Summer Camp, and It Always Happens......

It’s always the same, a dog will come over to stay with us and he or she will be in surrounding that they are not use to. All of our dogs will welcome them with open paws, even Abbie who will at least run between my legs and protect her position there for a few moments. This week, we had Kevin Clancy (Named after Clancy) come to stay.
Kevin is a wonderful pup who is not even a year old. He is a beautiful dog who actually seems to smile and have a good time. He was a little shy at first but fit right in. He had come for a "play day" before and he was a little skittish about getting in the lake. As his parents were leaving for vacation, they were wondering if he would get in the water. Well let me tell you.....

He and Keely (another guest) became fast friends. He was a little shy at first but they soon would run together and bark and "play" bite just haveing fun. The first night after playing hard, he fell asleep in my lap, then he slept in the recliner beside me and lastly, he went to the couch. He was worn out.

The next day, they both started getting in the water. Kevin was a little slow to venture very far out, and he only liked it when he could touch the bottom. This changed very soon….

We went to our big lake where the diving board is.  He saw the other dogs jumping off the diving board. He wanted to get in sooooo bad he was whining. I swam to the shore and got real close to the bank and he would almost come to me. He could taste it, but he was just a little scared. Once he made the plunge, he was in, he swam to my arms, his safe place. He got as close as he could and I held him tight and told him he was “OK”
He was happy as can be.  He started swimming and biting at the water and would put his whole heat under the water.

Then the big test came.  The other dogs would jump off the dock and the diving board, so he wanted to do it too.  I got on a raft and swam about 10 feet out in front of him.  He started whining again so I knew he would do it.  He would pace and pace and try to reach down and touch the water but it was too far.  He didn’t know what to do, but he just knew he wanted to jump in.  “If everybody else can, then why can’t I”.  I would call him and pat the water and say “Good Boy”.  After much thought and whining, “Splash” he jumped…He went all the way under the water and came up like he was drowning.  He was paddling as fast as he could, but in circles.  I got him on the raft and he licked me all over my face as if to say, “Thanks for saving me……..I did it,   I did it, I jumped in!”  I pointed him to the shore and as fast as he could, he ran back to the side of the dock and “Splash” back in he came, but this time he knew he was OK and right back to shore.  This was repeated many times and we all had fun.  There is doubt, Kevin James went home a different dog......

Meg is swimming to me with a ball wanting to play, Abbie has a close eye on the ball, just waiting for it to go somewhere, and she wanted to be ready.  All in all, we had a wonderful day, which was repeated every day because of the heat.  The only injury was when Abbie rolled the ball off the diving board right next to me while I was in the water.  Clancy jumped in, but on top of me, to get the ball.  I will tell you, when a dog weighing 40 pounds hits you from 4 feet off the ground, it's hurts.......Thanks Abbie

What do you think.......Destiny or Divine

We get about 6 to 8 calls a week, wanting information about our dogs and lots of general questions about border collies. Most of the time, they are from our pup owners, but some just saw us on the web and will call. If you have ever talked to me, you know I love to talk about border collies, and I don't mind. Sometimes it's about things they do or won't do, and I will help as best as I can. I will sometime research it or talk to a good friend of mine who is a Vet where I once worked after I retired. I make it clear I am not the expert, and I will never give advice on a problem that should be handled by a Vet, but I have, as you might say, some personal experience.

Last week, I received a call from a man who was looking for a border collie. He explained he had lost his dog a few weeks earlier, and he was pining for his pet. He asks the general questions about ours and when we would have a litter available. I could tell he was pretty disappointed that we were not going to have any until spring. He was leaving for a family vacation in a few hours and was driving south on the interstate and wanted to stop and see our dogs because we were close to his destination. He was searching and hurting and was on a mission.

When they arrived, he went on to explain that he had to put his beloved pet down two weeks ago because of a medical problem while the dog had "a perfectly good mind." I could hear the pain in his words as he spoke and knew the heartache he was having. He loved "our" dogs but said, "I'm sorry, I just can't wait." as he was leaving.   I knew his heart was breaking, and I wished there was something I could have done. But there might be….Just that very morning, I received an email…

My name John and I bought a Border Collie in November of 2009, and he has been the greatest dog and friend I have ever had. He is certified with ABC. He is the smartest dog I have ever met, and it has been a joy training him. He knows a ton of tricks and is a great Frisbee dog. I am going away to school in St Louis and found out that he will not be able to live with me. I want to find him a truly exceptional home where he gets all the love he does from me. I am very saddened by that I have to give him up and was wondering if you would be interested in giving him a home or if you know somebody that might be willing to. He has been such a great friend to me, and I am dedicated to finding the best possible home for him. Please let me know if you think you can help in any way or know somebody that can.

Thanks for your time,

"Or if you know somebody that might be willing to help." This flashed into my mind. I will always help in rescue or help to find a border collie a good home, even if it's not one of mine. I mentioned it in passing to the man, who came to visit, but there was a lot of "what if's" and things that needed to work out, but it was left open.

Well, it did work out…" Jeter" came to our farm and was re-homed to this man, whose world fell apart just two weeks ago. Jeter will be living with a family on 7 acres and a pond. His new owner is also an experienced dog trainer, and he loves border collies.

After I had talked to the original owner, he wanted a few days to be with "Jeter" before he brought him over. They spent time together and did just "guy" things. When they arrived, he had brought all of his toys, blanket, and even his Frisbee's, so he would be happy and have all the comforts at his new home. We played a little while he was here but it seemed that "Jeter" sensed something. When the time came to say goodbyes, everyone was emotional, even me, because I have been "here", while the car was pulling away, Jeter didn't understand and wanted to go. I took him to the porch and sat with him and stroked his face and tried to comfort him, which I did. My mind flooded with visions of my "Shepp" on this same porch doing the same thing, just before he left for his "new" home.  I can still feel his fur and see his beautiful eyes, right before he gave me a big kiss, and then my "Shepp" left for good.

Jeter did go to his new home today. His new owner is a wonderful man who loves dogs. When he arrived, he worked with Jeter to get his trust, which he did. It is going to take a little time for both of them because their lives were turned upside down in the last few weeks, but I know both will get straightened out very soon. Although the owner wanted to pay for any expense that had occurred, for me, just knowing that everyone is happy, is payment enough. I explained that "I do it because I love them."

I don't know what you believe, but for whatever reason, this was meant to be! I not only believe God works in big ways, but in little ways too, we just don't always see it, but I did see it happen here today. What are the chances that this would come together? A man lost his beloved pet that had to be put down. He is heartbroken, and a small part of him died. He calls someone he has never met, or talked with, and just picked me from the Internet. Another man, because of circumstances beyond his control, he must give up his beloved best friend, and part of him is dying too.  He calls someone he has never met or talked with, and just picked me from the Internet, all on the same day.

It makes you think this was meant to be. I'm just glad I could be a small part of it.  Destiny or Divine?  Life is Good, God is Good…. Good luck, Jeter. Ken

Keely & Shep

As most of you know, we will board our own dogs when the owners go on holiday or trips.  This week we have Keely and Shep.  Both are wonderful dogs that have a lot of energy and hugs and kisses to give. They have become fast friends and do everything together, including getting into trouble. It started when I got the puppy tub out to wash it and put it away. Both dogs are very good swimmers and love to get into the lakes. Keely even on a night bathroom break jumped into the lake and got soaked.


She was so proud of herself and kept most of the water on her until she got back to us and then decided to shake it all off. But all in all it worked out. Back to the puppy tub. Shep was eager to help Elaine get the hose to the tub. Elaine could not move fast enough, so he helped.


After getting the tub filled he wanted to relax and take pride in his work. He then wanted to help with the buckets, which he did. He was so cute and I’m sure he felt good about it, I know we did.

Then they got into the Koi pond to cool off. Abbie will do this once in awhile, but they not only got cooled off they started jumping and chasing each other around, including through the lily pads. Not too much damage, but they were bad doggies!!!!

Well I’m sure you’ll never guess who broke their toe. That’s right, it was Dutchess. Just once, I would like to “not” have to write about Dutchess, but she is always the center of attention. She wiggles her way into everything. What makes it even worse, not only do I have to keep her pined up because of her toe, she in in heat.

I am going to do everything I can do to keep her separated this time, but as you know she is more determined than Clancy. Imagine that. I have double locks, an extra door and even play the radio so it will keep her mind on others things. This should last about two weeks, just pray I can do it. I also look forward to Meg and Molly going into season too. I will need a drink.

The rest of the pups went home this weekend.  It's always sad to go to the kennel expecting to hear and see them and then remembering they are gone.  Good luck little fellows, Dad misses you so much, Hopefully, I'll see you soon.......

City Girl Comes Home....

Well sort of..... Let me explain.  Maggie is one of Dutchess and Clancy's pups.  She comes for Holidays and visits when her human parents go on vacation.  We enjoy her so, and look forward to her visits and I think she does too.  She gets excited even before they get to the driveway says her human dad and can't wait for the car to stop.  She springs out the car door and runs to greet all the dogs and will lick and kiss everyone.  Then they start to pair off and pick sides.  She and Abbie take turns getting between my legs and growling at each other just to say "I'm here now, and you're not"  No harm is ever done, but it's fun to watch them growl for the spot.  It makes me feel good to know both of them want to be my BFF and they both are.

As you can see, Maggie is three years old.  She is a wonderful dog and is the perfect example of a Border Collie.  When she comes to visit, she stays in the house and sleeps with us and tells us when she needs to go "outside", What a dog.....

The Plan

Ball Catching
Eating Special Food (snacks)
Doing what she wants, when she wants
Get in Shape
Roll in the grass on her back

Did I say "Running"!!!!!!

The Problem

The Running

About 10 minutes after her owners left, I thought it would be a good idea to run off some energy, so off we went to the lake and hills to throw some ball and Frisbee.  It was a hot day and I wanted to only stay  10 minutes or so, because of the heat.  Maggie had a such a good time, she ran and ran and ran some more.  She would take every step Abbie took and then jump in the lake to cool off.   When we were done or should I say when I was done, to the house we went.  I did notice Maggie was limping just a little.  When we got to the back porch, I noticed that every step she took, she left a blood stain from each paw.  I set her down and looked at her feet and each of her paws were in bad shape.  She had tore the skin from her paw pads and it looked awful.  What to do, What to do.  I took her to the dog wash and cleaned her up, dried her off and had a good look.  I was shocked, She needed attention.  I knew the answer but called anyway.  "Vet's Office", yes this is Ken again, yes I know, but I just wanted to check, "Thanks".  There is nothing you can do.  I called Elaine and told her to pick up some "New Skin" both the spray for large areas and the "dab on" for smaller areas.  Her pads were not use to the farm life and all the running.

After we got it applied, we rested and let it dry.  It was a little better but you could tell she was sore.  The bad part, she could not walk much.  I had to carry her upstares and downstares and to go "outside".  I put on some protective booties and of cource, they were pink for girls.
Abbie squeezed through the fence above, while Maggie and I were sitting on the picnic table and she growed and curled her lip and Maggie did it back to her.  I had to rub both their heads to make them happy.  Abbie felt just a little left out because Maggie got to spend all the time in the house.
Molly came to comfort her and tell her "it will be alright".  She healed nicely and was much better in a day or two.  With a little tender love and care, she did fine.  The best part was when she was sitting in my lap and we shared some Fritos and cheese dip.  She missed out on running and playing, but we had her all to ourselves and we'll make it up to her next time.  Miss you baby, see you soon. 

All is at Peace for Now...

Well it's that time of year now, The Fourth of July. While it is a great holiday, it does bring some duress to people who have dogs. Let me explain....

Sometimes dogs are afraid of fireworks. I only have one that is, and it's Dutchess.....We live in a very rural area, but there is a large private lake that has a firework show every 4th Of July. The bad thing, people around the lake also have their own firework show each night and this drives Dutchess crazy. This evening when the first big bang sounded, off she went under the porch to hide. I had been cutting wood and was hot and was cooling off on the back porch and saw her leave. I was getting ready to go in and take a shower so I called her and as fast as her legs would carry her, she scampered in the back door. Well, every other dog wanted to come in too, so, how do you refuse, so I reopened the door and said "come on in".  Elaine is in Louisville, so it’s not a problem. She sometimes gets a little nervous when they are all in and we play ball, and I can't understand why. We only knocked the piano over once, (not really).

After my shower, we all went in to settle down and watch a little TV and have a snack. The bad thing about this, they want a snack too, but the good thing they will line up and wait their turn. Of course, Dutchess is first then Abbie, then Meg, then Molly and finally Clancy. So I get one bite to their 5. Snacks don't go too far, but we all share, remember, Elaine is not home. After the snack, we settled in and watch some TV. Everyone picked their spot. Meg is first to jump in my lap and settle but when Abbie was getting what she thought was a ball; Meg sprang out, just to make sure she didn't miss out. Well it wasn't a ball or anything you could toss, so Abbie took her spot and just to make sure everyone knew she was there, she looked at each one and rolled her lip and made a grunt noise. She looked at Clancy and growled and he looked back and rolled his eyes as if saying "sure".

It's so funny; each dog is so different and has their own personalities. Dutchess will do everything with such force and gusto. I once saw her run into a man and knock him down because she was playing so hard. She will hardly ever rest and will move all the time, wanting to solve something.

Meg is the shy girl; she will look at you with her head hung and look up at you with just her eyes. When she climes in the chair, she will crawl every so slowly and will hardly ever put her head down and sleep, but she likes her head rubbed.

Abbie is a free spirit girl. She has no fear and will confront anyone or anything, even though she is the smallest and youngest. When she lies in my lap, she will totally relax and at times sleep on her back with her feet straight up in the air.

Molly is the lover. She usually wants to be by herself or just with me. She will spring in the recliner next to me and paw my arm until I rub her head. Every hour or so, she will walk from one recliner to the other and make a nest and then move back 10 minutes later.

Clancy is the calm one, he moves slow but proudly. He will let everyone do what they want until they get out of line and then, he will show them just what it means to be the alpha. It usually only takes a look from him and they will turn away.

So this is what we did until the fireworks were over and then it was outside to eat, which they all were ready to do. Everyone went right to their pen to eat and then I turned the radio on, just in case there were stray fireworks. They seem to like the oldies.

We will be adding a new girl in about 5 weeks or so. More later.....