Sunday

The Journey Starts… by Kenny Shuck

Where to start...   I've pondered this story since its conception three years ago from one of the worst possible situations to absolutely the best situation but only a few.  For several years, we have done everything to save/rescue border collies because of our love for the breed and the uniqueness of the dogs. Wrong placement in a home can be fatal to the breed and if you have never had a BC, take caution and research them before you get one, they are not for the faint of heart.
But...this story begins here, saving a soul...
A Year or two ago, I had volunteered to help Glen Highland Farm (GHF) in upstate New York with help or assistance in transporting a dog if needed.  Several weeks ago, I was contacted for some transportation and I ask Karen Newhall if she wanted to go on a road trip which she agreed.  GHF is a Border Collie rescue that focuses on rehabilitation and love, not quick re-homing of a BC.  They will spend as much time as needed to get the BC rehabilitated and will be sure that the Border Collie is correctly placed, sometimes taking years and if the dog is not placeable, they will live on the farm forever in loving care with the Founder of Glen Highland Farm.


On September 5th at 10 pm, Karen and I began a journey of "hope." We were to pick up five dogs in Lafayette, Indiana at the Wildcat Valley Animal Clinic run by Dr. Heather Baker and drive to GHF.  They were 5 dogs of nearly 40 border collies that were given up after a 3-year court battle and were now known as the "Lucky 5".  

Dr. Baker with one of the Lucky 5

Dr. Baker
Arriving shortly after midnight, we met up with Dr. Baker, who was waiting for us and had the Lucky 5 dogs ready to go that we were to transport.  After meeting and talking briefly with Dr. Baker, we soon found out that she too is an animal lover. She informed us that her practice is prepared to handle any large or small animal crisis in a loving way and saw this firsthand.  We met the staff and even a potbelly pig that was housed in the bathroom for the night.  Surprisingly, we found him to be quite joyful and pleasant to be around.  Once the five dogs were packed up and ready for travel on our 1500 mile, round trip journey, we had the opportunity to meet the other dogs that were rescued out of the same facility. They were still there but on their way to other rescue groups.  

In the back of the Jeep, and the last cage they'll ever be in...

Going in for the trip
We were told that all of the rescued dogs that came to Dr. Baker had been given the necessary shots, medications and were spayed or neutered by Dr. Baker. They all enjoyed a good cleaning, the first bath any of them had ever had.  All their records were in a folder with donated Heartworm medication ready for them to take to their new home.  Everything was done with the best of care and each dog's needs were donated by Dr. Baker. Dr. Baker stepped up and did what was necessary, something many people talk about doing, but few rarely follow through.

Getting instructions
At 2 am we hit the road, finally on our way.  We had not planned on stopping for food, so Karen packed sandwich meat and bread. Snacks and drinks were also provided by a real friend from Lafayette who has assisted us many times via phone and emails for support and we finally met for the first time, and they too carried a great love for animals. We were headed east or so we thought… but 10 minutes into the trip, we need to stop to clean out a cage, one of 4 times during this trip and had to stop for more towels, wet wipes and disinfectant, but then we were off to border collie nirvana.   If only the Lucky 5 knew it…

The night was somewhat uneventful, and of course, as the sun started to rise, sleep occupied my brain. It was a long trip, but the cage cleaning kept us active. Not one dog barked the whole journey, they were good as gold, but I believe they were fearful from no socialization or contact with humans, and they were out of their common element. As the hours passed and we were getting closer, we became chatty, one question was asked, “What do you think it will be like?”.  I was a little nervous because I always hope for the best, but expect the worst, it’s just my nature…

As we turned down the last road and saw their sign, my heart started pounding, we were there...


Note...
I have watched GHF for several years and keep up with them on their Website and Facebook page. Since learning and knowing about them, we made the trip but “Why Glen Highland Farm?  Please read the link below, and in their own words, you will get a feel for what I am about to tell you from a first-hand view...and meet Lillie Goodrich the founder, and as we heard about “Luke” the dog that started it all, my life began to change before me…


A placard on the front fence...
As there is so much I need to share, but this will have to be in parts…
Read Part 2 Here


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