters and then branched out to breeders where she met Ashlee who once had them.  Melody discovered she didn't have any puppies, but a friendship was formed with Ashlee that lasted.

Many years ago and living in New Mexico, Melody would travel to northern Indiana to visit her parents.  Target went everywhere with her, and it's only fitting her dogs would go Indiana too.  The only problem this trip was when Melody arrived in Indiana, she was leaving with her mother for a cruise. Target needed a place to stay, and Melody found us because we had a website and raised Border Collies; this might work, she thought, and after a phone call, Target was going to visit Dogwood Ridge farm and stay with us. This was the first time we met Melody.  Fate, you ask, maybe.

The next spring, Melody again came to stay with her parents to help them on their farm, and Target, of course, came along, but Target needed a companion, and again, we came into the picture.  Melody called because she kept getting turned down by shelters and rescues (no fence, out of state, dog already adopted). "I'll never forget calling you one day, almost in tears, looking for advice and you said" "I might have the perfect solution for you and you did... the perfect little Heidi Marie."  We had gotten out of breeding Border Collies but one of our adult pups from Clancy was having puppies and one was available and the circle of fate tightens.

Heidi and Target
As time passed, Melody became a member of Clancy's Dream Board of Directors because we shared a common passion for dogs and especially Border Collies.  Melody and the breeder in West Virginia stayed friends and communicated at times.  Just a few weeks ago a post from her friend came to Clancy's Dream.  It was about a 3-month-old Border Collies that needed a home, but it was deaf.  Melody and I talked about the distance and the unique needs the dog required, and it was decided that if we can find a foster, we can help.

Melody met a friend at agility competition a few days later, and when Lyla and her dilemma came up in conversation, her acquaintance said, "I can foster her."  Just a few days later, Lyla was on the way if we can get her transported from West Virginia.  Pilots N Paws was contacted, and in just a few hours, we had two pilots offering to fly Lyla to us, and destiny has made its presence. 
Actual inflight weather map

From the cockpit
When Lyla was picked up by the pilot, the skies were clear, and the forecast was good; however, luck may have changed.  Bad weather popped up, and was this going to crumble in front to up?  With some excellent flying and steady nerves, a ray of hope appeared.  Was it a message from above, Clancy or Balti?  Who's hand is in this?

A sign? photo was taken by the pilot.
Because of the length of time in the air, the pilot made a stopover at his home base.  He offered to overnight Lyla with his pack at his home.  He is very familiar with the needs of a deaf dog because he has one too.  The next morning when the flight was ready to resume, we got this email from the pilot;

"Good morning Melody,
As expected, Lyla has stolen our family's heart. We wanted to find out if it would be possible to adopt her? As I mentioned, we already have a senior deaf dog and our second dog has turned out to be a great tether buddy."

Lyla on a teather at her new home
When Lyla got to her new home the owners got her an appointment at the University of Cincinnati FETCHLAB which is an internationally renowned animal hearing and laboratory.  The FETCHLAB is the first and only hearing clinic for animals in the United States who sees dogs from all over the world and now Lyla is in good hands.

As fate, luck or divine intervention may play a part in this entire situation that started years ago, I have to wonder where Lyla would be if it wasn't for the death of Clancy and Balti.  Many times we question the why and ways things happen but there is a plan for everything.  Sometimes things happen that may hurt our heart that we will never understand but there is a purpose for everything and every dog even if it started over five years ago.  Good luck Lyla and thank you John and the Pilots N Paws program, you became part of our "Dream."    Ken