Several years ago, before Clancy's Dream, Elaine and I stepped out into the unknown and out of our comfort zone. I got a message that there was a Border Collie "free to a good home" on Craigslist;
Border Collie-Purebred (Radcliff)
"Beautiful female Border Collie Free to a home, around 9 months old. Great with kids, but very active. Will require a farm home or a good piece of land. She does not do well with small breed dogs and not likely with cats either."
I contacted the owner within 10 minutes of getting the message because Craigslist can be deadly for a dog when it's placed there. I told them I would be there in the morning, but my one condition was for him to take the ad off Craigslist so I could make sure we get her to a safe home, and he did. When I spoke to Elaine and told her what I was doing, we both looked at each other and said simultaneous, "do we really want to do this?" I told her I have a bad feeling about this, and it was against my better judgment, but I moved to help. I was on the road at 5 am to pick up a dog that I knew nothing about or what I would do when I got her. She was in a cage, soaked in urine when I arrived, and the owner was very friendly even though he had a gun tucked in his back waistband. As soon as we were on the road, I called a Veterinarian in Louisville and made arrangements to stop and get all the necessary shots, a good bath, and spay. Nya was so scared because she didn't know what to expect, but when we finally got home, she settled in quickly, she just wanted to be touched and loved.
Just a few days later, I received another message from several concerned people, one as far away as New Jersey about a male dog also on Craiglist. We soon learned that he was starving for attention and came from a puppy mill. He needed to be something more than a breeding machine for profit as most of his other Border Collies companions were just months ago. In his first 9 months of life, he was unsure of everything, living in 4 different places, born in a puppy mill and never seeing or being on grass. His first new home was because of a court order. He was brought to me because he was relinquished and had been placed in an environment where he had to defend himself from Doberman Pinschers. We were familiar with this dog and knew he was confiscated because of a court order shutting a puppy mill down.
"We have a 9-month-old male BC from a puppy mill that didn't work out. This is one that was given away on Craigslist, would you guys be willing to find him a foster home? He should be ready to go by the weekend."
In just a few days, we were guardians of two Border Collies that were on Craigslist and to think I was hesitant about one, but two? What are we getting ourselves into, this is officially something that is new to us and to tell you the truth, I am just a little unconvinced of this at this point we can do any good.
We have worked with recusing Border Collies for several years, and it was always pretty, straightforward, but we would never rehabilitate "and" home a dog at the same time. What have we gotten ourselves into? In just a few days, we had both dogs, and they were "two peas in a pod," and they were dreamboats and fun to have around. Boone and Nya would play and scamper around the farm, playing and chasing each other, and just in those short days, they changed for the better.
Nya went home first and met her new brother, and Boone was pledged to a family with a Border Collie and went soon after.
After both of them left, Elaine and I looked at each other and wondered what we were now going to do. We became so attached to the dogs and, in a way, wanted them to stay, but I put my foot down (in a kind way) and said if we keep them, there is no more room for other rescues. It was a sad day when they went home, and as usual, we said our goodbyes outside at the gate and took that long walk down the drive toward the house. We had done this many times before when we sold a pup, and we honestly felt the same, a part of our heart was missing. Something that we discovered is that although we were unsure of what we were getting into, these dogs brought so much joy to our family and fit right in, and we now know it was the right decision. We do miss them and know they are in good hands and in loving homes. Two days after Boone went home, I received "that" call again… "I am looking for help," and on the road, we were, and "Jack" came to the farm and soon found his forever home too.
Boone, Nya, and Jack showed me the way in just a week, the same way my dogs have nudged me many times, but then again, I guess I wasn't listening. There are many ways you can help dogs that are doomed, and I know you can be anxious, that first step in the hardest, trust me, I know. The rewards are heartwarming and uplifting, and you may save a dog or two. When we don't have any fosters available, we cannot help, no matter what the circumstances are... Ken
For more information and if you want to help,
Foster, What's it like