As I settled down in my recliner several nights ago, I had one dog standing at the foot of the chair waiting to jump up into my lap. While this is not unusual, this night it was not one of mine. They stood and looked at my lap and then at my face and back down at the open spot until I said “come on.” Up she sprang like a bottle rocket into a place most dogs that visit us at the farm end up one time or another. A place where they find comfort and that comforts me.
Of late, we have been blessed to be able to help 3 dogs that were in need of comfort for several reasons. I remember the day little Luna first arrived. Her real name was Autumn but her last owner always called her Luna because in her words, “she acts like a lunatic.” Before she came here and I had received the update about her, I was more than a little worried and apprehensive about her behavior. Quite truthfully I wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. Meeting our transporter in Indianapolis for the exchange, I saw that Lula was one scared little girl and even got away once and ran under the car for protection. After retrieving her, she just wanted a place to hide and did so in the car until I got her back to the farm. Once here, her life soon blossomed and the first report to her transporter reads as follows; “She did great, goes to the door when she wants out, plays with the other dogs. She is very loving to each of us and comes when we call her. She is very curious about everything and doesn’t bark at all. She has calmed down a great deal. She is playing with a pillow right now. I think she still has a lot of puppy in her.” I soon discovered she was not a lunatic at all, what a change had taken place in her with good communication. She went to her new home just yesterday and I hope she knows she will be greatly missed.
Luna was not the first we have helped but was the first Border Collie we assisted since we established “Clancy’s Dream” which is now a 501 (c)(3) public charity. As one of our Directors said, “Pretty cool to see Clancy's name on a government issued document! This is for real!" and it is but the real pleasure is seeing a dog change right before your eyes.
Several days ago, I received a call from a distressed owner that heard about us and was in dire need of help. He told me a story about his Border Collie and her short 11 month history beginning with her extended stay in a backroom at a pet store because she was sick. He was moving in two days and knew she would not make it in an apartment in a hot southern state. He was desperate and he mentioned he was at a Pharmacy filling a prescription for the dog for Prozac. I agreed to help but told him NOT to give the Prozac to her so we could honestly evaluate her. He along with the dog were at my door at 8am the next morning and when she was let off the lead, things seemed alien to her. She appeared happy but unsure and the owner asked “Will she be alright out here in the open?” I asked “what do you mean?” The answer dumbfounded me…”she has never been in open spaces.” My heart broke in two, but in just a few minutes I watched as she came alive and started to explore her surroundings. Off she went into the woods while the owner anxiously watched her leave, but I knew what was happining, she was alive and free.
After two days, Lily finally came to me and wanted attention. Quite slowly at first but when she sensed humans are good, she became my dog and now follows me everywhere, runs to jump in my lap when I'm sitting and even sleeps in bed with me.
Last night while sitting on the couch with Luna on Elaine’s lap, Lily on my lap and Becca in the middle touching both of us with her feet, all was at peace. They were all sleeping and dreaming of their future while I shut my eyes and dreamed of our Clancy and what he started… Our boy is still proudly watching over his flock… He taught us well…
When Luna’s new owners came to pick her up, we took a walk around the farm burning off some energy for the dogs. Sending a rescue dog to a new home is much harder that sending a young puppy with a new owner. You see, when they are an adult, they lick your face, sleep in bed with you, run across a field to meet you, lay in your lap when you watch TV and most of all really really love you.
Before leaving yesterday, the owners stood on the driveway and talked to us. After my instructions and suggestions I reinforced to them that she is always welcome to come back if it doesn’t seem to be a good fit. At one point, I rudely said “we need to wrap this up” but in my mind I knew my time was growing short with her and I was getting upset. Elaine said her goodbyes and took some of our dogs into the house. I said mine as I was leaning into the backseat of their car to hug Luna one more time and get my goodbye kisses. Closing the gate as they were leaving I waived to Luna and broke into tears as I was walking away. I wanted to talk to Clancy and as God is my witness, while I was approaching his grave, the wind picked up and a gentle breeze tinkled his wind chimes by his grave-site allowing me to know he was there listening… What a good boy... Ken
Read Clancy's Story Donate to Clancy's Dream
Follow Clancy's Dream on Facebook
Follow The Border Collies of Dogwood Ridge on Facebook