Sunday

Back Home to Indiana

Our Departure Back to Indiana
After driving away from Glen Highland Farm in Morris, New York, Karen and I both looked out the window and stared at nothing…and we both temporarily lived in another world.
Karen is a friend of the family.  We met her nearly 6 years ago when she purchased a working border collie from us for her sheep farm, and we soon discovered we had the same passion for the breed.  A few years ago, she phoned us and told us about “the most fabulous place for border collies” and turned us on to GHF.  We all dreamed about making a visit to the farm and seeing the dogs and the rehabilitation that goes on there.  When necessary, we have banded together to help rescue dogs, whether it’s getting a BC from an ad in the newspaper or on Facebook.  We both spring into action and do what we can for the dog(s), transporting, purchasing, posting or rehoming when necessary.  When we were asked to help with GHF and the “Lucky 5”, there was no question, we knew and wanted to go. A large vehicle was needed to transport the dogs and Elaine and I having just purchased a new Jeep Unlimited, which solved the large vehicle problem.  Packed to the gill, the new Jeep, with barely 500 miles on it, took off on its’ first big road trip to New York, with Karen and I and the “Lucky 5” all crammed safely in.  What a way to break in the new Jeep and so much for the new car smell, but it was worth it, and I would gladly go again if asked.    
After leaving the farm to return home and after what seemed like hours, Karen and I started talking about the visit and our experience at GHF.  About an hour before we left, Lillie Goodrich had invited us to take a tour of the farm.  We all piled into the Gator and off we went to see the farm.  Lillie was pulled aside for just a short time because of a pending adoption that needed finalizing.  While she was talking with them, off Karen and I went through the trails and camping areas.  We saw the dog-friendly cottages on the property, nestled next to the woods and heard the campers a little further down the path.  Hearing the familiar sound of dogs playing, we found two families camping that has met at the farm for the last nine years to spend their vacations together with their shared passion. 
 As we all know border collies are all about, water, balls and Frisbee's and are the main event, they were in their element.
After chatting with them for a short time, we continued our walk to another tent camping area beside a beautiful stream.  
Meeting up with Lillie, we met the new dog owners she was helping and their newly adopted Border Collie.  All were happy, and another success story was accomplished. 
Getting back in the Gator we drove in another direction, we saw more camping areas with people and dogs having a ball and getting back to nature without any worries. It is truly heaven on earth here.  “If only I lived closer,” I thought, what a way to spend my time helping GHF find loving homes for this remarkable breed.
Lillie asked if there was anything we wanted to see?  After reading about the farm earlier, there was a particular area I wanted very much to see.  Like a kid blurting out a quick answer, I told her what I had wanted, and she pointed to the direction we needed to go, and Karen and I solemnly walked to a place most revered and sacred.  
Through tall trees and abundant ferns, we walked nearly 15 minutes to a very special place, passing waterfalls and wildlife, we were finally there.  Nothing can prepare you for this…
Immediately, we parted ways, I, went one way and Karen another. Usually, we are very chatty but at this moment, nothing was said and the only sounds heard were the trickling of the waterfall and our sniffles.
No looks were passed between us because of the tears that were flowing as we each explored the beloved pets resting space and read the personal notes from the owners that were lost because of death.  Even now, it is one of the most monument moments that I have ever witnessed, and I know I will have to walk this path again. 
“Any animal is welcome, cremated or in bodily form or in memorial.  Letters, poems, toys and personal memorabilia related to your animal are included at the site.  And, visitors are welcome at any time.
The Garden is a place of peace and grace. There is an ease to the solitude with only wind rustling the treetops and chimes ringing. Each animal is given a wind chime, engraved with their name and date of transition.  Their spirit sings on in the forest as a reminder of their time here.  No sound is sweeter.” GHF
As we slowly walked back to the Jeep, our last stop was to again meet Lillie, and she took us to the Pond House Refuge.  It is a place where unadoptable dogs permanently live because they have no other place to go.
This is her residence where she lives with her husband John and nearly 20 border collies…   You see... the most important thing I learned about the Farm and Lillie, is not only do they talk about doing what it takes, they do it, without question.
There are many things that you can do at the farm and many things I have not mentioned because of space, but I will tell you, this will not be my only trip…and it's the tip of the experience.
Why and how did Glen Highland Farm get started? I can think of no better way to let you know, than from the founder, Lillie Goodrich and the rescue dog that started it all…”Luke,” she said, “rescued us as we rescued him. And, THAT healing became the foundation for Glen Highland Farm.  Read his story here.

While there are many things to do at the farm, make NO mistake what their purpose is, and that is to help and heal Border Collies, putting them in wonderful forever homes, but this is not all.  

Next Week…What can be done now?
Read Part 4 Here, The Wrap-up