The Misfit Dog

I remember it so well, “We will never keep another dog” and it was because had so many at the time…three.  “We can't keep her, and that’s final” Remember men, if you say this, I promise you, you will eat these words…and I did...

When our little Abby was sold, she was sold to a family that had three kids and  they were not in control, and now they were taking on a puppy.  It took 4 hours to pick a dog out and as they drove down the driveway, I turned to Elaine and “I just have a bad feeling about this” and walked inside.  About 6 months later we got that call.  “Can we bring Abby back, she is so destructive, she bites the kids tore up our couch, ate the side of our cabinets and is doing everything wrong”  I thought is this one of ours and said sure, it’s our policy, we always take one back.  Abby was the first to come home. 
Elaine and I was very apprehensive about her coming back and if she is this bad and I really don't know where to start.  Abby was dropped off in a hurry and now she is back home.  We both watched her for the bad behavior and was nearly wearing protective clothing.

We watched and watched and watched and “nothing”, she came up to me and wanted some loving and we went into the house where we were ready for her to tear the side out of the cabinet.  She jumped up on the couch and went to sleep, just like she belonged here…

We worked with her for about 2 weeks, not really knowing what to do because she has done nothing wrong.  No barking, chewing, anger or any destructive behavior.  She was perfect.  Once we determined she was fine, I posted on the web, “Free to good home, loving Border Collie”.  We never re-sale one of our dogs because we just want them to have a good home.  Right off the bat, we got the call for her.  Everything was perfect and she went home.  It was the perfect couple and 6 months later I got the call.  Some devastating events had happened and she couldn't stay.  They loved Abby very much and when she was dropped off, it was a very tearful moment for all of us.   Abby looked at me and the first thing on order was a bath and after that she jumped on the couch and went to sleep.  Abby was home again…
“Can we keep her”?  Elaine said “We will never keep another dog”  “We can't keep her and that’s final” I said!  Abby came to my lap as I was sitting on the couch and I didn't want to go back on my word and anyway, it was bedtime and Abby came too.  She snuggled right by my side all night just wanting to be loved.
When I got up the next morning, “I said we will never have more than 4 dogs” Abbie was home, she belonged here and she was here to stay.  Elaine gave me "that" look and smiled knowing I had changed my mind.
Abby & Meggie on a road trip
Abby was now part of our family and an asset to the farm and she even  became the official “House Dog”.  Yes these words are not the first ones I have eaten and probability won’t be the last.
Abby always reminds me that it’s not the place where the dog is raised, it’s the people and support family that makes them who they are and how they will turn out.
I can't imagine not having Abby and she is the most active dog we have and most loving too.  She give you everything that's in her mind and body.  Even after she has hurt her rear paw from running she will then run on three legs and even keep up with the pack.  If only I had that spirit and drive.   One thing nice about is that she is a Shuck Border Collie, bred and born here from Clancy and Molly.  I feel lucky and privileged to have her and if you want to know, we now have 8 border collies....


Once a Dog Parent... Part 2

In July, I wrote about being a dog parent and the trials and troubles you may go through.  

Once a Dog Parent  July 2013

For several days life was touchy and things did not look so good.  Both made multiple trips to the Vet and to a Vet Emergency facility.  
Two of my dogs were in real trouble, I was devastated and because both of them were special pups and adult dogs, it hit me pretty hard, all within several hours and it was such a letdown after a great weekend.  As they left, I knew both dogs were a little under the weather, but we attributed it to all the running and playing.  Little did we know in just a few hours both of them which were many states apart would be in trouble, and both for several days. 

 You see, it might be your dog, but it will always be my pup.   I sat on pins and needles waiting for the test results and even gave my advice on what test should be run and told them “make sure to take their temperature and watch for infection”!  I just wanted the best for them but I also knew they were in good hands, and they were. 

Today is a follow up and how things can change in 3 months.  We had a semi reunion here with two families and as fate would have it, it was with the same two dogs that were injured on the same day in June here on the farm from playing and running.  The owners have other dogs that are ours and we had a grand time because everyone was healed, and back to normal.  Now don’t think it was an overnight thing, Tucker had to wear a “Cone” for at least 3 months and Hope had to take it easy for some time too, but both are back to normal and today was their day to shine and they did.  Most of my dogs get hurt in one way or the other, just ask my Vet, they can attest to that, but just like your kids, you always worry even if it's a pup you have sold.

Today started like any other and even a little rain that started this morning didn't hurt a thing, but the sun soon came out and it was game on.

You will always wonder about your “kids”, as a breeder you hate to hear bad news, but the good news is always refreshing and makes you know that things are right, and today, everything was right.  Here are a few photos of today's activities.
Nearly 20 dogs


Both Hope and Tucker are good as new, but you will always worry about all of them.  I love to hear how all my little pups are doing.  Some I hear from often and some I have never heard from since they walked out our door, something that I truly miss, but I always think of every last of one.
 If you are an owner, I understand you may be busy, but remember, you have a piece of my heart with you in your dog.  As I have always said, "it may be your dog, but it will always be my pup"  Ken

The song I sung to them every night before I tuck them in...

If I had words to make a day for you
I'd sing you a song golden and true
I would make this day last for all time
Give you a night in deep moonshine

Theme from "Babe"


Just an Update

Things are going great this week, Clancy has not licked his stitches at all and he is doing well and ready to play, they will come out very soon and hopefully he'll be good as new.  We have had to keep him in the house a little more, but he is getting a lot of attention if that is possible.  I am still sad that his line will be gone and I even looked into freezing some of his sperm to keep it going, but it was cost prohibited it and it was nearly 200 miles away for each trip.  There will never be another, but I guess we can say that about any of our dogs, they are all special.

There is lots of work to be done around here, we have installed a furnace for the kennel that will keep up and will keep the temperature the same because of a thermostat, new dog doors and ceiling insulation.  I will be glad of getting rid of the heat lamps and have a more controlled environment and it will be cheaper too.  Nothing too good for the dogs... 

There is work to be done on the calendars and getting ready for that, please remember, make up your mind if you want one so I’ll have enough to send out.  Remember, it will cost about $15.00 and that includes shipping.  There will be more on the particulars as time gets closer.  I hope to have that ready to mail out by December 1st.

Clancy and Dutchess are getting ready for their evaluation for Pet Partners and the therapy work that goes along with it.  As you know, Dutchess can change from a clown one minute to a Frisbee maniac in just a moment so I don’t know who will show up.  It is very strict and there is no room for mistakes, wish me the best, and the elevation will be the first week of November.  It is something all of us should look into because of the satisfaction that goes along with it for both of us.  We are going to a practice session tomorrow.

As far as me getting better, things are fine, better every day and making progress.  I was so lucky that I have had no problems except an inner ear problem and hopefully that will go away soon, if not, it’s something I can deal with and get used to.
We have a busy year this year and hopefully a bust one next year, it gives me purpose and I enjoy doing things around the house.  The rescue work as done fantastic and from my website and Facebook, we have placed 100% of the dogs that were featured by me.  Hopefully, that will keep up and make lots of dogs and people happy.
We are getting lots of calls on dogs and puppies, some with problems and some looking for a home.  Remember, if you have any problem, concern or just want to tell a story, please let me know and if I don’t know the answer, I will find out.  Always feel free to ask for help or let me know if you have a question.

Elaine is at the Covered Bridge Festival with her best girl friend and I am home with the dogs.  Tonight we’ll watch what we want on TV, eat what we want and when we want.

Stay safe and give your dog a hug…I’ll have 8 dogs in the bed tonight. Ken

The Torch Passes...

 “He” had been having some “man” problems and I knew his age was creeping up and it was something that Elaine and I had discussed several times but I always lost, but this time it was different, Elaine knew it could affect his health and we wanted him to live for as long as he could.  This past Wednesday, Clancy was neutered…
This has affected me in many ways, one, time flies and it seems like it was only last week we brought home a little 7 week old puppy named Clancy and second, he has brought many offspring’s to people all over the USA, from California to Florida and everywhere in-between there is a little Clancy’s running and fetching that he can be proud of and me too of course and of course it will never happen.  "When we do expect pups" they ask and generally ask people to come for a visit and check out the dogs and to meet the parents, even before the pups are born.  Every time someone comes over, Clancy will get on the couch with them and like clockwork fall asleep in their lap or on their shoulder they always ask if take can take Clancy home and I always explain “he is home”…
Tuesday night was business as usually, he slept inside with us, making the family whole…you see, he is always with us and this night was no different, but Wednesday morning, we headed off to Louisville to see my good friend and my old boss at the animal hospital where I worked before for this surgery.  It’s a fairly simple operation and I've been through 100’s of them when I worked there but this time was a little different because it was my Clancy.  I had made arrangements with the office to take him right in with no waiting and when we arrived, we only had about 10 minutes until the surgery, so took him to the inside kennel and shut the gate until it was time and as I walked away, he unlatched the door with his nose as he usually does and walked out.  I walked back and put the latch on and walked away again and when  I turned and looked again, low and behold, Clancy was standing on his back feet with his front feet against the gate, something I have never seen, except this day, you see Clancy is not a jumper, he is a climber and he was up, wanting to be with me.  In just a few minutes, we were ready and I went and got him and as he went to asleep, I held his head as I do with all of them until he was under.  The surgery was a piece of cake and I “assisted again”, just like the old days and he came out of it with flying colors as I knew he would.  I tucked him back in the kennel and covered him up and I went to lunch.  My son came over for the surgery and to wish Clancy the best of luck and after lunch, we went back to the animal hospital and Clancy was standing up on his feet and ready to go home, he had had enough of this place and wanted his domain back, something that will soon pass to Doc and he will willingly give up because of the surgery.  If there is anything that I hate about this is Clancy was “Clancy” and there will be only be one.  He was proud and strong and ruled with wit and determination.  You see in the animal world, it is different and Clancy will change and the younger will step up and take their place and Doc will, in time.  Clancy was the first male dog I have ever had and if I only knew, I would only have males.  I love my girls, but on old farmer once told me that “Girl dogs love you, but male dogs are IN love with you” and this is true.  Clancy was always my companion, lover and worker.
 I am an advocate of having your dogs spayed or neutered unless you breed because of unwanted pups and health problems down the road.  All dogs should be “fixed” before they go into their first heat cycle or 6 months for a male.

Hopefully Clancy will be with us for many more years, but the sad part…there will never be another “Clancy” pup.  If you have one, consider yourself lucky and if they turn out anything like Clancy, consider yourself privileged, I know I am, because I do have one, Abbie is from Clancy and Molly because she was rehomed to us.
Life will not change around the farm and things will go on as usual, but as the clock winds down, so will Clancy.  
He will always be proud but this door has shut and a new door is getting ready to open because Clancy is getting trained to be a therapy dog along with Dutchess and they will work together making people and kids happy in way I would have never of thought of and I’m sure he will crawl in their lap and go to sleep and dream happily ever after…

Thank you Clancy from all of us… Ken

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