We're Family

Sometime you run into one of those situations that you can't explain and things happen that you never expected.  In the dog world, I run into all kinds of people and dogs, some are very nice and keep in touch and some we never hear from again, but it’s always good when we do get updates.  In October of 2010, Molly had a litter of 10 pups; it was the most any of our dogs had here at the farm.  Life was so good and all the pups scampered and played and had a grand time.  One of the last to go home was a little girl by the name of Keely because of scheduling issues.  She was the spitting image of our Abbie and had a wonderful personality.
Keeley's Litter
We have kept in touch with Keely over the years and have boarded her several times throughout her life.  Currently, we have had the pleasure of boarding her from January 6th for an extended stay.  She actually came the day before we got Doc and they have been together the whole time she has been here.
Keely and Doc
When she came I knew she knew where she was because she appeared to remember her surroundings and even went to the kennel where she was born.  Keely was a little reserved at first and I knew she was going to be here for a while so I felt it was imperative that we get reacquainted and spend some one on one time together or it would be a very long visit.
Well here it is nearly 4 months later and I will tell you, time flies when you're having fun.  Keely has been a dream boat and has been accepted into our pact and into my heart.  In the beginning, it wasn't the fact that she did anything bad or mischievous; she just wouldn't let me “really” get close to her or get to   know her.  She was so busy playing, running, jumping into the water, which she loves to do every time she gets near the lake and just having so much fun that she was too busy to stop and see me.  She reminded me of a very special boy that came back to us that took a big part of my heart with him when he left for his forever home, Bodie/Tucker.  Tucker was also a little reserved at first too, but soon warmed up to me and I remembered I cried when he left.
Over time, she has gradually let me into her world and we have become best buddies.  Because Meggie may be pregnant, I have kept her from running as much as she would like too and Abbie needed a running partner.  Keely stepped up to the plate and has become Abbie’s best friend.  They both are high energy and will encourage each other to  run around the full circle of the farm nipping (in a playful way) at each other  barking all  the way, each trying to get to the end first.  I remember so well when Keely’s owner was coming for a visit before she was born, she liked Abbie and wanted a dog just like her.  Be careful what you wish for because sometimes it comes true and it did in this case.   Abbie and Keely have the same personality and even look alike (both are Molly pups).
But today, Keely goes home and like Tucker she will take a part of my heart home with her.  She is a very loving and affectionate dog that has given us nothing but love and affection.  She is always polite and when I put them up, or to eat, I will open the kennel gate and call her and she will go right in and turn around and sit down and wait for me.  Something even mine won't do at times.  I will miss our times of snuggling in bed or on the couch, and the times she would search me out just to make sure I'm OK or just to give me a kiss or to have her ears rubbed. 
Like all of my dogs, I cherish them all so much, but today it will be hard to give her up and see her leave.  I will tell you, I already miss her and have enjoyed our time together.  She is a long runner and it’s such a treat to see her run and play without any restrictions until she is tired of running and romping with the other dogs and then lay down for a much needed nap with the pack.

Keely, you are a special little girl and you are so smart and wise in your young age.  I will think of you often and will always wonder how you are doing.  You have accomplished so much and have become family to us, including the dogs.  You have been a big part of our life and have filled us with joy.  Hopefully we'll see you again and soon,  I am so proud of you and just yesterday for the first time, you jumped off the diving board into the lake…something only the bravest of all dogs do, but you did it.  You are a treasure and we all love you.  Think of us often as I hope you know we will think of you often and also know you are taking part of my heart with you, this is reserved only for my "special" pups.  Love, Dad.

It's hard not to get attached to our pups when they stay.  We do try to give them the best home away from home and to love them as best as we can.  As I write this tribute, Keely is sitting by my side with her head in my lap letting me rub her ears while she licks my hand.  Good-buy sweet Keely... I'm sure I'll cry when you leave too... You're always welcome back home, as all of our pups are.


Getting Hurt...

I hate it when one of my dogs get hurts or are in pain.  I had to go to town yesterday and run some errands and as usual, I put Clancy in one of the kennels because I found out that when I'm gone, he likes to run around the kennels and bark at the girls and the girls like to bark back.  I have crept up on him and watched him run around having a grand time. He will even refresh himself by jumping in the lake and getting a quick drink and to cool off and he's right back at it for some more, it's their game they invented.   It’s so funny, when he sees me, he hangs his head and looks away because he knows I don't approve of it because with all the dogs barking, I'm sure the distance neighbors can hear it and I would rather they behave when I'm gone. 

Yesterday, he had been out all morning and when I put him up, he was fine but when I returned, as soon as I let him out, he was limping.  It doesn't appear too bad as he will put some weight on it, but you can tell it is uncomfortable for him.  I sure after a few days, he will be back to normal.  Who knows what happened.
I get several calls and emails every couple of weeks and it’s usually about the same thing that has happened to Clancy.  Border Collies are tough on the paws and pads.  Its runs about half and half of either a torn or cut pads or sprained front paws.  I will tell them my personal experiences, however if in doubt, call the professional, (the Vet), they are the experts.  I have had Dutchess Abbie and Meg to the Vet for x-rays just to make sure nothing was broke.  Luckily, it wasn't and 2 weeks of rest was in order.  We once had a guest dog break a toe and had to have a soft cast for a couple of weeks but everything was fine.
Lord knows, I have seen my dogs go through pain and surgeries the last six months, but you do feel for them and want to comfort them.  They want to do the normal things because they want to be with us or show us everything is OK.  Just last night as I was taking Clancy for a small walk so he could wee, and as we went down the lane he started to gallop and I called him back and said “Whoa boy, that'll do” He looks so hurt and I knew he was in pain and limping but he wanted to because he has the spirit in him, but I knew better and he needs to rest his paw.
The point of this story is not so much of Clancy’s injury, but how it sends a shiver through you when you see them hurt.  It does remind me of the times my mother would say to me as a small child, “This will hurt “me” more than you” I never believed her until I had kids and said the same thing to them, and now it has been passed on again.  You really do feel for them and at times I don't know why.  It may be because you know they have a pure heart without any malice or underlying thoughts.  It may also be that you don't know what is wrong and you feel so helpless, if only they could tell you what is wrong.  It pains me when they hurt.
This morning he seems fine, probably just needed a little rest, but I will tell you, he will be kept on a short lead for several days, because as we all know there is no medium speed, just full blast, their Border Collies.  I remember so well the Vet telling me to keep Dutchess quiet for two weeks after a visit and I looked at him and rolled my eyes and said sure then he said "give it your best shot, I understand".  We did make it.  

Something in the Air, Part II

No….No, that was last week…
As I transferred the chickens to their new chicken house, Dutchess knew something was up.  
She is so curious about everything I do and she wants to be part of it, it’s her way of helping.  She usually thinks’ everything is always for her or it’s something to eat.  She watched me with a keen eye cocking her head back and forth wondering what it is. 
Just then, as I was putting a chick in the basket from their brooding box to move it, it flew from my hand to the ground landing safely.  Dutchess’s eyes lit up like the Fourth of July.  I could hear her mind screaming.  “It’s a toy, it’s a toy, and it’s a new toy that flies on its own”.  “Can I have it now...RIGHT NOW?  Can we take it out and play with it?  Sweet Jesus, what will they think of next.  It’s a toy that flies on its own, right out of your hand.  Thank you so much, Thank you so much”, she said. 
I looked at her and said “No” it’s not for you, it’s for Elaine and I and watch your mouth" as I got that "Look"   
You told me NO, I'm mad, just so you know...
“NO….NO….she said ,You get all the neat stuff and beside you don’t even play Frisbee and Mom can't even throw one, she holds it wrong and it goes in the trees”  “It’s not a toy’, I said “it’s something for us and it will give us food when they get big”  “Food…tomorrow?, will it get big tomorrow?, can I have more food tomorrow?”  “It will take a while” I said.  She named off the days of the week wanting to know how soon she would get food and was a little disappointed when she found out the food was not for her.

All in all the transfer went smooth, they are getting big and are so cute.  I never thought I would say chicks were cute but they are.  Everyone wants to know what we got and the only thing Elaine wanted were pretty chickens but as she picked, I only pulled up ones that laid large or extra large eggs and were only brown or white, nothing too fancy.
Dutchess is shattered and starts therapy this week.  This "chicken thing" has caused her the greatest of struggles in so many ways.  First it was the house I build that she thought it was her's.
Then it was the Frisbee that flew on it's own that she could not play with and the ultimate....the food that she thought was for her and can't have.  

Her only solace was as I was transferring the food and water and was busy, she decided to try the chicken feed right out of the feeder and whether she liked it or not, she cleaned it out, grit too...
"I'm telling you, I know we can play with them and I promise to be careful"...DUTCHESS.........and to think, it's only just starting....

Spring "IS" in the Air

Well, we wanted it and it appears it’s here, maybe… what’s that you say’ Spring of course.  It’s been a beautiful day today and it has been this way all week.  There are always several signs that points in that direction and I have been seeing them all come together in just the last few days.  The first is my eyes start to itch because I am allergic to every tree and grass that’s grown and always suffer in the spring.  I have started taking my eye drops to keep the itching down and that helps and another is the daffodils (March lilies) finally came up in April.
It has been wonderful to let the dogs out and let them run, where they don’t get muddy and sloppy because the ground has finally dried out.  They can even come in when they want and that makes them happy and content and it’s nice to have a medley of dogs again that stay inside at night.
The main reason I know its spring is we have entered the breeding season for our “once” a year spring love fest.   It has been a hoot because this year, we have included Doc, Annie and Gabby.  This will be Annie and Gabby’s first litter and with the colors, there is no telling what will show up because they are merles’ but whatever shows up, I’m sure they will be beautiful. 

As I said it has been a hoot because all of the girls came into season the same week.  I have let dogs in the kennel and out the kennel a hundred times and at times I wonder if I am going in circles because of the activity and making sure the right pair are together to court each other.  I try so hard to keep one or the other males up, but Clancy is a champion at getting out. 

Clancy is a little "wired" this week...

Luckily, when he did escape, I was always there to capture him and put him in the big steel cage that is in the garage.  It has double locks and a steel ceiling and floor.  He has yet to escape from it, but I did find a file in the corner that I’m sure he snuck in there when I was busy for... later use.  If he gets out of the steel cage, I'm going to take him on tour as the “Magic Houdini” dog.  He once went through a chain link fence and I mean through it.  He’s not a climber and we have steel mesh preventing any digging, so he chewed on the fence and broke one strand and worked his head through it and went through the middle, leaving fur along the way.  If I did not see the results, I would not have be believed a dog could do it.  He is one determined young man.  Elaine has gone to Louisville to see her parents this weekend and I suggested she take Clancy and she did.  I just hope he doesn't call a taxi.  The good part, Dutchess was spaded the first of this year and I swear, I think she was worse than Clancy about getting together.  Several years ago we were not going to breed Dutchess and it was her last day in season.  Just one more night and we made it.  Elaine had her in the house and was going to let her out to "potty".  I said, “Let Clancy in another door and keep him inside”…Well, she thought she could keep Dutchess close to her but as soon as the door opened and as fast as she could run, she took off and ran to find Clancy.  They ran through the woods and ended up on the porch “in love”… and I'm sure you know the rest of the story, puppies born 63 days later.  She is called the “party girl” for that very reason to this day.

Party Girl...Me?
This will be an exciting 2 months and hopefully everything will proceed as scheduled.  This will be a first for us, perhaps three litters at once.  I can only imagine all the little pups running and scampering and me trying to walk when they are under foot grabbing my shoestrings.  Yes, Spring "IS" in the Air.  Good luck girls