We're Having A Baby...

Were having a what?…
“A baby”…I heard this as I was walking into the kitchen one morning this week and thought I had lost my mind, did I hear you right?”
I asked again “We're having a baby!” with much expression...
“Twins”  My mind went blank and I knew I was too old to start a family again and especially twins.
Elaine starting laughing, which I didn't think was too funny as my mind drifted back to diapers, feeding, and all the things that go along with a baby!  When I thought about two, I lost it…but…but…how is this possible?  I thought you were fixed…I mean spayed…I mean your tubes were tied, right!? Right”?  Elaine laughed again and said they were going to drop them off.  Now I know we have made a lot of medical advances but this is ridiculous.  “They don't drop them off, or have they advanced that far too... you're pulling my leg…..aren't you?” In my mind I prayed I was right.
“No silly” She said and added, "we have two of Annie’s pups coming for a  visit.  It’s the twins!  You know!" She was referring to the red merle and blue merle pups that Annie had that we have always called the twins. We call Annie and Gabby the twins too.  “OH God," I said, "you almost gave me a heart attack!” as I wiped the sweat off my face with the dish towel. 
It was true; KC and Gracie were coming for a  visit.  They live with different human parents but would  be staying with us on the same days.  KC lives just across the street from us and we see her often. She plays with our dogs every time she comes for a visit, you might say she is the country girl and... 

KC...AKA, Country Girl

Gracie, who the lives near Indianapolis is the city girl! This would be her first trip back to the farm where she was born.  She is coming with her brother "Bob" who is a son of Clancy and Molly. 

Gracie...AKA, City Girl

It will be lots of fun and they will get to spend time  with their mother Annie and their dad, Doc. 

Annie & Pups

When both of the pups got here, it was like a reunion, two sisters and Mom.  Everyone ran and danced and skipped around!  Annie would roll them over and clean them, spinning them around and around.  Off they went just like the old days of chasing and barking at each other as they tumbled to the ground wrestling.
  Both girls learned to swim. KC had been in the water before, but Gracie took right to it like a duck on a June bug.
Gracie had not run with the big dogs before like KC had, but in just a day she took to running with the pack, not letting her sister have anything over on her.  They got to explore mysterious things like a drain pipe, a jolly ball and played in lots and lots of water.
It was a wonderful time and everyone was on their best behavior.  But as you know, all good things must come to an end and it was time for everyone to go home.  It's always sad to see them leave, but I take comfort knowing that they had a great day, playing with each other and hopefully will see each other again very soon.

Gracie saying goodbye to her mom...

and KC watching them leave

It's always so nice to see them all again and welcome them back "home", even if it's only for a short time. Come back soon girls...Dad 

Wishes Do Come True...

Near the end of March of this year, one of our favorite dogs, Peyton, came to visit for nearly two weeks while her owners went on vacation with their kids in Florida.  When the reservation was made, the owner said she may want to breed Peyton once again before she was spayed, but we would talk about it at another time. 
A little background to this, two years ago, I was contacted by an owner of a Border Collie that wanted to breed their dog with Clancy that lived some distance from us.  After many discussions and getting health and ABCA records, everything was set.  Peyton was brought to our house and “lived” with us for nearly two weeks.  We fell in love with Peyton and cherished her visit.  She was a wonderful dog and fit right into our pack.  When Peyton went home, she was carrying a little of the farm home with her.  Sixty three days later, Peyton delivered a litter of beautiful pups that also belonged to our Clancy.  We were so proud and so was the owner of Peyton.  Everything went well for the pups and they were loved and hand raised by the owner and her children.  The hardest part was turning them loose to good homes as I know so well.  Many times the owner stated that she would love to keep them all, this too I know so well…
As fate would have it, when Peyton came to visit during the family vacation this spring Peyton was in season.  I asked the owner, “What do you want me to do, keep her penned”?  I was told just to let nature take its course…Well as most of you know; nature will always take its course here at the “fertility farm”, especially with Clancy.  As things often occur, Peyton went home again with a little bit of the farm with her and the owner was thrilled to have puppies again.  She stated it would be wonderful to keep one, but they just didn’t know if it would “work out” but she always wanted another Border Collie which I can understand. 
The first of June, Peyton gave birth to a beautiful litter, Peyton was doing well and so were the pups or so we thought…The second week, the owner noticed something just wasn't right with one of the pups. One of the  little girls was smaller and had a hard time holding her head up.  She said it appeared that she was about a week behind the others, but she was a fighter…

A series of emails between us…

Their eyes started opening yesterday. I am worried about a girl pup born last #7...she is behind the others with her head control...Her eyes are opening...She seems off.  I am wondering if she didn’t get oxygen.  I am also worried if she isn't getting enough milk?  A vet visit may be in order...I just noticed the last couple of days...the vet came by last weekend and thought they looked great.  I am worried… My little girl pup is still struggling but she is a fighter and a lover.
The vet didn't or wasn't able to confirm ANYTHING.  He said her ear canals look ok...Her eyes appear to respond to light??  But yet he witnessed her unable to locate food or respond to calls or claps...or something dropping in front of her...Never looked that way or followed it.  He thinks she might have cerebral palsy??  He said he is going to do some research and get back with me .

As long as “Saige” was with the other pups, she was fine and did great.  Clancy and I went up to see Peyton and the pups the last week of July.  Saige was a beautiful little girl and the owner had mentioned that there were other things that were just not “right”.  Her head was smaller, her tail was shorter and it was not on center, just a little to the side, something I had never seen before.  Saige played with Clancy, jumping on his back and pulling "his" tail and Clancy just let her.  I wondered if he sensed something was wrong? 
 All of the pups were gone except “Tex” and Saige.  Tex was scheduled to go to his new home and Saige was going to be on her own.  A Vet trip was scheduled and tough decisions needed to be made, a real tough decision…

Well I made the tough decision to sell Tex to a family that lost their dog.  It was tough, many tears but sometimes the hardest decisions are the right ones. So we are left with Saige.  I still would like a home for her, but will be looking out for her best interests.  It has been a tough day at our house.  I admire your ability to do this...I am pathetic...Here I am handing off a pup and crying like a baby!!  She started crying too, I knew she was the one!  But I told myself, I’ve got a bad feeling…

The Vet trip several days later…

I took Saige to the vet and we did the "Whistle" test...Blowing a whistle while she was sleeping and she didn't budge...She is deaf... 

News I didn't want to hear, who would want a “special” pup?  One with a short tail that’s off to the side and deaf.  This is the hard part about having pups and being responsible and your heart breaks.  How can you find someone who has no connection to her and possibly love her like we do?  At one time, the Vet talked of putting her to sleep something we did not want to do but if it was inevitable,  I would go and get her and bury her here with my little ones, where she would always have a home.

The last email from the owner…

We are keeping her!!   I made the executive decision...From this day forward we have no more puppies available!!  Peyton loves her and we do too...she slept with me last night!!

I wept with Joy…It did work out…but only because someone made the hard decision to make a special little girl the center of their life and do the right thing...Thank you Patricia...from all of us...Give her a hug from all the Border Collie lovers everywhere...Saige now has her forever home and Patricia now has her second dog which she always wanted...
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Guess Who

“Dutchess…DUTCHESS…  Don't do that!” as she cocks her head from one side to the other.  Then it appears she wants to argue with me and barks, not once, but twice and then turns her head to the other side. Standing in front of  my recliner she wants me to get up out of my comfortable seat and get “her” ball from the ball drawer.

Dutchess is like a 3 year old human in a Border Collie body…I really do believe this.  Last night, it was her turn to come in for the night.  She, along with Abbie, Annie,  Meg and of course Clancy, were all getting ready to come into the house and bunk down for a night of sleep.  The only thing bad about that is you feel guilty leaving the other three dogs outside in their cozy kennel.  It’s tough to stay in the kennel because I'm sure their music is too loud or it’s on the wrong station. The ceiling fan is on too high  and is causing a draft, or the new Memory Foam dog mats are not as hard as the old ones. 
Their new Memory Foam Mats
However, 5 dogs inside is enough for any house and especially if Dutchess is one of the five!  Even by herself, she can be a handful because she is so smart AND mischievous.  At times I feel she should have been named “Denise the Menace” and my name should be Mr. Wilson.
She is so comical and has more facial expressions than any dog I have ever seen and she certainly knows how to use them to her advantage. 

It’s so odd that she and Molly are half sisters born only 2 weeks apart on a farm in Kentucky.  Molly is refined and elegant, not causing any trouble and will always do everything I ask. Dutchess is boisterous, unruly, disruptive and many other things that I don't have room to list. She ALSO has a heart of gold and will always flop over on her back  in my lap wanting me to rub her belly.

Dutchess can be a sweetheart. Once she did something that almost cut her life a little short.  She loves to run along beside  the 4-wheeler when I am out riding on  it.  All of the dogs do, but she is a fanatic about it.  I can just walk anywhere near it and go “vroom” and she is in a fever, dancing, turning circles and barking.  Well, on this particular day, I was on the 4-wheeler pulling a wagon full of mulch.  I was  making a  lot of stops and was getting  back on after one of those stops. Throwing one leg over the seat and “Bam” an excruciating pain shot through my ankle that took me to the ground.  I turned thinking I had been shot and Dutchess was dancing in circles wanting me to take off on the 4-wheeler and got a little too excited…..  "G%^#&*#   D@m F^#%!$  Dutchess you Bi$#@@"  I said, (translated; Good Girl Dutchess but you have hurt daddy)  She was as happy as she could be, just a little excited and her herding instinct kicked in and she wanted to move me along a little faster by nipping me.  She is so lucky that she did not go to the Rainbow Bridge that very day.  So now, when I ride the 4-wheeler, I always watch for her and watch my backside too.   Maybe it was her way of getting back at me for going “vroom” so many times and teasing her…
Dutchess...You're going to fall in..."I can get it....I can get it...Almost"...
Dutchess can do anything she puts her mind to. She will think about it and usually figures out what she has to do to get what she wants and therein lies the problem.  She is a thinker and at times will out think me....Mr Wilson....are you home?  Yes, Denise the Menace, I'm home...Make yourself at home...."Always"...

To The Ones Who Can't Speak

Several times a month, I will get a calls or email from someone wanting help finding their dog a home.  There are many reasons to do this and I'll never pass judgment because I too, have had to do the same thing myself, but I will also tell you, I have regretted it most every day, but it was still the right decision at the time.  Most people don't know that we help people that can't keep their Border Collie but it’s something we can do because of the coverage from our website and Facebook page.
There are many reasons that people give up a dog, some are justified and some are not, but the reason is something I really don't care about, because I want to find the dog a good home before it goes to a shelter or in the some cases the worst case scenario, but enough of the bad stuff.
Early this week, I got a message about a dog and the owner really needed to find the dog a good home because of circumstances that were beyond their control.  I made a few phone calls and then posted it on our Facebook page and in just few days, someone who I didn't know contacted me about a dog from another state and on Thursday, a problem was solved and a person got the dog of their dreams, but most importantly, a dog was saved from a shelter. 

As I think back, this has occurred many times and at this point, we have been 100% successful in finding great dogs to homes to people willing to take on a great dog.  Now don't get me wrong, sometimes matches can be bad and we need to try again, never giving up but all in all, it goes very well when dogs are saved from shelters and sometimes a little work may be needed to make that happen but in the long run, it is so rewarding.  As I sit here, I can think of MANY dogs that I know have been rescued, In fact I don't know of many people who have not.  Why, even four of my dogs were given to me because they needed a “good home” and I can't think of life without them.

I do try to educate people about the ills of owning a BC and at times attempt and direct them to get an older dog or search for an adult BC that will fit their specific needs.  Sometimes Border Collies and rescued Border Collies especially get a bad rap, but it’s usually misplaced blame and the blame should go to the previous owner for not researching the breed or doing what it takes to keep peace in the house and to make their Border Collie a happy Border Collie. 

Ninety Nine percent of the times, it’s the humans who screw it up and it should be 100% of the time that we fix it.  As a breeder and lover of the breed, it is my responsibility to do something, get involved and make a difference.  If I truly am a person who is a responsible, it’s not just about my dogs, it’s about all dogs.  I know a breeder in Kentucky that was acquaintances with a person who worked in a shelter in their town.  The shelter was full and knowing the fate of a beautiful Border Collie, she paid and obtained the dog and took it home and in time re-homed the dog, in effect, saving it’s life.  Friends of ours that live in Bedford Kentucky have three of our dogs, but they assist the local shelter when the shelter is overcrowded and will temporarily house dogs and friends of ours lets their kids volunteer at the local shelter and in-turn learning responsibilities.

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can't save all these starfish. You can't begin to make a difference!” 
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,  “Well, I made a difference to that one!”
The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.

Working with the dogs is not always someone’s cup of tea, however you can volunteer or take supplies or even donate to a fund that you trust, they can always use our help, remember the shelter depends on us as do the dogs.

I will tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than to know “You” saved a dog from certain death and made someone the happiest person in the world because they now, have the perfect dog….Ken

If you have men who will exclude any of
God's creatures from the shelter of
Compassion and pity, you will have men
who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
St. Francis of Assisi