Always More...

As most of you know, Elaine and I are the founders of Clancy’s Dream Border Collie Rescue Inc.  It was started when our Beloved Clancy suddenly passed away in front of us.  Since then Clancy’s Dream and the Board of Directors have saved and re-homes many Border Collies from expected doom and loss of life. 

Clancy, our founder, started it all
This week was an overabundance of people and dogs needing help and assistance came our way.  We get calls every week, and we always try to help in whatever way we can.  Sometimes, it’s just advice from experience, and sometimes it’s just comfort where their dog has passed, but mostly it is where a Border Collie needs help.  For whatever reason, we seem to be the go-to cause for the breed here in Indiana, and the surrounding stated, and that's the way we want it...

I will tell you that you have to examine your surroundings in life with these things.  Sometimes doubt creeps into your mind, and while you try to do everything you can, you have to wonder, “Are we doing any good?”  Driving to town several days ago and after receiving the notification from a rescue group that they were full, our rescue coordinator posted it on our social media.  It automatically popped up on my screen, and when I saw the photo, I choked up a little.  “Can we help?” I wondered.  I immediately thought about Clancy and his love and compassion for others and his need to help.  Phone calls and messages were made, and things were in the works. 

Once the decision was made, I was off to get a dog.  You always worry what you will run into, and this was no exception.  I did know the dogs was on a tether in the backyard.  Once I arrived, I was not greeted at the door, so I went to the backyard.  The dog was standing as far as her chain would allow her to go.  A downward tilt of her head with turned up eyes was observed I approached with caution.  This was a probably one of the best behavioral assessment I could make at that moment.  Will she growl, bark, lunge or bite?  I approach but I’m safe, protected by a steel cable and I then thought “am I really safe?”  Step by step, I got closer.  It had been raining, there is no grass but mud and standing water.  What if I slip on the mud, I'm trapped within her space?  I got closer and closer and these few seconds determine her fate…

As her head lowered even more and her eyes followed me closely with her ears pinned back, two inched was left to get into range, and as I stuck my lowered hand into her limit, I was committed, one way or another, good or bad.  We both stood still, and I spied the tip of her tail wiggle from side to side and said. “good girl, good girl.”  It all changed, “this human is good,” and she knew, and so did I.

I went into her mud circle, and she had a friend.  She bounced and turned circles getting caught on the cable.  I was dirty as hell by then and figured it was time to meet the dog's owner.  She started winning as I left and I said “I’ll be back girl” and I sure she had heard that before and wondered.  Finishing the relinquish papers inside and more behavior test, which she passed, it was time to go home.  I put our rescue collar on her, and she stepped out of the mud onto the grass, and she really did dance for joy.  Even though she was on a lead, she was out of the mud and was happy.  She bounced into the car and never looked back.  She was groomed by a donation from a pet salon later that day and did great and looked even greater.

On three different occasions during this day I choked up and shed a few tears, I asked myself “How can this happen,” Why does this happen” and “what can be done?”  I do know there is a movement in Illinois where people are changing laws, picketing pet shops that sell puppy because most of them are puppy mill dogs.  Indiana recently had a statewide conference for shelter and rescue directors and leaders, including staff addressing problems that I attended.  All of the issues are addressed, it’s just getting people to really listen, I mean really listen!  Education is always a key to this problem, but people need to do something.

Why does it happen is the part I can’t wrap my brain around.  For me, it means trying to pick up the pieces and attempting to fix broken dogs which should never happen.  While it is heartbreaking to go to a thing like this, it’s rewarding when they are saved from neglect or abuse, no matter if they only live their short senior lives in peace.  Seeing them live a life running and playing and all their glory is magical.  By the grace of God, fortune or destiny, this dog came to Clancy’s Dream because people cared.  Helping is a huge part, not everyone can afford to support financially, but you can visit or volunteer at your local shelter and get involved. 

This dog is only one dog that was saved from a life of pain and neglect.  This coming Tuesday, we already have made arrangements to take-in and foster another dog that is living their life to a chain.  At night, before I drift off into my dreams, I often think of the ones that we can't save, and I will never forget the faces.  There is always more.  Let it make it clear, it’s not me doing this.  It’s our Board of Directors and the people who work so hard behind the scene, and there are more than you know, I’m just a small tire on this car.  If it weren't for the help YOU, our readers, we would not be able to help any dogs.  You, our friends and caring companion, saved one this Saturday and the 2 other dogs coming into Clancy’s Dream this week.    Ken