Plan "B"

I did not mention this when it happened, but we have been having some medical issues with Molly, Nothing serious, but just some problems.  A year or so ago, we found a tumor on Molly and I took her to the Vet and they did a needle biopsy on it.  It came back OK, so we decided, along with the Vet to wait, watch it and see what developed in the future.  After she had puppies we continued to watch it.  About two weeks ago, it grew to about 4 times its' original size.  I called the Vet and said it’s time to take it out.  We scheduled an appointment for the next day and early that morning, off we went to the Vet for surgery.  From her previous experiences she felt the car was a bad thing and she didn't want to go.  On the way, which is a 50 mile round trip, the only place she was comfortable was in my lap.  I will tell you, it’s hard to drive with a border collie in your lap, but we made it in one piece, (don’t do this at home). 

The appointment was with Dr “D”, the same Vet that worked with her and the puppies, so I knew she was in good hands.  I arrived early and they took her right back as soon as we got there.  I also went back to the prep room with them and stayed with Molly while they prepared her and put her under the anesthesia.  Not only did they have the one tumor, they found seven in her breast area that needed to come out.  Molly doesn't do very well doing things she doesn't want to do.  She is so timid and scared.  I have actually seen her teeth chatter when she was upset, but she always obeys me and will do it, whether she wants to or not. 
While waiting for the surgery to finish, I thought of all the things she has been through in the last 6 months.  I asked myself, “When does her easy time start?” hopefully soon…but it didn't.

As I said, Molly doesn't like things that are out of the ordinary so when it came time for the going home directions from the Vet, I knew she wouldn't like it.  No activity, NO licking… Just a few minutes after we got home, Molly went right to licking and I knew this was not a good thing to do, so we made a t-shirt with  holes cut for her legs and  tail and gathered up the end and sealed it.  This seemed to work well to keep her away from the incision, or so I thought.  When I checked her the next morning, the shirt was wet and she had licked “around” it going through the let hole. 
Plan “B”… Blow up E-collar.  Nope, won’t do it, she became upset and with her paws she pushed it right off  her neck.

Plan “C”… Bandage her belly with Kurlex, worked well the first night, but it was off in the morning.

Plan “D”… Combination of T-shirt and E-collar.  Worked well…for 3 days.  It appeared that she could still get to her sutures, because they were always wet.
Plan “E”… Combination of E-Collar and Blow up E-Collar.  Seemed to work well for 3 more days, but I was starting to find her sutures wet again. 
Finally, time to take the stitches out.  Wound looks good, should not be a problem at all, just snip these babies out and “bang” we're off for a walk without a lampshade or inter tube around her neck.  Problem solved….I’m sooooo glad this is over, so I thought again.
Wait, what’s that?  Did I spill something…Ketchup maybe?  Molly come here and let me see your tummy.  She is to the point of just rolling over and lifting up her leg for me to see her wound.

“Oh Darn” (not my real words) and many others, the entire incision has opened and is bleeding.  I called the Vet and spoke with them and Saturday morning, another visit to the Vet for new sutures and a better plan to keep her from licking.

I will tell you, this has been an exhausting ordeal.

What bothers me most is that I know she doesn't understand. She always takes it like a big girl, no matter what.  I feel so sorry for her and wish I could explain it to where she would understand, but then again, she trusts me to make it all better.  It's hard to see them suffer and especially when she looks into my eyes for comfort while her head is stuck through the E-collar and her tail starts wagging.   Molly, Daddy and Mommy are trying really hard to make it all better. 
Plan “F” … Start over…bigger E-collar, NO activity, something hard for a border collie...Wish us well...

Just when I think…

Just when I think I've seen it all, the dogs will surprise me again.  I have seen each one do things that were strange, funny, witty and even odd at times.  Usually it’s about Dutchess, but this week it’s about someone I would never suspect.  I’m talking about Annie Belle. 
If you have made a visit to the farm, you have seen her play ball first hand or I mean carry a ball while everyone else plays and she just runs around following the other dogs with a ball in her mouth.  But today was different.
As we were preparing to go for a walk and we were gathering things that we would need, I got my camera, coat, gloves,  Dutchess got her Frisbee, Abby got her ball, Annie got her food bowl....WHAT!
 Actually, it’s not her food bowl, its Errin and Tucker's bowl who are staying with us for a few days and the bowls were brought with them when they were dropped off for their stay.  Annie got excited that we were going because she had waited all day to go and play, so at 8:30 am, off we went into the wild blue wonder.  Here she came running down the driveway as fast as she could with the food bowl in her mouth.  
She had run a pretty good distance and I told her she had to take it all the way, no giving up or dropping it and I certainly was not going to carry her new toy for her.  So off we went, all the dogs and Annie and her dog bowl.  At first, she did pretty good and was maneuvering it pretty well.  She would carry it by the lip and then change position and carry it another way.  She was so excited, she had another toy and no one else had one, but I know that no one wanted one so everyone left her alone to carry her treasure as freely as she wanted.  There was no snarling, growling or trying to steal the bowl and she could run as happily as she wanted.
The first encounter was when she ran into a tree and knocked it out of her mouth and as fast as she could, she snatched it up like it was a juicy bone and off she went on another adventure.  She seemed so proud of her bowl and displayed it proudly.  

The second encounter was when she flipped it up and the bottom was covering her eyes again.  I sensed she knew she was getting into trouble so she dropped it and changed positions, holding the bottom toward the ground.  I know we would be in trouble if she lost it and at one time I thought she would.  She observed the other dogs playing with something that "she" wanted to carry so she dropped the bowl and took off.  “ANNIE, come back here”, pick your bowl up and carry it back and surprisingly she did. 
She picked it up and off she went, carrying it all the way back to the house, where it was put up out of her reach...Poor Annie.

While I’m not surprised she carried something around, I am surprised she got Errin and Tucker’s food bowl.  I just glad she didn't try to bring both of them.  Annie, you’re so cute….

Give Them a Chance

We had a wonderful few days this week.  We had a couple board their dog for two days and we got the privilege to watch their 5 month old, part Border Collie, part "something" puppy.  Her name was “Scout” and she was a wonderful dog and we enjoyed her stay very much. 

  She was very well behaved and had the run of the house and did not have ANY issues with anything, including getting along with all of our dogs.  When they arrived on Friday, they also brought their other two dogs too.  They were also great dogs and at times I was envious because of their beauty and nature.  One was an “Aussie” and the other’s were full or part Border Collies.  When we settled down and enjoyed some good conversation, Elaine and I learned that all three were dogs were rescued.  All three were a pleasure to be around, and were beautiful and well mannered.  

As I thought about this, I remembered that one of the best dogs we ever had was a  “Free to a good home”.  He was a wonderful pet and added so much to our family.  This week, I have had 3 different calls where people wanted dogs that did not need a puppy.  One was a student in college, one was a senior citizen and one did not have the space.  All three wanted a border collie for several reasons and in my heart, I knew it was a bad idea.  With all three, I talked them out of getting a Border Collie puppy, something most breeders would never think of doing, but I knew it was a bad idea at "this" time in their life and my concerns was the well being of the dog.

But what are the alternatives? The senior citizen, who was 82 had always had Border Collies, and wanted another one which I can understand, but a puppy?  My first thought, God forbid if he passes before the dog, who will take care of the dog.  Would the dog go to a neighbor or friend who really didn't want it and then relinquished it to a shelter?  This could mean certain death in some cases. I suggested that he find a BC rescue and adopt one that is also a little order and they can both spend their twilight time together and besides, you don’t have to house break them and go through the puppy stage.  The other two people also wanted a pup and I suggested the same thing.  There are many BC’s given up for many reasons.  The biggest being activity or lack of it from the owner but others reasons play a part in this too.  We once re-homed a BC because the owner died unexpectedly and no-one in the family wanted the responsibility of a Collie.  There are a lot of wonderful dogs that are out there looking for good homes, just waiting to shower you with kisses and waiting for you to get home.

While I certainly understand everyone wanting a Border Collie, not all matches are made in heaven, but the timing might be bad or you might want to wait for the right fit.  Everyone needs a home and if you can, look at some alternatives for a dog.  It might be the best thing you could every do for yourself and for the dog.

While we do raise Border Collies here on the farm, in my heart, I do feel that there is more to being just a “breeder”.  It is also my responsibility to be an advocate for the breed.  While I want everyone to feel the love for the breed, there is more, and while we usually don’t have pups to sell.  There is always a need to instruct, advise and provide a place where dogs can socialize and board that is BC friendly and where people can come for help.  I have never looks at having or selling dogs as a business or in competition with other breeders.  All breeders should be in for the dog, nothing else and if I can help, just call.

On another note, Dutchess is doing well, she is ready to play and wants her stitches out, which will be today...Good Girl.  It was nice to see her in the house and lay in my lap, just relaxing and sleeping.  Her only issue was during a walk, she got on the ice and fell through in 8 feet of water.  Luckily, our guest was with her, walking his dog.  He jumped into the frigid water over his head and saved my girl.  Thank you...Bad girl... only Dutchess... 

To the Vet...

Well here it is Saturday night and I don’t have anything to write about.  I've thought about this all week and I even had a few good ideas of things that happened this week that, I thought was great.  The only problem is I forgot what they were.  I even said to myself, “write them down, there good, No, I’ll remember” Well guess what, I’m sitting here looking at the keyboard thinking…at least it’s not Sunday morning and I’m looking at the clock.
The big event this week was going to the Vet with Dutchess and Doc this week.  Well…here we are taking up her food and water up the night before, no problem.  I let her sleep with us and we can watch her.  She did great, until morning.  Before I knew it, she had the toilet seat up and her head was in the toilet getting a long cool drink of water until I caught her and put the lid back down (we always flush).   Bad Girl Dutchess.  As we were getting ready, she found a 10” rawhide somewhere in the house and ate the whole thing because she did not get her food and she was hungry….Crap.  I got the hydrogen peroxide out and gave her 5cc and waited and waited.  Don’t make me give you more, now throw up we gotta go! and up it came with the water and the rawhide.  I will tell you, I hate throw-up more than anything.  Did I say I hate throw-up….After gagging several times, Elaine took the towels from my hand because she felt sorry for me and finished what I had started.  So off we went to the Vet, we went to Louisville this time where I use to work at the Vet’s office to see our friends and do a few other things that needed to be done.  Doc curled up and went to sleep and was a good boy and didn't make a sound except when he wanted to sit in my lap, which he tried several times.  Dutchess claim to fame on the trip going down was she threw up (Oh crap…not again).  After the surgery, and while we waiting for Dutchess to wake up, we went out to eat and to meet up with my cousin Peg and after lunch, it was back to the Vet to get Dutchess.  She was ready to go, except she was a little woozy but off we went, back home to Indiana.  Things went well until all of a sudden, Dutchess stood up and decided to pee while we were traveling at 70 MPH.   “OMG, what is the world is she doing?” (Not my exact words).  She sat back down and went back to sleep.  I guess that was from having her head in the toilet that morning.  Note to self: Put Dutchess in a cage before any other surgery.  If there is a good thing about this trip, I had prepared the ode puke-mobile for such things and it was easily cleaned up, and I’m sure Elaine didn't mind.
All in all, everything went well, Dutchess had a little trouble with some bleeding but I re-wrapped the bandage and she cleared up shortly after because of the added pressure. 
Dutchess has been staying with us since her surgery and has enjoyed the added attention, but no ball playing or jumping on the bed.  In just a short time, Dutchess will be back to normal doing the things she always does, except one…No more puppies.   

In a way, I regret not having anymore of her pups, they were somewhat like Dutchess and always got into everything, but in a good way.  As expected, Dutchess was the initiator of the “act” and would hunt Clancy and find him when she was ready.  
I will tell you this has been a trying 5 months for trips to the Vet.  While I like the people, I am getting tired of financing their vacations, but they all are good and have always been there when I needed them, Thank you...

I do want to mention something that is dear to my heart and I hope yours too.  It is a Border Collie Rescue in New York called Glen Highland Farm.  
It has 175 acres of rolling hillside that tends to the needs of border collies and was started by Lilly Goodrich, the President and CEO of Goodrich Tires and John Anderson President/CEO, Genesis Counselling.  Both Lilly Goodrich and John Anderson walked away from their fortunes and started this farm because it is what they believe in.
They are in it for the dogs,  Thanks, Ken