Sunday

The Notice

As the postman walked away from our door, I got a little worried about the contents of the official “Special Delivery” letter that was just handed to me that I had to sign for.  My mind flashed over the things that I have been involved with during the last year or so and I tried to think of anything that may have happened, nothing came to mind.  Maybe I won something or a long lost uncle put me in his will, but as luck would have it, that was not the case as the letter would state.  It was just the opposite…  Looked like bad news…
I was scheduled to attend a meeting the very next day and it stated “Attendance is mandatory; “failure to comply is punishable by law”.  This looks serious, but what I didn't understand, was the location of the meeting… It was at my house! This seemed strange, but who knows, maybe they wanted to look at my business books or check to see if I paid my taxes.  My mind was now racing, what in the world could this be?  The sweat was running down my back!  The next day I walked into the family room….
It can't be…
I never…
How strange…
Oh my Goodness
Ohhhhhh Crap
Sitting in the front of the room before me was one of my most beloved dogs…yes, you heard me right…
“Clancy?”
“This meeting will come to order, we have a problem that needs to be addressed” he said.
“What the”…..I started.
“QUIET…this meeting has been called to order, did you not hear?”
I was speechless; nothing would or could prepare me for this.
Molly, Dutchess, Meg, Annie, Abbie, Gabby and Doc were also in attendance, but Clancy was the leader which I thought was fitting.  This was a scene taken right out of George Orwell’s  Animal Farm.   The farm animals have taken over, except it was only the Border Collies, (no chickens, cats or fish were in attendance) which made it all the scarier.
My mind racing, I still couldn't get my brain wrapped around the problem.  Clancy stated that while they appreciated the farm and all, there was ONE problem that needed to be corrected immediately!  Without   further ado he stated quite loudly “We Need More Play Time”!!  With this being said, the other Border Collies nodded their heads in total agreement and Dutchess shouted “more food too”...  Clancy’s gaze focused on me, he asked “And what say you?” everyone was looking at me.
I thought my defense was pretty straight forward and I was doing a pretty good job keeping everyone busy.  However, I knew I had probably been a little lax in this area simply because of all the work involved in building the new fence and adding onto the current kennel.  In my defense, I further stated they have warm blankets, clean water and very expensive food.  Molly spoke up reminding all, that they can sleep on the ground and often do…I looked at her and said “Et tu, Brute?” And to my amazement she said “Id est quod id est” I was shocked! Could this be a dream?
I reiterated to them once again how expensive the food was and how I wanted them to have a balanced meal and….
“Fluff!” Clancy said “Nothing but fluff.  We can eat anything and before man, we hunted and killed our food!   YOU have made us weak!”  I said, “We can cut back and do more with less….Food!” Dutchess perked up and sat a little straighter, “Are we sure we want to do that?  I mean we ARE talking about food, aren't we?  By the way, did you bring a snack?”
Before it was all over, everyone had had their say.  What it simply all boiled down to was “More Play Time”! Everyone got hugs, bellies were scratched and I even got a few licks on the forehead!  Everyone was happy!  I was sworn to secrecy and was told never to mention this, not a word to anyone! Me being me, I had to ask as we were leaving, “How can this happen?”  “Don't ask” Clancy responded, “We'd have to kill you”.  
On the way out, Dutchess said; “Listen about the meeting, I didn't want anything to do with this…How about we stop and get a snack to smooth things over”…   PLEASE LET ME WAKE UP!!!! 
As my eyes fluttered, I woke with a jolt in my recliner, all I heard was barking and when my eyes focused, Clancy was lying in a chair and Dutchess was barking.  I immediately jumped up and got them a snack and we walked, no we ran to our play area and played ball and Frisbee until “they” were tired.
Please…..whatever you do, include more play time with your dog or you might just get the “Notice” too!

Footnote:  This being Memorial Weekend, please take time to remember our fallen soldiers and their families.  I encourage you, as I most certainly will be doing myself, to keep in mind the blessing of family, those still with us and those that have left us with only their memory.  On one final note, Elaine  and I will be remembering our beloved, fallen, four legged family members, that are waiting patiently….for us, on the other side of Rainbow Bridge….and to my boys, Little Shepp and Max…I Love you…Dad.

I Never Thought of That...

As most of you know, we occasionally board our pups/dogs that were born on the farm while their  family goes on vacation or if they need someone to keep their dog because of a work trip or family emergency.  We will also board dogs that are not one of our pups, in special circumstances.  We have done this for years and this week I discovered something that I never noticed before.  I was quite surprised when this "discovery" got discovered!   A little bit of history, we started boarding because we wanted to be able to be a part of our pups lives and to be able to watch them grow up.
Summer is a very  busy season for us because of people going on vacation and reserving boarding space for their four legged family member/s.  Typically we only take in one or two dogs  at a time.  It’s always good to see them and share our pack with them.  Last week was a unique week because we had two Australian Shepherds that belonged to a friend of ours.   Petey and Joey are their names and they are full of energy and most of the time they give my dogs a run for their money. 

 They are from the same breeder but about a year or so apart in age. They are attached at the hip in many ways.  They are very well behaved and will mind me as good as mine and at times, they are even better.  They will go to their kennel on a one word command, turn around, sit down and wait for me to shut the gate.  I have never seen dogs act like these two.  They are strong, muscular and I think they could jump over the moon if given the chance.  Joey was at my feet jumping in circles and I just opened my arms and he jumped right up into them and I don't even think he was trying to. He was just up in the air before he or I even realized it and fortunately for him I caught him.  I love to watch them run and hop at the same time.  If something is in their way, they jump over it including each other.  Great dogs, I have thoroughly enjoyed their visit.  
Our other guest is “Mouse”. She  is a tiny  female that is related of a sort to some of our clan.  She was  a little shy at first, but came out of her shell in no time at all! She just  wiggles herself right into your heart.  She loves to be in the house near us and even sleeps with us.  Why, just yesterday, it had been  a very slow day and I decided to "rest" my eyes for a little bit and she decided to "rest" her eyes along side of me on the sofa too! 
This brings me to the point of this post or should I say, MY GRAND DISCOVERY!!  I have noticed that when a guest dog stays with us, the behavior of the dog is a reflection of its' home life.   I never really thought of this before…but we can tell if the dog gets on the furniture, surfs the counter, sleeps on the bed, drinks out of the commode, jumps up on guests, barks a lot OR generally minds!!  How, you may ask do we know this  because that's the way your dog acts here too!!   Now hold on, I'm not saying any of these things are bad or wrong, because just like kids, everybody raises them a little different and if it fits into their lifestyle at home then they can  do the same  here and it is perfectly OKAY with us.
So if you bring your dog to visit, we can tell what is allowed at your house by what they do at our house.
NOTE…If you ever get the chance to watch Dutchess for us,  I will say, God Help you...because she will....

 Lick from the jar,
Eat from the box,
 Open the door,
 Drink from the commode,
 Lick the dishes,
 Drink from your glass,
 But...She Walks on Water!!!

Gotta Love 'em..., See you soon...

How Many Is Too Many



Sometimes when people come over, they ask “How many dogs do you have?”  I try to get around it but I usually answer the question in a low voice, hoping no one will hear.  My son has said if I get any more dogs, he will call the “ Hoarding” TV Show, and that was two dogs ago.  But really, how many dogs is enough?   Sometimes I feel bad that I have to share my attention and love for the dogs and this comes to light when I try to put on my shoes on the back porch and they are smothering me with so many kisses and licks I have to go in the house to finish tying them.  The funny thing about it, I'm wasn't a dog person and only had one dog before BC’s, but that changed when I saw how they could wiggle in your heart, and they have.
Late yesterday evening, Molly and I went for a walk around the farm.  We were alone because yesterday I treated all of the dogs with their flea and tick medication.  Molly is the only one that will not get in the water and I want it to be on the dogs 24 hours before they all head to the lake and jump in.  As we were walking, she was hopping and skipping and wanting to play, just the two of us and she was excited she didn't have to share me.  I will usually take turns devoting some “just us” time for all of them.  But today, it was special.  After Molly’s spay surgery, she seemed to have gotten younger and wants to play more.  It was a wonderful time and we ran and played Frisbee and even sat in the grass and watched the bluebirds build their nest in the bluebird house.  That set me to thinking, what would my life be like with only Molly and I'm sure it would be good but would it be fulfilling and for whom, me or the dogs. 
We have a large percent of our dog owners that have at least two dogs and I will say it is easier with two because they will play and interact with themselves but it’s not always best to have two.  Several years ago, I had a gentleman call and wanted a pup for his dog because he felt that his dog needed a friend.  Usually this is a good idea, but in this case it was not because of his living quarters and his busy life.  I ask him about how the dog does with those issues and he said it worked fine because he was involved in many activities with his dog.   His relationship was the best and he said it could not be any better.  I ask, why do you want to risk your relationship and introduce a puppy, and is this for you or for the dog?  He stated it was for the dog.  After talking with him, he realized that a great thing might change and he didn't want to risk it and I agreed. 
But how many is too many?  I have found once you get two, it’s hard to stop and it easy to take on more.  The biggest part is keeping them active and involved in things that can be simple, but remember, not only do you need to stimulate their body, with BC’s you need to stimulate their mind and this can be done a variety of ways but it must be something everyone enjoys but mostly you because the dog will adapt.  Border Collies are thinkers and I believe this is why they are re-homed or put in shelters on occasion.  I know mine have outsmarted me on occasions by out thinking me, especially Dutchess. 
So to answer the question, How many is too many?  For some people one is too many,
Two?
Three
Or a pack?


It's not the number of dogs, it's the commitment "You" make when getting a dog.  In nearly every case where things go wrong, it's the lack of commitment on the owner's part to do what is needed to have a happy and safe home with their dog.  It's goes along with life in general, you'll get nothing out of anything if you put nothing into it and that is especially true with a dog, that is just waiting to give you everything they have.

As I sit on the ground with Molly watching the birds and listening to the wind chimes on the dock, I thought how lucky I was to be able to be accepted into their world as one of them.

There is always room for one more….I wouldn't have it any other way.

Daddy…Daddy…Daddy…


Daddy…Daddy…Daddy…
I have heard those words spoken in rapid succession a thousand times and yesterday I came close to hearing them again.  When my oldest son was small, he would say Daddy… Daddy…Daddy… can I, Will you, please let me…you get the picture, but one time we were having a garage built and they dropped off a big yellow backhoe the night before they started the project. 

When my son got home from pre-school and went out the back door to play on his swing set, there it sits.  He was infatuated with construction equipment and he had all the Tonka toys that were ever made filling his little sandbox.  
He shouted at the top of his lungs, “DADDY…DADDY…DADDY…THANK YOU SO MUCH, It’s what I always wanted, my very own big boy yellow tractor…THANK YOU” along with a big hug around my leg.  Now I was in a dilemma, what to say and what to do.  I told him I only had enough money to buy it for one day and it had to go to another little boy tomorrow.  I was his hero for at least that night.  He played and played and has the best time pretending to drive his big yellow tractor. 
Yesterday we let the chickens out of the coop for the first time.  It was a big event for them and for us too.  The chickens were in the barnyard picking and scratching and having a big time.  They are in their own little barnyard that is protected by fencing from the sides and from above.  We have hawks and owls that will get them if given the chance so I built it well just to make sure they are safe.
Here she came running as fast as she could, she was on a mission, and she saw something she wanted.  Annie had seen the chickens in their barnyard and was so excited and for one small moment, I could hear those words Daddy…Daddy...Daddy…Thank you. 
The look in Annie’s eyes and her hopping and skipping and turning in circles told me I had made her day.  She would look from the side, then look from the back and wiggle on the ground for a closer look just to make sure she didn't miss any movement.  It didn't seem to bother the chickens but it made Annie’s day.
Gabby saw the hullabaloo and wondered what was going on and came for a look see herself.  She watched for a few moments but soon lost interest and moved on.  My other surprise came when Molly came for a look see too and shown interest and actually hopped, skipped and  pranced and became excited when they would move. 

 It was a grand day and everyone was happy except when I told Abbie that she could not hurt the chickens or play with them because they will bring us food.  From the back of the barnyard, I heard a voice “FOOD”?   Dutchess, we have had this talk before and remember it’s not for you, it’s for all of us.  “When will they bring it…I’m hungry now, what kind of food will they bring”?  Dutchess…that’s enough
All in all, it was exciting to see Annie happy with her new "toys" and for a brief moment it was nice to have  thought I heard  Daddy…Daddy…Daddy... can I…

I love you son...