As I finish this short series about helping the “Lucky 5” dogs that Karen Newhall and I took to Glen Highland Farm in New York, I realize that I have closed a door and I have begun a new journey. If I have learned anything, it is that you can’t turn a blind eye to a problem, even though we would love to, but it won’t go away, and it will usually get worse. Because of a puppy mill, I have spent thousands of hours on the phone, written hundreds of letters, driven thousands of miles and spent thousands of dollars and this is just a drop in the bucket of “What do we do now”?
As Karen wrote in the prolog of this series, the adventure changed her life. I never thought of it that way, but it also changed my life too. It has, in a good way and also in a haunting way; but will never leave my mind’s eye. I say this, because of the trauma I have suffered when I saw the inhumane, brutal and ruthless way that some people treat their animals. To this very day, I can taste it, smell it, touch it, hear it and the burning memory of that puppy mill will be forever locked in my mind.
We coined the dogs that went up to GHF the “Lucky 5” which sounds rosy, and it is for them, for the rest of their life, but not for the thousands of border collies that never make it and are abandoned or euthanized because of wrong placement or bad owners. I saw things that I will never forget when I made visits to that puppy mill. The last thing I think about at night is the faces of the many dogs we left behind in a kennel and I see “my” Dutchess, Clancy, Molly and all of my dogs, not at my home running, playing ball or sleeping in bed with us, I see them in the same kennel where we rescued the “Lucky 5” dogs from. By the grace of God, fortune or destiny, my dogs came to me first. Out of the nine Border Collies we have, six were given to us from people who were looking for a “good home” and what if my very pets had gone to a shelter, “breeding farm” or worse, put to death! Can you imagine my “Dutchess”, “Gabby” or “Annie” on an eight-inch chain, unable to move and living in their own feces for months “Just to fatten them up” for breeding?...yes, this haunts me and yes, I see the faces of my loving dogs in this inhuman kennel nearly every night, but, there is hope, but what should “we” do?
First, Support Glen Highland Farm, but why? This video shows why I do because they never give up, no matter the cost or needs, please watch, this will warm your heart and show you why I do what I do.
Watch..."Why I support GHF" here...
The reason I am writing this passionate plea to you is because of my friends who have asked me over the course of 3 years, “What can I do?” Well, NOW is the time to act and step up…First I would suggest you look and read the GHF website and the amazing things they do. Glen Highland Farm, Inc is a 501c3 non-profit organization, dedicated to the rescue of abandoned and unwanted border collies and border collie mixes and fostering the human/animal bond through new levels of awareness and connections to the heart.
At the bare minimum, it takes $700.00 a year to care for “every” dog at the farm and two of the “Lucky 5” have already had dental work performed at the cost of over $1000.00.
Read about "The Lucky 5 and their story" here...
Each dog at GHF has special needs in one way or another....otherwise, they would not be there. Whether they were abandoned, rejected or someone's life changed and they no longer fit in, they are counting on GHF to help them start a new life. Every dollar spent on the farm is from people who love Border Collies like us. Remember not all the dogs have checkered pasts. While I was there, one very cute BC mix was there because their owner had passed away and the dog had nowhere to go. Sitting next to him and even playing ball gave comfort to both of us.
Some things to consider;
Become a Facebook friend and watch for their updates on Border Collies that they have rehomed in their new life, now having a great time with their new family.
Become an “AmazonSmile” supporter for Glen Highland Farm through Amazon. It’s easy, and there is no cost to you, the donation is taken from Amazon’s profits. During the Christmas season, you can even purchase specific toys, treats, and needs for particular dogs. No purchase is too large or too small, and if you're a Prime Amazon member, shipping is free.
The CONNOR FUND was created to ask for help for dogs with special needs who needed extended time at the Farm to be ready for new lives - they needed a facility for long-term care. One dog inspired this need... Connor came to the Farm 3 months after being hit by a car. His hips were crushed, meet Connor and see his miracle.
See "The Farmhouse Sanctuary" Here. Glen Highland Farm now has the first facility devoted to the needs of aging and ill Border Collies that live in peace until they pass over. Meet the senior dogs here...
There are many ways to enjoy the farm and also help the dogs. They have Canine Outdoor Adventures, Dog-Friendly Lodging, hiking and 175 acres of countryside to swim, play, hike, run and relax in with your dog! Even if you don’t have a dog, it is a great destination place for a vacation.
We have raised puppies on our farm for many years, and I will turn away more people than I accept that want one of our pups. Our number one rule has always been “if it doesn’t work out, the dog comes home, ” but most breeders will not do this. We would work with the returned dog and get it ready for a new home, never reselling our pup, just getting a good home is enough payment and reward. I have always said to the new owner, "It might be your dog, but it will always be my pup" and they are.
This has been a very emotional time in my life but as I close one door, one large door opens up, and it’s big. I have never asked for anything from my readers or friends, but I am asking now. I know this is hard to deal with but there is an answer, and it’s your help… Please help me, give the Border Collie breed a loving chance, and by the grace of God, fate or destiny, your dog at your side is with you in a warm and beautiful place and not in a puppy mill. Please…
Karen Newhall and I worked so hard for what is right on something that was so wrong, and I feel that not only did we help rescue a total of 36 dogs, we rescued ourselves… Just a short time after I got back home to Indiana, I received a thank you note from GHF, speaking about the “Lucky 5”, it read in part “Thank you, Their world has changed forever” it was from Lillie… and my response to Lillie... "Mine has too"… until I meet you and the dogs again...Ken