Once A Dog Parent…

It can be said that once you are a parent, you will always be a parent, no matter what.  You watch in anticipation as they grow and even before they are born you wonder what kind of child they will be.  Is it a boy, girl, tall, short, brown eyes or blue?  As a parent,  there will always be  questions unanswered, but the one fact that will always ring true is that you will worry about them from the moment they are born until the moment you die.
In the dog world it’s the same.  Last weekend, we had the first annual 2 day “Puppy Reunion” here at the farm.  IT WAS A BLAST!  We had nearly 100 people show up and over 50 of our pups came back to visit, including some guest dogs we invited, (after all, what’s a few more).  It was so nice to see our dogs again thriving in the adult world on their own with their human parent.  Some of the dogs were less than a year old and some were nearly senior dogs that had gotten to the relaxed stage of their life. That is, until you pick up a ball or a Frisbee.  Both days were filled with lots of activities. So many of which happened at  the same time, but somehow it all gelled together as I knew it would.  If you are reading this and are not a Border Collie owner, then it might be hard to understand the camaraderie between owners.  We enjoy telling stories, giving tips and sharing things that work for us.  It would be a good place to start a Border Collie Fan Club where we get together and just have fun.  We also had many people meet each other for the first time that are friends on Facebook and everyone seemed to have one common bond…a Border Collie. 

As the person responsible (other than Clancy and Doc) I also have a common bond with every dog that was here.  I held and cuddled each and every one of those dogs for 8 weeks. I can't tell you the countless times my shoes were untied during the eight weeks and the wet faces I received from the pups.  Many nights before I turned in for the night, the last thing the puppies saw was me leaning into their kennel wishing them a good night and softly singing to them.  Something I eminently enjoyed.  As I have said to anyone that would listen, “It might be your dog, but it will always be my pup”.
Being a limited breeder, I try to keep up with all of our pups if possible.  Some I do, some, I never hear from again, by their choice.

During the reunion we only had one foot injury but after the reunion, I was informed via emails and social networks that two of my pups were in trouble from injuries and sickness.  For several days life was touchy and things did not look so good.  Both made multiple trips to the Vet and to a Vet Emergency facility.  Two of my dogs were in real trouble,  I was devastated and because both of them were special pups and adult dogs, it hit me pretty hard, all within several hours and it was such a let down after a great weekend.  As they left, I knew both dogs were a little under the weather, but we attributed it to all the running and playing.  Little did we know in just a few hours both of them, many states apart would be in trouble, and both for several days.  You see, it might be your dog, but it will always be my pup.   I sat on pins and needles waiting for the test results and even gave my advice on what test should be run and told them “make sure to take their temperature and watch for infection”!  I just wanted the best for them but I also knew they were in good hands, and they were.  
Tucker after a major surgery that had to be redone fighting an infection.

Hope before going into the ER for an extended stay sitting with her owner.

Both are doing better and are home now.

Over the years, I have watched our little pups grow up and become adult dogs.  I have seen all the good and even the bad when something horrible happens.  I have been informed too many times that one of my pups was tragically killed or died of a disease and I want to tell you right now, I have cried many tears with you, only in silence and by myself.  I have prayed for your pups when there was a problem, I have called your Vet for information and given any assistance I could and probably stuck my nose where it should not have gone. 

Once we had a pup die from a preventable disease in another state, I only had the name of the town where the dog was at and the owners info.  After calling nearly all the Vets offices, I finally got the right one and I remember the receptionist telling me they can't give any info out.  I wouldn't take no for an answer and after telling her that I was the breeder and because she felt sorry for me I found out that my pup had just died from neglect of the owner because they did not get all of the booster shots.  I cried like a child.  Ruby's Story  

I try to do want what is best for my pups and dogs, and at times probably have been a little sharp with an owner.  If I have, please forgive me, it’s nothing personal or a reflection on you, it’s a parent wanting what is best for their dog child.  Remember “It might be your dog, but it will always be my pup” I held all of them as the first breath of life was taken into their little body and suffered with you when things went horribly wrong.

As the reunion was winding down, I looked around and saw all the beautiful dogs and thought to myself, this was not a reunion; it was a family gathering…only Heaven could be better...Ken
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The song I sing as they fall asleep...

If I had words to make a day for you
I'd sing you a song golden and true
I would make this day last for all time
Give you a night in deep moonshine

Soundtrack from "Babe"