We Did It Again

Several months ago, my son Brad told me “if you get one more dog, I calling the Animal Hoarders TV show and I’ll watch you on TV”……..Well, I guess I should expect the TV trucks to pull up any day now.  I only hope I get some money for it.   A friend of mine in Kentucky was downsizing her kennel and posted a notice on Facebook that she had a few dogs available to good homes.  I turned to Elaine and ask, “do we have a good home”?  She jumped at the answer and eagerly said “NO” I said not us, do we provide a good home for our dogs?  She laughed and said she could resist and said “of course we do” Dutchess over heard this and I swear she shook her head no and I’m sure it’s because she did not get her fill of Frisbee that afternoon and I refused to play in the house with her anymore because she knocked over the easy chair, diving after a Frisbee several weeks ago and if you know Dutchess, you know it’s true…
“Doc” is short for his new name of “Doc Holiday”.  He is a little over two years old and is a Sable color with traditional border color markings.  He is a beautiful boy and is one of the friendliest dogs I have ever had, including some of mine. He is very loving and gentle and loves to run to me and jump up in my arms and just hold on, squeezing me as we stand still and looking at me with those big amber eyes.  He has been with us for about 3 weeks and everything seems to be working well with all of the other dogs.  He Challenged Clancy once and was very quickly put in his place in short order and learned that Clancy is King of this domain, but maybe it’s because Clancy has twenty pounds on him too, Doc wagged his tail and puttered off in another directions and I swear Clancy smiled and said “I’m da Man”, which he is.
The first day he was here, we were trying to make him feel comfortable and after feeding him we let him out of the kennel and wanted to love on him and see what boundaries he had.  We found out in a few moments, he had none.  He came right up to Elaine and sat in front of her and sat down with her.  She had a slicker brush and thought she might brush him or at least see if he would let her.  He curled up between her legs and put his head on her leg and went to sleep while she brushed him.  She said he’s a keeper and I agreed.
The only thing missing is his name on his own kennel stall which I will order next week.  Doc is originally from Texas but has deep roots from England, Wales and Scotland.  His Great Grandfather won the 2005 World Trials and his Great Great Grandfather was the International Shepherd Champion 1985, Scottish Shepherds´ Champion in 1979 & 1986 and has won over 100 Open trials in Wales and Scotland. 
Doc is still finding his niche; he wants to play, but will only run after the other dogs not really knowing what to do.  He will run up and down the hills and will watch the others play or stand with what appears to be a big smile.  He has fit right into our family and our hearts for several reasons.  The first is when he jumps on me and as I stroke his face, he reminds me of another dog we had and had to give up, a decision I often regret.  The second is his personality and the big heart he has.  As I have always said it'n not the paperwork that makes the dog, it's what you put into the dog, so he'll know what to do and how to act.  Someone in his first two years spent a great deal of time making Doc who he is and it certainly shows.  Thanks Wendy...

Link to our dog's Facebook Page

The Journey

It was Tuesday, the second week of February of 2006.  My cousin Peg and I were in route to Smiths Grove, Kentucky to check out some dogs and possibly purchase a puppy.  We went to a farm house that had a barn behind it where two litters of border collies with a total of eighteen puppies were running and scampering in the straw.  Just after a few moments, I spied the pup I wanted.  There was no reason, color or markings that made her stick out for any special reason. I just wanted her and I don’t know why.  
We paid the farmer his money and started our journey back home to Indiana.  Little did I know how much that trip would change my life and how instrumental Peg and Molly would be intertwined in my life's Journey. I didn't want another dog but “Max” was a dog we had and seemed to need a friend and companion.  
Molly & Max
“Max” was an outside dog and never came in, so another dog would probably stay outside too, or so I thought.   The dog I picked out was a party color and wasn't marked like a standard border collie but a little different, she was cute and I named her “Molly Mae”.
On the way home Peg and I talked about the new dog and wondered if she would like Max and would they get along.  I've never had a dog, much less two.   As you can imagine, Molly stayed in the house the first few nights and melted out heart but Max still wanted to stay out.   Molly became the house dog and the rest is history, our Journey had officially started and we were going down the path at full speed and I didn't know it yet.
 Today the last pup that Molly will ever have went home and last night, I sang to them for the last time, we played together and I rubbed their head and held them one last time before they went to their new home.
Molly's Last Litter

 I sat down in the kennel and thought about the Journey we have had and how fast time flies.  It just seemed like yesterday that we went to that old barn in Smith’s Grove and it’s sad that I won’t be able to hold any more of her pups, but I take solace in knowing that many other people can hold part of her, and take that Journey with us.   Molly will enjoy sitting in my lap and being with us in the house and I think she deserves it.

We all are traveling down that road and taking a journey.  Some of us know it and some of us don't, but we  are.  I just wonder where I'd  be if I didn't find that old farmhouse or picked that pup for no reason, because she was a little different.   Maybe it was fate, maybe it was destiny, but I did, and my life changed in so many ways.  I often wonder how the lives of our pup owners have changed because of that little fuzzy pup that entered their life and turned it upside down.  Life is a Journey but we do hold the map, some can read it, some can't.  Hopefully that little pup can help make your Journey just a little smoother.  My  life has changed so much because of a Journey that Peg and I took together on that snowy day in 2006.  On Wednesday of this week, Peg made her annual trip from Louisville to cuddle and hold each one and send them off with her blessing, as she has with all of our pups.

Here are a few of the pups that Molly had with a unique color pattern.

Thanks Molly Mae, for giving many of us a Journey that has changed our life, I know it has with me...Dad

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The "Thaw"

Last week, we had a wonderful time playing in the snow but as all good things come to an end, the weather got warmer, the sun came out, but our walks and dog runs continued, I started seeing the dreaded time of year that I fear.  The “Thaw” not to be confused with “The Thaw” horror movie but it has the same effect.
 I noticed it and decided to put it out of my mind hoping it would go away and I was sure I was just making things up in my mind, seeing things that weren't there, but the next sunny day the feelings came back and were even stronger and I felt the effects, some I could even see.  NO  NO  NO… Am I losing my mind, I must be, I’m going crazy…It can’t be.  For the love of God, ...not… THE THAW……..Please spare me this year I screamed.  Just as the locust invades the fields at harvest time, the bears come to the stream as the salmon spawn, the “Thaw” invades Dogwood Ridge... once again.
See How They Change
Here I was standing right in the middle of it and I could see the effects almost immediately.  Although it didn't affect me in a horrible way, I did notice what it did to the dogs.
Notice The Growl

Lock Your Doors....Don't Let Them IN
We have all heard of the dreaded plagues of Egypt, but one that was always omitted because it was too forbidden was “The Thaw”.  Here is a photo of the original plagues that was found by a researcher in an ancient tomb with "The Thaw" written in blood......

 Plague of Lice

Plague of Flies

Plague of Murrain or Pestilence

Plague of Boils

Plague of Hail

Plague of Locusts

Plague of Darkness

Plague of the Death  

Most Dreaded Plague of The Thaw

Right before my eyes they changed, In a flash the were not the dogs that I knew.  Like zombies, bodies without a soul, walking frames of fur that once held a beautiful creature that I held and cuddled, gone forever and ever and evermore....

But wait....
Angles Singing... 

Sun  Shining...

Birds Chirping...

Booster Bath...
When all hope was lost, out of nowhere, a miracle from U.P.S...appeared, and the rest was heaven...

When I was walking on my land
Let My Doggies go
Oppressed so hard they could not stand
Let my doggies go

How Can I Help You?

Veterinary Clinic, can I help you…
Oh, I’m sorry Mr. Shuck, I didn't recognize your voice… and to think we talked last week when you brought Dutchess in for stitches…She is Beautiful, How is she doing…and your other dogs?
Clancy…Have we seen him before?  I didn't think so, but we've seen your other 6 haven’t we…
What seems to be the problem?
He did what?
Yes, we can see him  right now, we’re closing, but you’re one of our best customers; In fact, your dogs might be on the cover of our calendar next year.
 we’ll wait for you….
As I made this call, I realized that I made one last week and several times before and I almost know the number without looking.
Here we were, walking through the woods while the dogs were whizzing by us like  flashes of lighting.  I looked down and saw a patch of fur and hair stuck on a stick that was protruding from a tree.  In my mind’s eye, I just knew it was one of our dogs. 
Everyone ran and scampered in the snow, having a good time, but I just knew there might be a problem.
After examining him, Elaine found it, the call was made, no question, he needs to go in and of course, its closing time on a Saturday.  Why can’t this stuff happen when the office is open?  Clancy had snagged his skin on that very branch that I saw and he needed stitches.
How active is a Border Collie…Here is an excerpt from a website about Border Collies…

 Question: What is the worst thing about Border Collies?
 Answer: Border Collies are extremely intelligent and active dogs. Intelligence and hyperactivity are not characteristics that most people are capable of handling.  Border Collies need constant attention and if they are not true working dogs, they need to be given "chores" and "tasks" around the home to serve as outlets for their boundless energy. If no outlet is given, they will find one on their own (generally one not desirable).  Being smart allows them to learn quickly, not only how to behave but also how to get into trouble.  It is not easy to "fool" a Border Collie into doing or not doing something.  You must always be one step ahead of them and sometimes it isn't so easy.  The hyperactivity is also something you must think long and hard about. Some individuals are certainly calmer and less active than others but the breed as a whole, because of their breeding goals, is highly active. If you live in a small apartment or have no place to run the dog in wide open spaces, I think another breed of dog would be better suited for your circumstances. If you want a dog that lies around the house most of the time, is rarely noticed, and is generally unobtrusive, then a Border Collie is not for you. They demand (literally demand) lots of attention and lots of activity. If you do not have the time or energy to devote to the dog, then there are better choices.

All in all, Clancy is fine and will heal nicely as will Dutchess.  The important thing, is to know when to call the Vet.  Remember, they are the Professionals and you can't beat a Professional at their own profession.  They are the experts.
Are Border Collies active?  Oh Yes! They will put their heart into anything they do even if it's licking your eyebrows off or putting their cold nose under your arm as you type or when they are sleeping in your lap.  Whatever they do, they do it with gusto and with all of their heart.  If you own a Border Collie, you know exactly know what I mean...
My dogs play hard, very hard and I can only assume that most border collies do too.  I have seen a bad Frisbee toss go into the woods and all of them head into the trees and I cringe, thinking that any one of them could hit a tree and cause a head injury, I've seen all of them charge into a thicket of briers like it wasn't even there, all because they wanted to go through it.  Border Collies are all action when they play, but are the sweetest of all dogs too.  I have found that as hard as they play, they love just as hard...and give all of themselves.  If you own a Border Collie or are wanting a Border Collie, just know they need a little more than other dogs and give me a call, I've got a number for a good Vet...
I say this as Dutchess puts her cold nose under my arm as I type this post and see the pretty blue stitches in her lip from playing so hard last week.....

Mr Shuck, just to let you know, we have already booked an appointment for you next week...
No it's not for a routine visit, it's for anything that may come up...Thank you for your visit today.