After I counted once, I counted  again 1...2...3...4...5...where is number 6?

Attention Mr and Mrs. America and all ships at sea...

Attention all cars, Attention all cars be on the lookout for...

Elaine do you know where?

Wanted by the F.B.I. be on the lookout...

As you must be wondering, what is missing, what is lost?  It's a PUPPY...  It was Wednesday morning and I went out about 6am to feed and let the dogs out.  When we have pups, I always count them just to satisfy myself that they are where they should be.  I went to Meg, everyone accounted for, next one everyone A-OK, third Mom...Crap.   1...2...3...4...5..., something is wrong I started over and counted again.  Elaine I need help... I ran to the back to see if the pup was outside, but that was impossible because they were pinned up in a way that they had no access to the outside.   OMG what to do all over again.  I searched the runs again, laying my hands on each pup thinking another may be close or something,  Nowhere to be found, it's gone.  What will I tell it's owner.  "Hello, Mr and Mrs ... The pups are doing great, and by the way, you won't have to make the trip to the farm, your pup is GONE...
I looked all over the inside and outside for the pup and the more I looked, the more frustrated I became and to tell you the truth, I couldn't have seen an elephant if it was in front of me.  "OK, get your head together" I kept telling myself.  Pups just don't vanish into thin air, or do they?
I don't know if you have ever lost your child in a store for a moment or something that is dear to your heart, but for that brief moment, you panic and you can't think straight.  I remember once, I took Clancy to town to help me run some errands.  We stopped here and then there and he always sat on the seat and went to sleep.  I usually was inside for just a few moments and this was the case this time.  I came back to the LOCKED car and before I put the key into the lock I looked to see where he was, Front seat...NO, Back seat...NO, Front floorboard...NO.  I'm sure I just missed him.  Front seat...NO, Back seat...NO...Oh crap or something close to that.  I started looking around.   Did he get out? as I started looking outside.  I even Called out, Clancy, Clancy, CLANCY come hear... as people started looking at me as I will admit looked pretty strange.  Do I call the police?  Do I call the TV and radio station?  All of this was running through my mind.  Maybe if I ride around and look for him, but what if he comes back and I'm not here?  I unlocked the door and much to my surprise, Clancy had squeezed under the pedals of the car and was sound asleep on the floorboard of the drivers side and I could not see him because of the way the sun was shining in the car.  I was so glad he was found and had not let himself out of the car that we stopped and got a ice cream.  Clancy likes Vanilla.
So what was my next step on the lost pup, pray? Get Elaine?  that always helps because she is a finder of everything.  As I was walking out of the kennel, there in the corner of an empty run was a little fur ball curled up in a corner on a blanket sound asleep, dreaming of puppyland and as I scooped it up, I thought to myself, you little bugger, you have caused my blood pressure to sore, but as I laid him back into the comfort of the pile of pups, he nuzzled them and they all curled and cuddled around him welcoming him back into the fold.

The little fellow had wiggled out of his space and went exploring the inside of the kennel and even pooped once and then wiggled himself back into an empty space and got into a corner and went to sleep.  Whew...

In 20 minutes, that little space was fixed...and the pup was named "trouble".

It's Getting Close

Well Here we Are…
It’s just a few days away until the 1st Annual “Shuck’s Border Collie Reunion”, a time for people that have one of our pups to come back home and visit for the weekend here at Dogwood Ridge Farms. 
I have said many times since we started planning this, “It will be Heaven or Hell”, but I know it will be so much fun to see the dogs again; some having never been back, but are coming to see their Mom and Dad and visit the farm again where they were born.  We have lots planned, both educational and things just for the dogs of course.  We will have a schedule of events that we will follow because the dogs will never get out of the water or stop playing and running and according to them, play and running is the only thing that is the order for the day.
It’s been busy leading up to this, having the pups earlier in the month and all the things that go with that.  A lot of planning is going into this and as always, I save the worst jobs around the yard for the last.  Whose idea was it to have it the last week of June?  June sounds like a “Cool month” as far as the temperature but whoever planned this should've thought of May or October, (Note to self…May and October sounds cooler).  Hopefully with all the dogs getting in the water and doing the “shake” we should stay cool or wet at the very least. 
It’s been a struggle to get ahead of the “fixin up” because the dogs just don't understand that you are not always the center of their universe.  Dutchess said… “I mean… WHY… do you have to cut the grass”?
As she lays the Frisbee in the path of the mower not once but on every pass, but I guess it's my fault, I do try to entertain them.
Abby will stand in the water at the edge, wanting to know when we are going to swim, flashing those big brown eyes. 
Molly just wants to go inside and lay in front of the TV but I have to let her in and then out and then in again.  Meg just wants to run and Gabby is right by her side every step of the way.
And of course Annie is carrying the Jolly Ball around in her mouth, just ready for any action.  

Clancy and Doc usually act pretty normal, but they don't understand why I can't take care of the girls and then they step in to shape them up.

I'm sure we'll all have a grand old time and get acquainted with each other.  Many of the people coming are friends with each other on Facebook and are look forward to finally meeting each other with their dogs and sharing stories.  I do look forward to sitting around the campfire at night with people camping and having an ice cold beer  ice tea.

Several people have ask "Why do you want to do this" and I have even ask myself the same question and the only reason I can think of is because I do like people, Border Collies and fun.  The truth is I want all of my dogs and pups to have the best chance possible to have a fulfilled life, never wanting for love or a job... thats what makes a good border collie and a good BC breeder, and if I can get everyone together and accomplish just a small part of that, I have done my job... You see, I have said many times to nearly every pup owner that left this farm, "it might be your dog, but it will always be my pup".  Ken

What I Hate Most...

If you have been here to visit our little farm, I’m sure you might have an understanding of what I’m talking about “if” you have a situation like mine.  Some people who visit do and we share a common concern and problem.  I have seen this in my life and don't understand how it can continue over and over.  Just today while I was walking the dogs it happened not once, not twice but many times, over and over again.  I just don't know what it is but it seems to happen to me more than other people.
I have seen times when people will bring their dog over to have a play day and I'll be darned, it will happen, not to everyone but it seems like I am the target.  This is not a quandary that happens to everyone, but it seems to happen to me more than it should.

Oh I can understand it occurring once in awhile and even would welcome the situation in the right predicament, but every day and every time, I know they plot against me and I can see their little beady eyes look at me, especially Dutchess.  Molly my heart dog would never do it but Dutchess, that’s another story, and as much as I care for her, she will run to me and just do it for meanness and then run off laughing inside.  I even think that they conspire to “get” me because when guest dogs come over, they will group together and plot their offence.  There are times when I think I have escaped the jaws of torment but right when I thought I was clear of their torture, I was blindsided, caught off guard and make to look like a fool.

There have been several times when I actually had to change my pants; yes you heard it, change my pants.  How humiliating, a grown man with wet pants, embarrassed, and had to walk the walk of shame to the house.  I have seen others take my punishment but I know it was a mistake, should never have happened, but it did.

It always ends the same the situation is right all things are in place and “BAM” it happened, but what surprises me is when it does occur, we are always having a ball, literally a ball.  Everybody is running, barking, fetching and cooling off, running more and of course fetching the ball or Frisbee till the cows come home.  I take time out of my day to play with them and do the things they want and this is what I get.  It’s a hard life for the dog marshal…
 This is what I'm talking about, the "shake", yes you saw it and I'm sure you've seen it here.  The dreadful shake can get you anytime or anyplace.  Why I seen my dogs and even guest dogs run 100 yards to get right next to me and shake, bringing a torrent of "dog rain" to me and not losing a drop of water on the way.
 The above photo is a rare example of a dog not on a mission, you will note there is not a person anywhere around, so this shake was fruitless.
This is a "get in your face" shake, the cousin to the "back of the knees" shake which is the local favorite here on the farm and what a great day it is to shake me with a tennis ball in your mouth.  
So if you visit the farm a word of caution...Don't stand next to me unless you want to get wrapped up with the "Shake" and with several dogs you might even have to change your pants.

Note:  Today being Fathers day, If at all possible, give your dad a hug, it would mean a lot, I wish I could.  Fathers have your best interest in mind and most show it many different ways not always seeming right at the time.  I was 21 years old before I ever heard my Father say "I love you", but I always knew.  He was placed in a orphan home when he was one year old and didn't know what it was to love someone.  He was a great man.

Second Note:  To Clancy...Happy Father's Day.  Thanks to all the little pups you produced and even to the ones that were not planned but to your endurance, made beautiful little bundles of fur...

Type "A" I Am..

Whoa, slow down Ken, I keep telling myself.  It’s been a very busy 2 weeks and being I am a type “A” person, things and projects seem to back up here on the farm and on my mind…  I have known this for my entire life, and it can be a curse at times and who would think that a Type “A” person would have Type “A” dogs.  For those who know me, I'm sure they can see this in me and may even feel sorry for me.  If I want it, I buy it or build it and I will just “Git-R-Done no matter what it takes.  There's no way I could put a deposit on a pup and wait, I want everything now.
I was lucky to retire when I was in my early 40’s but worked a few jobs because I just wanted to do something and one of the best jobs after retirement was working as a Vet Tech in an animal clinic.  Who would have ever guessed that experience would pay off.  Funny how things work out.
Traits of Type A Behavior
Key Characteristics:

  • Time Urgency and Impatience, as demonstrated by people who, among other things, get frustrated while waiting in line, interrupt others often, walk or talk at a rapid pace, and are always painfully aware of the time and how little of it they have to spare.
  • Competitiveness
  • Multitasking
Yep this fits me, and I was thinking, is this why I picked Border Collies to be “my” breed?  Wow, this is kind of scary, but when I think of it, almost everyone I can think of that has one of our dogs have a small part of a Type “A” in them too. 
Let’s look at the dogs… Impatience, Oh yes, If I don’t pick up the ball or Frisbee fast enough, Abbie and Dutchess will re-pick it up and put it where I can see it better and even when I am reaching for it.  They will still move it as if saying “for the love of God, pick it up and throw it, we're in a hurry” Now I really don't know why they are in a hurry, but they are…

Competitiveness: We don't even need to go there because all of my dogs will hurt themselves getting to a ball, Frisbee or just running around the lake, there is no stopping them, not even trees or blackberry bushes.

Multitasking…Oh yes again.  They will eat on the run, play on the run and once while Dutchess was in the middle of breeding and I mean in the middle, she had a Frisbee in her mouth the whole time so she could get a start on play time when they were finished, poor Clancy.
As I said, it has been a busy week, and we have had visitors here at the farm, and it forces me to relax and slow down, but in my mind, I’m always thinking about the next project.  As most of you know, we have pups now, and they are a treasure to have and lots of fun to play with, but I am thinking about the “Projects” that are to come.
Back to the “help” at hand, as I was growing up, I always heard all the old folks talking about when they retired, they were so busy, and in mind, I thought they were crazy.  Well, I'm crazy now because it’s true.  I don't know how I can even stay even, much less not falling behind.  No life of sleeping late, it's 5:30 every morning because the early bird needs to catch the worm.  I have become an expert at multitasking even when I cut grass.  Abbie will drop the tennis ball or Frisbee in front of the mower as I cut grass and I have two decisions.  Cut it up or stop and throw it, the latter to their delight and is what I usually do, but I will tell you, I have run over a few balls and again to their delight, they do fly but only once, plenty for everyone to get a piece.  Planting the garden is always helpful, "everyone" digs in the garden, and they must think we're digging for tennis balls and Doc will dig on his own because I can always tell, he comes to me with a dirty nose.

All in all, it’s a good fit, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I have seen funny photos of people who look like their dogs whether it’s the hair or some other feature. 

Please, if you come to the farm for a visit and I have I tennis ball in my mouth, it’s OK to tell me, I'm just multitasking….You are by the company you keep, God help me....