An Open Letter...

Sometimes I wonder if the people who surrendered a Border Collie to us ever wonder what happens to their dog.  Recently we had a dog relinquished, and the last owners wanted to make sure he would be okay, as we all would worry about.  The dog was loved very much by them, and he is an exquisite boy.  Some people want to know their outcome, and some don’t.  This is an open letter to the past owners of “my” personal dogs that the past owner gave me charge of. Six of my dogs are rescues, one was to help out and two I purchased when we bred dogs. 

To the owners of “my” dogs, you trusted me with.

Molly Mae
Mr. Cartright, you sold Molly as a pup when she was 8 weeks old to me.  I picked her up in Holland Kentucky, and I remember that day so well, you had a barn full of 16 Border Collies, and they were running around in circles chasing each other.  We loved Molly so much, and she was the start of our journey in this dog world.  She was quiet but so loving.  She loved to play ball but hated the water.  Twice in her life, she nearly succumbs to death.  Once from heat stroke and once from surgery but she made it because of her strong will to live.  Molly was my Heart Dog.  I loved her so.  Molly passed away on June 15, 2018, in my arms, thank you for trusting me to have one of your pups.

Molly and Morgan
I remember the day I picked Morgan up in 2006 at your house in Kentucky.  He was full of life and was to be the other half of Molly.  We decided to have puppies, and Morgan was picked because he was beautiful and Elaine wanted a red Border Collie, and you provided him to us.  I am so sorry to tell you this, but when he was 6 months old, he tried to get under a fence when we were not at home.  His collar got tangled, and he strangled himself to death.  I found him and cried the entire time I dug his grave.  He is buried here at the farm, and to this day, very few of our dogs were collars.  I’m sorry, I failed, and I can never fix it.

Mr. Johnson, when Morgan, a dog of ours died, We wanted a companion for our Molly Mae as you may remember.  We wanted to have pups, and you had an ad in the newspaper.  We came right out and picked out a dog.  When we brought him to you to pay for him and take him home, you told us, “this one is already taken.”  We were disappointed but picked the last boy dog you had, Clancy.  He and Molly loved each other, and on Valentine's day two years later, Molly and Clancy started the road to having pups here at the farm.  Clancy was a great dog, more than I can say or put into words.  He sired many puppies and was the best dog ever.  I’m sorry to tell you that Clancy died in front of us playing in our lake and doing what he wanted to do in July 2016.   We started a foundation in honor of him, and his spirit has saved hundreds of Border Collies.  I often wonder what happened to the dog that we first picked.  Thank you, I wouldn’t change a thing, except to hug him one more time.

Dutchess with "that" look
Mrs. Johnson. I remember when you called me, we had had a litter of pups and you asked me if I was interested in a dog.  I remember telling you, “maybe you misunderstood the ad in the paper, we’re selling dogs.”  You agreed and said you had a dog to give away and you thought I might know something about them.  Dutchess came over and met with Clancy and Molly, and the rest is history.  Dutchess is the smartest and most comical Border Collie I have ever seen.  She sure made our life exciting.  She can do anything and probably has, but now she is a senior dog and watches from the sideline.  When once she could jump up on a car, she now has to be lifted onto the couch. 

Abbie Dabbie Doo
Mrs. Holand, when you brought Abbie back to us because it didn't work out, I didn't understand but took her back with open arms.  We were going to rehome her but fell in love with her.  I remember when she jumped on the bed and laid near me.  She then nudged into the crook of my side and went to sleep.  I looked at Elaine and said we were going to keep her.  Abbie was a very spirited dog and loved life and everything about it but one day I found the lumps on her neck.  Abbie had Lymphoma and died last year.  She played hard until the very end and lived longer than any dog that had cancer in that clinic.  She died in my arms.

Margrett, our trip to meet you was an adventure.  Elaine wanted a red dog, and you sold us a little red-headed girl.  She is so sensitive and loving and wouldn’t hurry a fly, but she will kill a chicken in a second.  She like her sister Dutchess is a senior dog, and she sleeps most of the days under my desk.  I remember you showing her parents skills at herding and how smart they were.  Thank you for such a sweet girl.

Mr. Brix, I remember the day Annie came to us, she was a cute puppy and full of life and moxie.  She is quite the character and was always happy, even now, she is the same.  Annie had beautiful babies, and they all are doing very well.  She loves to sleep on my lap, and she especially loves to have her butt scratched.  She is quite the water dog and will jump off the dock after her tennis ball.

Annie Belle, her first day at the farm
Gracie, I’m sure you are a beautiful young woman now.  When you and your parents dropped Gabby off, I remember trying to make you feel better, but nothing seemed to help.  I will never forget the letter you wrote to me, “ The night before we drove to your place to see if it would be a good home for Gabby, I cried a lot and asked if we could keep her. We decided that we would come see you and try to make a decision from there. We were so happy when we got to your place to see her immediately happy and running with the other border collies. She seemed to love the pond, the porch, and even your couch. I am sad in my heart to not see her in my backyard but am happy to know she is now in your care. I can't wait to come see her again soon. Thank you for loving her as much as I do.” Gracie

Gracie and Gabbie
Gracie, I want you to know, Gabby still loves the pond, the porch, and the couch.  I wanted you to know she is still doing great.

Doc Holliday
To the unknown owner of Doc, I’m not too happy with you because of the shape Doc was in when he came to me.  He was twenty pounds underweight, and his coat was in a deplorable way.  Even before I took him home, I took him to the Veterinarian and checked him out.  He has gained twenty pounds and blossomed into a beautiful dog.  When we ran his first Heartworm test, he was positive, and I’m sure you never gave him his monthly heartworm pill.  We treated him, and he did great, it was very costly, but we won that round.  Nearly 5 years later Doc went blind, and even then we tried to fix him, but the Veterinarian could not win this battle.  I’m sure you could care less, but even though he lived through hell with you, we never gave up, he still swims in the lake and follows the other dogs through the woods and sleeps on my bed, but most of all, Doc never gave up.  I hope you never had another dog

Susan, the day I picked Dahlia up at your house, you were crying, and I knew how you felt because I’ve been there.  When I put Dahlia in the car to take her to the farm, I ask you “do you want updates,” and you said no.  I honored your wishes because you couldn’t bear to hear about the dog you loved.  I wanted you to know even if it is in the spirit, she is Great, we love her so.  We always wanted a German Shepherd, and the spirits moved, and she came to us.  We started to rehome her when she first got here but we couldn’t.  I know it was hard, but she is happy.

Jett & JoJo playing at the farm
Terri, thank you so much for trusting us with JoJo.  Too many dogs can wreck your house and yard and large dogs can make it worse.  I know they are a handful playing and running through it.  JoJo is my baby, and I cherish her.  She sleeps on me and is always by my side.  Thank you for bringing her brother Jett to the farm so they can continue to be Brother and Sister and run in the fields and through the woods.  I will always feel connected to your family because you trusted me with your precious baby.  See you soon when we can let them run and play together again.

Marcie, I tried to call you and let you know the fate of Whiskey, but I never hear back from my voicemail.  I know you loved her and cried when you had to give her up.  I understand the reason, but some Border Collies will kill chickens, and I understand the aggravation that your mother had with her, and I’m glad she didn’t shoot her.  I told you we would rehome her, but we didn’t, she stayed at the farm.  She truly is my shadow and even sleeps at the head of my bed with JoJo. 

Our Pups
To the owners of the dogs we bred, I can see every little face in my mind’s eye and remember every scene of them running so fast they fall down and then climbing in my lap.  When I do close my eyes and recollect that scene, I’m with them again.

To the owners of the dogs we have rescued, I too can see them again, whether they are pulled from a shelter or relinquished.  I remember the sounds, smells and even death at the shelter and see the tears that are shared when it just didn’t work out at home, I do remember.  When they go to their new home, I also remember the happy faces and happy smiles of dogs that have a second chance.  Life is just a whisper and when my few seconds are up, I hope I made a difference, but in the next dimension of time, I want to sit in that field of grass and be with every dog I have ever touched and live and touch all my babies again.  Ken