Saturday

Breaking Ground...

Clancy's Dream is breaking ground with something new.  Elaine and I have been working with dogs for nearly twenty years, finding homes for them and working with issues they may have had.  When Clancy's Dream was started, we have grown from working with dogs, trying to find homes, to saving them by helping with medical issues, spay/neuter and cancer support, which at first put us out of our comfort zone.  


Now don't get confused with another term that I heard often when I was growing up.  Dad would defiantly look at mom and say, "I did not Break Wind."  As a child, I have broken a lot of things, but I didn't know you could "break wind," but if anybody could break the wind, I could, as I was the Dennis the Menace of the neighbourhood and it was my middle name.  When my sister and I finally found out what that was, we always got the giggles, and I once tried to do it, but that ended with a bad result from trying too hard.

Me on the left...
As Clancy's Dream was born, and as it grew, we stretched our wings and worked with dogs that needed more than just a home.  Medical issues came into play and to genuinely help a dog we needed to step up to the plate.  We worked with dogs that tested positive with Heartworms which included costly medication and nearly three months of downtime, but we did it, and we always found forever homes.   Last year we started a cancer support chapter through Clancy's Dream known as The Nellie Effect, which is where you can apply for a grant to help cover the cost of cancer treatment for your Border Collie.  Pet Therapy is very powerful and The Nellie Effect will pay the registration costs if your Border Collie becomes a registered Pet Therapy dog.  This is most beneficial and the results will be life-altering for everyone.

What was that, was that You?
Dutchess had been the only dog that would Break Wind, and if I didn't know better, she does it on purpose and with confidence.  She will always make "love puffs" and then look at me as if "I" did it.  She now has JoJo in the mix, and my sweet little girl is corrupted.  They were together once, and Dutchess let off a "trouser whistle," and JoJo was right behind her with her rendering of "shooting bunnies," and to think, some presume they are only dogs, but I see more...    

As Clancy's Dream grew, we found our-self in more areas where we had to step out of the box.  Clancy's Dream worked with three puppy mills, taking nearly 30 dogs and puppies at once to save and rehome.  We also have had a leg amputation on an injured dog, three blind dogs and even a deaf dog.  In a few weeks, we will take two litters of Border Collies pups in our system, and the mother will be spayed and returned to the owner.   While we grow in duties and responsibilities, we have also grown in volunteers and have expanded our Board of Directors to help with the daily things that need to be done.     

While I am sure no one else has experienced a "bear in the air" or a "butt trumpet" from their dog as I have been favored with Dutchess and JoJo, I'm sure it can happen.  Many times, people blame their 'air onion" on the dog, and it can be the butt of many jokes.  Usually, when it happens, it's not the dog but the person blaming the dog except me but remember, if Dutchess walked up to you and holds her paw up, don't pull it, she is smarter than you think.

While Clancy's Dream has expanded in many areas, we have also been performing spay and neuters on Border Collies or directing the owners to low-cost clinics throughout the state and paying for it.  I don't believe we will ever catch up with the rescue of dogs unless we stop the overpopulation of the breed.  


Lyla
Another area we have just ventured into is a group of dog lovers that are pilots too called Pilot's N Paws.  Just this last Saturday, Pilot's N Paws, a fabulous organization of volunteers who have melded their passion for flying and rescuing dogs came to our rescue.  A little deaf Border Collie puppy named Lyla makes her way from West Virginia to Clancy's Dream foster family in Indiana with the help of pilot John Quimby, more on this next Sunday.

Pilot's N Paws Video

While we have expanded, we can only accomplish this because of the help and love of our members and supporters.  Every obstacle we had faced when it seemed impossible has been overcome.  Just think, because of you, we have begun to make a difference not only in our community and state, we are now making a difference by reaching the nation.  I can't thank you our readers and followers enough for having our intensity, enthusiasm, and passion for the Border Collies that Clancy's Dream has worked with.  From the bottom of our heart, THANK YOU!      Ken and the Board of Directors
I did not do that...

Sunday

A Letter...

A Goodbye Letter from Home...

My time to say goodbye came too soon, I came into your world and needed help because I was broke, some of us are broke outside but some inside too.  Some of us were sick, injured, and young, but some of us were damaged and needed help.  We never wanted to leave this earth so quickly, but it wasn't in the plans.  My life was ending, and my spirit was fading, and I was being called home.


I knew I would never grow old and do all the things that some dogs do, but I know you had done everything you could have done.  I knew I would never be healthy, either in body or spirit and may never run in the fields and smell the story of everything life brings, but I did raise my nose to the wind and saw this beautiful world and the person who loved me.


When I was called home, I never forgot the memories we shared as few as they may be because of my short time, but I know you did everything possible to save me and many others.

When you looked at me, I could see the concern in your eyes, and I knew you were wondering if you could fix me, sometimes you did but some you couldn't, but tried, I know you don't understand, but I do, dogs know more that you give us credit for.  Nothing more clearly defined your purpose, when you smiled, I knew why you were here.

I sat by your side, entering into the spirit of the moment, you supported my life, wherever it went, whatever I felt, whatever I did. I was your witness, your testament to your love for me and for the ones who are broken, homeless, or sick.
I remember my heart jumping out of my chest when you came into the shelter. I was waiting for someone; I just knew it was you when I saw your eyes and then looked into your soul. 

And I thank you.
I always knew you were coming.  We had no secrets, and you showed me everything. We trusted each other, even when there was no hope, you were by my side.
I smelled and felt all of the worries in your human life, but I am different. Like other animals, I only want what I need, but you wanted more for me and for the hundreds of others you helped. 
I am so much different than you, but I am glad I am me, and you are you.

You must know that there is always a goodbye hovering in the shadows of what you call a rescue dog and some of us don't make it out of the shelter.  We are never here for long, or for long enough. We were never meant to share your life, only a small part until we find a new home. We come, and we go but you come when needed. We leave when it is time and hopefully to a new home.

I hope that you know how sad it would have been had you not helped me, to give me a chance as you do to others.  I do not mourn or grieve, but I will miss trusting you, we were bound together on our short walk through life, even as I know that there is a long line of others needing help and many to take my place.

Thank you. It was everything to me.
Know this:

I will always love you
I will never forget you
I will wait for you

And then, seek out the others that so desperately need help, honor me by bringing another "rescue" into your life, so they can get and receive this gift, but know when it is your time to cross that Bridge, I and many others will meet you and you will see the rewards of your work in the eyes that sparkle and the dogs that line the bridge as we walk together to meet Clancy.  Ken

Note... Earlier this week, I evaluated a dog in a shelter that needs some help.  The evaluation went very well and Saturday, the dog was transported to Clancy's Dream.  We made arrangements to meet the transport at a rest stop on the interstate and pick up the dog.  Inside the large van was nearly 40 dogs in separate cages.  Our little dog was trembling from head to toe until she saw me and remembered me.  I will never forget that sight and her comfort because she knew she was safe.  Most of the dogs were very well behaved in the van but scared.  I ask the driver about the behavior and how good it was with some of them and they said, "because they trust us."   
This has been another sad week because of our loss of Shepp our dog and to Xena, one of our pups that passed and to the dogs, we desperately tried to save and couldn't.

Dedicated to the rescuers who help the dogs that have no-one to trust but them. 




The set up...




Late Friday night, I made my visit to Clancy's grave and sat and pondered the events that would follow the next day at the Scottish Festival in Columbus, Indiana.  The event is something we have done for the last couple of years to promote and educate people about the breed and to answers questions they have about the rescue aspect.  Last year, we had rain most of the weekend, and at one time I thought we had wasted our time, but at the end of the day, things happened that could be called miraculous.  As I walked back to the house this Friday night, I remembered saying in my mind, "Clancy, we're doing this for you."


As the next day started at 5:30 am, it was apparent that we needed to fine-tune our planning and be more prepared to jump out of bed and hit the road.  All in all, we got together and headed to the event after weeks of planning and gathering the materials needed.  I was excited to meet and greet the people that loved our breed, and we even met several couples who follow us on social media, and it was nice to put a face with a name.  Because we had set up the physical booth the night before the event opened, we had to fine-tune and place our photos and brochures in just the right locations.  There are several banners that we use that has Clancy's picture on them along with the business cards and fliers and this is the issue with me.


As I unroll the large photos, I again come face to face with Clancy, and at times, I have to look away and wipe my eye.  Everything comes back from that secret spot in my mind where I think I'm doing okay, and then I realize I'm not.  As I linger throughout the day, speaking to people about our foundation, I find out we have things in common.  When they ask, "Who was Clancy," and with broken speech, "he was my dog," and I go through the story about his life and passing and how we started the "Dream."  Soon I find out that I am not alone, and they too, tell me about their Heart dog and the love they shared along with the passing of their dog and in a way, it is therapeutic, and we tear up together and sometimes hug.  If you have ever had a dog that took your whole heart and gave you theirs, you understand, and at times, I pity some that never have.


The day was a success, but it will be followed by another one Sunday morning, and we will do it all again.  We talked with many people who wanted to help, foster, and even transport for us, and we are growing more because of the people that want to be part of the Dream.  


As I got home Saturday after a 14-hour day on my feet, I crashed, my back hurt, my feet hurt, and my head hurt.  I only hope it was worth it and then I thought about the unloved ones, the sick ones, and hurt ones and the ones on death’s doorstep that we saved and the faces I will never forget.  But after I made my visit to talk to him after the festival last night, and I walked back to the house, I heard his voice...  "Don't do it for me, do it for them." It's only about the dogs, nothing else,  Ken…

Sometime Things Change...




Retiring from a major police force has taught me to be trained, prepared, and equipped for the bitter side of life you see in the shadows of the criminal element.  But it did not prepare me for the things I now see at times.  In that realm, you see things that first shock you, but you become hardened and pass it off.  There is some justification in that element because you see the outcome; people are sentenced for their crimes and misdemeanors.   In my new world, you see the end results of a happy family and a truly content dog, which is very rewarding.

I remember when Clancy's Dream was asked to help in a situation not too long ago, and it was pretty bad in northern Indiana.  The owner of the dogs approached us wanting help, at that point, you think about the end-results and remember, "it's only about the dogs," not the people.  Many people worked on this issue, and in the end, everything worked out, and 20 dogs were saved.  All the dogs were helped medically, and all test and procedures were cared for.  It cost thousands of dollars to do this, but in the end, every penny was worth it when all the dogs were protected, and they are now part of a happy family.

This Saturday, we picked up Ashley because she is pregnant, and they need help with this litter.  When someone reaches out to us, it's hearting breaking for the owner because they can sometimes feel that they have failed, but I tell you, it takes a lot for them to make that call for help, probably a lot harder than we know.  While we never pass judgment, we're grateful that they have thought of the dogs and their needs, no matter how hard it may be.  When the dogs are relinquished to us, they always get a handshake or a hug, and they are comforted knowing they are doing the right thing and thinking of the dog.  A bond is formed, and they know we are here to help in any way we can, and we can be trusted. 

Just in the last year, Clancy's Dream has assisted with dogs in ways we never have.  While we have been involved in helping dogs from a shelter or a private individual, we now have supported in other ways.  In several situations, not only have we assisted with dogs that needed help, but we also have spayed, or neutered personal dogs that were at the residence.   With the number of dogs in shelters and the need to help, I don't believe we will never get a handle on the rescue situation.  I now see that their needs to be more done to control the overpopulation.  In my opinion, rescues, shelters, and groups cannot even stay even with the numbers.  No matter how many shelters we build, or how big they are, they will fill with unwanted dogs.  The last time I was at the Indianapolis Animal Shelter, they had 987 dogs in their facility. 

Ashley is loved and will be whelped by Clancy's Dream.  She will be spayed and returned to her owner, and we will see that all the pups find the perfect home.  While this is a new experience for her, and us, we can be assured that Mom and puppies will be safe and sound. 

"I must ask, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man who was walking down the beach.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up, and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach, and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,
"It made a difference for that one."  Loren Eiseley 

Years ago, when we got our first dogs, I had a different outlook on life.   I am so pleased, and with the help of friends who have our same passion, we have helped find Border Collies a good home.  Not only does it change the life of the dog, it changes the life of the family receiving the dog, but the real benefit is that it changes the person rescuing the dog, and this last Saturday "we saved another".  Only with your help and people who have this passion can we accomplish anything.  At one time, I did not care and only “talked the talk” and when I realized that I needed something more, I “walked the walk” and my life changed, when I “bend down, pick up a starfish”… There are more dogs than I can imagine that needs help, and we can't save them all but to that dog we help... it does.       Ken