A Border Collie Christmas...

This poem goes straight to my heart, I read it last year and loved it but when I read it, I had a feeling of indifference until I revisited it several times and thought about it.  I soon loved it because it was seen though an obedient, loving Border Collie who told the story of his  shepherd “lads” who made the trip to the manger at the first Christmas.

After the very bright light,
And the talking bird,
And the singing,
And the sky filled up wi' wings,
And then the silence,

Our lads sez
We'd better go, then.
Stay, Shep. Good dog, stay.
So I stayed wi' t' sheep.

After they'd cum back
It sounded grand, what they'd seen.
Camels and kings, and such,
Wi' presents - human sort,
Not the kind you eat -
And a baby. Presents wes for him
Our lads took him a lamb.

I had to stay behind wi' t' sheep.
Pity they didn't tek me along too.
I'm good wi' lambs,
And the baby might have liked a dog
After all that myrrh and such.     by U.A. Fanthorpe

The language is so modest-almost simple. “ the singing/ And the sky filled up wi’ wings.” But then you gently catch on to what is going on, it’s the birth of the Christ child and the shepherds are going to see what is going on and the dog is talking about the Angels. 
They leave the Border Collie behind to tend after the sheep because that’s his job and can be trusted. And there’s a hint of sadness in the line,

Our lads sez
We'd better go, then.
Stay, Shep. Good dog, stay.
So I stayed wi' t' sheep.  

“And after the’d cum back/ it sounded grand, what they’ve seen”

And then the presents the shepherds took, ”Our lads took him a lamb”

But the dog has responsibilities. He has to miss the greatest event the world has known because he has sheep to look after- and that’s what sheepdogs must do.

The last few lines are precious,

“Pity they didn’t tek me along too.
I’m good wi lambs”  

I think the Collie regretted he couldn’t go, I know mine would.

The Border Collie understands somewhat why he couldn't go, even as mine do when I can't take them.   They may not agree, but they understand and know it’s their duty of what is expected.  Dutchess will fight me to get her way but in the end, she knows it’s her duty and will bow her head and comply.

As I said last year,  "the Christmas Season is upon us, it’s really about second chances, something we all need.  It is a gift that we don’t deserve but was given because of love many years ago, it’s only fitting that we give others a second chance too, whether it’s for people or pets."

“Some stories are told with Claymation, puppets, and cheesy musical numbers but don’t miss their deep and abiding meaning! These stories have lasted for decades, if not centuries, because their message connects with us on a deeply human level by inviting simple truths into our souls, truths like “beauty comes from brokenness,” “joy isn't about what we own, but who we are,” and “even the worst of us deserve a second chance.”

Christmas is a gift from God.

It is a gentle reminder of the plot to this whole story called Life: that we once were lost and are now found, once broken and now restored. The Gospel of the Second Chance brought by the helpless baby-king born in a barn is a gift for all of us”…  Mike Foster

Merry Christmas from us here at the farm...  Ken...

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A Christmas Story?

As we continue our Christmas theme, I have had another gift from the 10 Magi’s and would you believe, they are Border Collies and live right here at the farm.  While this is not a Christmas story of sorts, I did get a very special gift and a few similar occurrences of the real thing, sorta.

As I have mentioned on the blog, I am in the process of clearing some additional trails through the woods for hiking.  I like to take walks with the dogs and while I take the paths, the dogs will gallop through the woods checking out everything that smells and moves.  If you are a dog owner, you can relate to this but just imagine ten dogs doing this and the things they get into.

Because of the mild weather, it has been great to get outside this December and do some fun yard work along with making plans and getting some equipment out when it’s usually too cold to do anything.   It also gets me off of the couch and makes me productive and even better for my mood.

While I was running the chipper this week, I noticed the dogs running and playing and stopping at one particular place and sniffing.  At one time I saw Annie roll on her back, and I would only assume she was scratching a flea because of the mild weather.  You can’t be too careful you know! 

Once back at the house, the truth was revealed, I noticed one of our old favorite treats, they have found a pile of Poo…  The first word I said to Annie, “NO, you’re not coming in.” and I closed the sliding door while she just sat and stared at us, not understanding at all but I did.  It was late in the evening and most of the dogs got to come in but Annie needed to stay outside which also resulted in a night in the Kennel for her.  As I settled down for the evening, I also found that some of the other dogs had made a visit to the honey pot and also carried the “gift” which also resulted in a trip to the Kennel.  After all the hubbub with the dogs, bath time and bedtime soon followed.

Getting ready to crawl into bed, I went to Dahlia for her good night hug and in my surprise, she too had brought me a gift along with most of all the dogs.  “Well enough” I said, after a brushing, I still hugged them and off to bed we all went.  Clancy, Abbie and Meg stayed with me and as I pulled the covers up, Clancy, as usual jumped on the bed and put his nose on the pillow.  

As I put my hand on his head to rub him, I got another surprise.  He too had made a “visit” and brought me a “gift”.   Et tu, Clancy?  Never have I known him to do this, it must be something in the season…  Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were given as a gift on that Christmas night and they were rare, precious and expensive but not typical gifts for a baby.  Just a few days before our Christmas night, Ten Border Collies Magi’s brought me “their” special gifts and while it’s not that important to me, it’s everything to them.

Merry Christmas and remember that our dogs will give us everything and anything, if only we could be like them, we all would be happier... give your dog a hug, they will give you their life...  

“A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not. As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes. Sometimes it took a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see.”
― John Grogan

Merry Christmas,  Ken and the Gang...

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Pizza Night and more...

Friday night is always pizza night at the Shuck household, and we will bake a pizza pie every week and add all the toppings we love, making it one of the best pizzas in the world.  After taking it out and letting it cool, all the dogs will stand around the counter and just look at it and then look at me, then back at the pie.  Something that will not end as most of you know if you have a Border Collie.

When I was just eight years old; nearly every Sunday afternoon, my parents would take my sister and me to see Aunt Minnie after Sunday dinner.  She and Uncle George lived about 50 miles away, and something we did nearly every weekend to see my Mother’s favorite sister.  We would pile into the 1961 Chevy Bel-Air and hear off for the long journey to Lebanon Junction, Kentucky, which to us kids was near across the country. Me standing on the car's floorboard looking out the front windshield while Mom held me and my sister Diane coloring in the back was the norm. 

After slicing the pizza Friday night, it’s time to make the trip to the family room for dinner to watch TV, but not after getting my pizza slices first and me secretly taking the largest pieces.  Going down the stairs is a challenge to say the least, because all of the dogs are heading with us wanting their piece, sometimes getting underfoot.

During to trip to Lebanon Junction, Dad would always stop at a small town that had a small store.  It had wonderful things to look at and things to eat for people making a journey.  It was customary to take a bathroom break for us kids, and we always got a snack for the rest of the “road trip” if we had been good so far.  Both my Dad and Uncle George worked for the railroad, and Lebanon Junction was a small railroad community making the sights worthwhile to me.

Settling down into my recliner, I placed the plate of pizza on my lap but now have a ring of dogs watching me, and every hand movement is followed by their eyes, especially when I go to the plate.   I always tell the dogs the same thing, “I don’t eat your food, so don’t expect to eat my food.” but I know they know better as they continue to watch every movement I make, hoping I would drop something.

I can still smell that very store on the way to Aunt Minnie’s house on that little two-lane road and see the images of it in my mind, but what I remember the most are the soft-drink machine sitting on the floor.  Dad would always give us a dime, and we would feed the machine sliding our treat through a few channels pulling our drink up through the gate that released it after paying for it, and I do remember Dad helping me because I was too little.

After watching me nearly finish my pizza, the dogs can’t stand it.  “It’s mine,” I said, but I still had a piece of crust left, and I think they knew what was coming because they would look at me and at the crust and then back at me.  I know it’s also wrong to feed them human food, and I know I’m making the problem worse, and the drama continues.

Sitting in the back seat of the 61 Bel-Air, Diane and I had our most coveted treasure.  We had an ice-cold, super sweet, and delicious bottle of Choc-ola.  We ran to the car before Mom and Dad, bopping with joy.  Each of us putting our thumb over the opening of the bottle to shake it because of its settled chocolate, drinking it in nearly a few swallows, and then it was over… or was it?

After my pizza was gone, and my soft drink was finished, the looks from the dogs never stopped because there was one piece of crust still on the plate, so they knew there was a chance.

After finishing our CHOC-OLA, we saved our bottles to get our 2 cent bottle deposit back.  Mom and Dad got a single ice cream cone; Mom liked Vanilla and Dad loved Maple-nut.  Without fail, Dad would eat most of the cone except the very bottom and pass it back to me.  The best part of any ice cream cone is the last bite, and he gave it to me.   I never realized until later in life how much he loved me and to think a soggy cone bottom and pizza would flood me with memories like it did on Friday night.

As usual, I took the last piece of pizza crust, broke it into small pieces, and gave each dog a share, just like someone once shared with me.  I now know how much he loved me, and I know how much I love the dogs because the last bite is the best...  Ken

A Little Early…

With the first of December coming this week, Christmas has arrived a little early this season at the farm.   Usually this early everyone just thinks about what they are going to get for a loved one but I have receive a taste of a few of my “gifts” and I will tell you… much thought has gone into selecting them.  Like everyone, there is a lot of planning that goes into picking a gift, not just any gift but one that has much meaning and something that is dear to the heart of the giver and this week, I was “gifted” to say the least.

For starters, I have been given a very early gift for spring which was hard to prepare and took a lot of time.  A few of the dogs have esthetically cultivated the yard, and nearly everything around the farm.  They seem to have worked tirelessly and without any complaints and I’m sure they highly enjoyed it because it shows.  

We have holes, grottos and thrown dirt everywhere.  When they ran up to me to show me, they were so excited and proud of their accomplishments that they jumped on me also giving me another coveted gift of dirty clothes.   But wait, it doesn’t stop there.  Before I could get them all scrubbed off, they ran to the house door and in Dutchess’s eagerness to share, she opened the sliding door by pawing at it, and gave another gift to the top of the bed, their paw prints, until we changed the bed which was very soon..  They were so happy and proud and the excitement in their eyes was wonderful…  Even though the cultivating gift was early it was much appreciated by them, I had a little different thought on this… and so did Elaine and because it rained the night before making it even more wonderful.

The second gift was a stick, many sticks.  It was long and natural, something they labored over just to pick the right ones.  Target and Heidi, knowing they won’t be here for Christmas, decided to give me there sticks this week too.   I will tell you, the sticks are pretty and when we took walks, they would go out into the woods and get the longest one and drag it to me with tails wagging and hearts beating.  Unknown to them, this is now part of the kindling for the house fireplaces.  Thank you girls.

Heidi, Target, and Abbie
Target and Abbie
The third gift was the best.  It goes along with the gift of garden cultivating but with a surprise, one of the most coveted treats of practically every dog.  It’s the gift of a varmint, not one I tell you, but three, just this morning I found one at the back door.  Just think, three moles in one week from different locations of course.  The ground Gods were with them during the digging, all that burrowing for a boat-load of varmints and it doesn’t get any better.  Sadly when I tried to display them in a prominent place in the house, I was sadly overridden, and their final destination of importance was the top of a fence post for all to see.  This way, it’s eye level for optimal viewing and they can’t change their mind for a later play toy.  This is nearly as good as when one of our dogs brought a hind leg of a deer to the porch for all to see and play with and who knows where that came from.

It seems like every dog has had a pre-gift gift to give this week, maybe they have the “30” days of Christmas spirit on their calendar and this is just the beginning.  But whatever it is, I do like it, some gifts more than others, but it’s what is in heart that counts…

Just like Frank Costanza on Seinfeld who created Festivus which is "A Festivus for the rest of us!" it appears the dogs created a “Festivus” just for us at the farm.   I can’t wait to see what’s next, it may be a long December…  Ken

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A Journey I Didn’t Want…

 We all take journeys that we don’t want to make.  It may be a visit to a distant relative’s home, a wedding, or even a dentist, but it's necessary and something we need to do.  At times, it may also be a mental journey, such as waiting for an announcement, job, or results from the Doctor.  Some mental journeys can overwhelm us with pain or worry until we know the outcome.

This past Tuesday, I made that journey along with a trip to Louisville with Abbie.  The road trip only lasted for part of the day; the mental journey will last my lifetime.  In the back of my mind, I knew this day would come, something I have even talked to Elaine about in the past but was surprised of the situation and dog…

Abbie has inoperable cancer and is dying of lymphoma.  Everything was confirmed at the Oncologist’s office in Louisville from a complete exam along with many tests, and it can affect any dog at any age.  Since my “hunch” something is “just not right,” my life has been and is upside down at the very least.  As I knew this day would come, I always expected that their demise would be from old age or injury.  I would never have expected a dog in her prime, full of health and energy fall to such a devastating disease, but I soon found out I was wrong, so very very wrong…

Very few people really know Abbie like I do.  She is a pup from Molly and Clancy, who was returned to us twice.  The last time she came “home,” we loved her so much we kept her.  She melted our hearts and will lick your eyebrows right off your face.  She is my dog and my protector and will growl at anything but what no-one ever sees is the sweetness in her ways.  She will stand in front of me and reach up for me to pick her up and hold her, which I do while she hugs me with both paws and licks my face.  She always sleeps in my lap while we are watching TV, and when sleeping in bed, she will keep any harm from our warm and safe place.

 During the entire trip in the car to and from Louisville, she sat and watched me with her big black eyes and would paw at my arm as a signal for me to touch her, which I did.  Even at the Oncologist’s office, she jumped in my lap and peacefully slept as I stroked her face.  In my blog last week, I talked about my walk with Abbie in the early morning hours but what I left out was that I cried like a child most of the time.  She stayed by my side, wondering what was wrong, trying to fix me in her own way; little did she know, I was trying to fix her, but I can't.   I’ve cried with nearly everyone I have talked to about this, Doctors, family, friends and even a lady at Walmart that I have never met; she teared up too, touching my shoulder and saying, “God bless you.”  

Don’t get me wrong, I love all of them and would feel the same for any one of my dogs, but Abbie had a rough start and will have a very rough end.  She will be the only dog that I brought into this life here at the farm, and I will also bury her at the farm.  Abbie is my complete circle from beginning to end.   My job is to be with her and to make her as comfortable as she can be.  She may last six weeks or months; many factors will play into this.  But when “the” time comes, my “most” important thing for her is to help make her transition as peaceful and loving as I can.  Something I wrote last year will come true for both of us.

"If a dog could tell us 10 things”     Insights spoken from a dog…

#10 “Please go with me on “that” difficult journey.  Never say: “I can’t watch, it’s too painful.” Everything is easier for me when you are with me, even death, this is when I need you the most… and then I know you love me as much as I love you. Your face will be the last thing I will ever see.”

A friend told me when she helped her dog cross the bridge, she did this, “I put my nose to hers and felt her last breath on my face as she went off to the Rainbow Bridge"...  and I will too…

The night after our trip to Louisville, we settled down for bed; Abbie jumped up to her spot, curled around in a circle, placed her chin on my shoulder, and pawed me for attention.  As I stroked her body, I thought of how many more nights will I be able to do this… as we both fell asleep.

Please… Please… give your dog a hug tonight, tomorrow, and always, along with your love…

It’s not always roses here at the farm, sometimes it hurts very much.  I’ve always said this blog is “what happened this week”, and this was my week… The morning of the visit to Louisville, I ask God to take this burden from me, and if it wasn’t to be, I ask him to help me with the pain… He has a big job coming…  Ken

The Needs We Have…

As I sat in the family room Friday night, I looked around and observed all of the dogs sleeping on their own dog bed.  Everyone has their own spot but a few of them would get up and walk to another bed that seemed more comfortable at that time.  If someone jumps down from my lap to get a drink of water of go “potty”, another dog in in their spot in just a flash.

In December of 2012, I wrote about my heart dog which is Molly.  She was out “first” and has always has a special place in my heart.  I have now come to the realization that “all” of my dogs are my heart dog, just different.  If you have been blessed with children, you will understand this.  As your child is born and grows, you love them with all of your heart, no matter what.  They are everything to you and you would you give your life for them.  When, and if another child is born, you feel the same way and would also love them with everything you have but it may appear different.  At a distance, someone might believe you are loving one more than the other because of attention or help that you might give them.  But as a parent, each child has different needs and may need something totally opposite from your other child.  Does this mean you love one more than the other, of course not, it means that you have sharpened your parenting skills to fit each child as we should do with each dog.

As a dog parent, we may do the same thing.  As a multiple dog parent, I see this every day.  Some of my dogs are very needy, needing much time from me and to be able to touch me at will.  Some can be standoffish taking care of their own business.  Dutchess will run and jump on me or anyone, needing be the center of attention. 

 Molly even though she is Dutchess’s half-sister will very rarely come to me except for a pat on her head.   Many times during the evening, Molly will watch me from her dog bed and maybe get up, walk to the side of my chair and stand.  I try to coax her up on the couch, but after a head rub, she’s off back to her dog bed, satisfied.  Each dog is wanting and needing different things but you soon learn their needs, acting accordingly. 

Molly and Clancy
At times, I will take each dog for their own walk.  We might walk through the woods, play Frisbee, sit on the dock or may even talk.  It’s an experience that I will cherish forever and see a different dog than when they are with the pack.  I wish there were ten of me so I could give them “all” of me because they always give “all” of themselves.

Just Yesterday morning I couldn’t sleep and got out of bed.  I called Abbie and off we went walking through the woods at 4 am.  There was little or no moon but the wind was slightly blowing through the tree and it was dreamlike.  She led the way to her favorite spot at the 2nd lake, mostly because of it’s one of her play areas.  This time, she walked onto the dock and waited for me.  I sat down on a step, Addie curled up into my lap and licked my face.

We sat there and listened to the wind but what make it even more enchanting, the wind was moving through the wind chimes on the dock serenading us.  As we sat holding each other, I dreamed of younger times and of uncomplicated days, not tiring or growing weary.   I raced through a lifetime of wonderful memories but tonight my thoughts were of Abbie.  To her, we may have been dreaming for a short time but to me, it was a lifetime… and I assure you, I will never forget that moment.  As a dog parent, we look to fill their needs, but this time Abbie sensed what I needed, and filled my needs… more than she’ll ever know…  Ken
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A little help and comfort…

With all the things that have been going in the world, it’s hard to keep a calm and healthy mind and not dwell on the things going on all over the world. 

As we all know, this past Friday, Paris, France was attacked by terrorist and the bad part is this was not the first and I don’t think it will be the last time we see a horrifying event unfold right in front of us though the media.  There are no words or any way that we can know how someone feels or understands and I wouldn’t even try. 

After I watched the events of the attack on TV, I prepared for bed.  My night was very restless and it was hard to sleep because in my mind, it played over and over.  During the night, I remember turning over to the other side of the bed and for just a second I felt lost but I reached out unconsciously feeling one of my dogs that always sleeps near the pillow.  She acknowledged me by licking my hand and letting me know she was there and everything was OK and even moved closer.  It did comfort me and for some reason, I felt safe…

Many times in my life, I have depended on my dogs to guide me and at times they make me feel that things are OK.  Numerous times they have put me in a good mood, making me laugh or helping me see things differently just by the quirky things they do and my life is better. 

If you own a Border Collie, they have a unusual way to lead and teach us about things we never thought about.  A story I found years ago has always made me think they were special, and they are…

“Shepherds in the old days would often stay with the flock through the twilight prime-time hunting period of the local predators and it was usually dark when they called it a day.

With the flock bedded down and watched over by a sheep guard, the shepherds stumbled back to their campsite, which changed location every few days as the sheep denuded the area and had to be moved.

After a hard day’s work, the herding dogs were also ready for a rest-having better night vision than the shepherd, and a much better sense of smell, they had no trouble at all in finding their way to the camp. All the shepherd had to do was follow along. The problem, of course, was seeing the dog.

Border Collies carry their tail low and use it for balance when they are working. However, when they are not concentrating on work, and are happy and contented, like after a day’s work it is not unusual to see them with a “gay” tail, the tail carried higher than back level, almost like a flag.

If the tip of the tail is white, held high, and is flapping around, it is easy to see in the open areas where sheep are usually pastured, even at night; the white tip picks up the ambient light and the bobbling “lantern” leads the shepherd to his bed.”

When things look troubled and you feel restless, look to the experts.  I have found so much solace in those soulful eyes, pure heart and loving face.

We don’t always need advice.  Sometimes, all we need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart that understands. Sometimes, all we need is a dog.

Never forget that they will always be there and never question your moods or motives and will accept you for what or who you are and in the past year, I have depended a little more on them for comfort.  We are their world and I have noticed that they have become mine...   Ken

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A New House...

There is always a project going on here at the farm.  The bad thing, everything else suffers because my mind compels me to finish it, leaving other things undone and this Saturday I finished it...

Doc has been on Holiday for a few months and he is scheduled to arrive back home soon.  e loves the outdoors He logesHe loves the outdoors  mkkkk,lllxs

Doc Holliday
He loves the outdoors and will stay outside, even at night.  Since we have had him he never liked to be pinned up without his freedom.  This has been a problem at times because when he needed to be kenneled, he would bark excessively the entire time and that was a long night for both of us.  

For the last few winter seasons, we had an Igloo house for him to sleep in and I even installed a dog door into the garage where he could get into a heated room but he still preferred the back porch.  In preparation for his arrival, the dogs and I have decided to build him a NEW dog house that will sit on the covered back porch near the back door.  Much thought has gone into this new project and at one time I thought about purchasing one but I thought "we" could do a better job, with Dutchess's help.
Dutchess has been using the plainer...
Plans were prepared, shopping trips were made and we were off to construct a “better dog house”   As you can see, the whole garage was used for this venture.  Working part-time for Sears in the past has some advantages and I have nearly every tool that they made but my worst attribute is that when I get a tool out to use, it stays out until the project is over, making a messy workplace.  Even our Jeep had to weather the rain, something “Nellie Belle” is not accustom to.
What a mess...
Much thought went into this project because I want him to stay warm, comfortable and happy.  It needed to be insulated, weatherproof and easily accessible but near the back door.  Its three foot by four foot and a large dog bed where two dogs will fit nicely inside if he wanted company.

Meggie and Dutchess trying it out...
It had one and one half inches of foam insulation inside every wall including the top and bottom along with a magnetic dog door which he is used to.   On top of the walls and ceiling it is covered with laminate flooring and trimmed out with trim that I made from wood here at the farm.  I painted and caulked the inside to insure that the wood was sealed and would stop any cold breeze.  Because of its size and knowing I can’t get inside, the roof is easily removable if I needed to change the bedding or clean it out.  It was a huge project and I am thankful it’s over.

Of course I had lots of help along the way…

Dutchess helping me with the two wheeler to move it...
It was a big heavy job for a dog house, I'm sure Doc will love it but I know the others do...

It has plenty of room inside and plans for a heater if needed.  I even put an area on top for a second dog bed for those lazy "dog" days when you just wanted to take a cat nap without going inside.  I'm sure Doc will be happy to return and to find a new "home" just for him.  He is such a sweetheart and lover-boy... see you soon, welcome home Mr. Holliday...   Dad...

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They just admitted Wyatt…

"They Just admitted Wyatt"... News I didn’t want to hear from his owners…  As I write this, Wyatt, one of our adult pups is having a rash of unknown medical problem and the answers seem to be a mystery for now.  Much thought, prayers and concern has been lifted and medical experts have been summonsed again.
Wyatt at the Vet's office
It can be said that if you are a “human” parent, you will always be the parent, no matter what!  You watch in anticipation as your child grows but even before they are born you wonder and worry what kind of child they will be and hope for a smooth birth.  Is it a boy, girl, tall, short, brown eyes or blue?  As a parent, there will always be questions and concerns, but the “one” fact that will always ring true is that you worry about them, always…

As a dog parent you go through the same thing whenever you get word that there is a problem.  As the breeder, when I hear their is a problem with one of our adult pups, I sit on pins and needles waiting for the test results and even butt in giveing my advice on what test should be run and tell them “make sure to take their temperature and watch for infection”  I just wanted the best for them but I also know they are in good hands. 

Once, I was told by an owner of one on our pups that their dog was really sick and was at the Vet's office, I only had the name of the town where the dog lived and the owner’s info.  After calling nearly every Vet’s offices in the town, I finally got the right one and I remember the receptionist telling me they can't give any information out.  I wouldn't take "No" for an answer and after telling her that I was the breeder and maybe because of the quiver in my voice, she felt sorry for me.   I found out that our pup just died.  I cried like a child because I loved our dog. 

I try to do want what is best for my pups and dogs no matter how old they are, and at times probably have been a little sharp with an owner if I see something that I didn’t like with one of our pups.  If I have, please forgive me, it’s nothing personal or a reflection on you, it’s a parent wanting what is best for their dog child.  Remember “It might be your dog, but it will always be my pup”   I held every single one of them as the first breath of life was taken into their little body and suffer with you when things are not right and they all are special to me.

If you have ever had a medical situation with your pet, you worry about your dog!  Don’t ever think you are alone, you’re not.  Several times I have posted something about one of my own dogs and a problem they are having.  I received so much comfort and understanding, I actually felt relief because I know people truly care and it helped. 

Annie, Wyatt's Mom
Doc... Wyatt's Dad

If I have learned one thing that runs true, we all share a common bond, and it’s a love we can’t understand at times but it is a bond with our dogs and each other.  Whatever you believe, send good vibes, prayers and sweet thoughts because I have been in those shoes when things were not going right, they meant the world to me and I knew I was not alone!  No-one is an island and we all care and love each one of our furry pets and support each other. 

I pray for Wyatt, and think of him often through these troubled times, I know he may be without his human parents at the clinic today, but know for sure, he has thousands of thoughts and prayers flooding the heavens, just for him…  See you soon and bring a Frisbee when you get well and visit, Dutchess would love it... Ken

Give your dog a hug today...

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Your my Buddy...

There is a commercial that is playing now that struck me from the first time I saw it.  As most would assume, I love dog commercials and actually watch them but my “most” favorites are the ones of Golden Retrievers that star in Subaru Commercials.  Elaine and I will stop everything we’re doing and watch them if they come on, even over and over and nearly belly rolling each time.

This past week, I along with hundreds of people received a notice “the Border Collie community to rally around a girl. She was adopted to a home in Harahan, Louisiana which obviously did not take care of her and has been returned to the shelter.  All Border Collie Rescue is looking for a permanent foster for this 14 year old, owner surrendered girl (named Girly) in Louisiana so I'm hoping one of you may know someone who is a soft touch for seniors. At most, it would be a couple of years but probably substantially less. (And yes, I'm thinking very evil thoughts about someone who owner surrenders an old girl like this).  Her chances of adoption in or out of a rescue are probably nil - the oldest ones we've adopted out have been no older than 12. She is very sweet. Get with me if you have any questions. Thanks.” from the shelter.

14 year old Girly at the shelter

Without even talking to Elaine about it, I sent off a request that we would take her.  NO… I don’t need another dog, I have plenty, and yes… she is old but needs a home.  But there was that tug at my heart and something needed to be done for this 14 year old Border Collie.  The Facebook page was ablaze with chatter.  Most people would just “like” but several request for more information was asked and some people offered help, even people I know.

The next day, Shirley Thompson the Adoption Coordinator in Louisiana wrote me,
“Thank you so very much for offering to take Girly.  We are placing her in a permanent home in Louisiana and are very sure she will have a wonderful life with her new family.”  

This is wonderful news and I am so glad for Girly (now Josey).  It seems her life, short as it may be will be with people who love her and want her until she lays her head down to sleep and crosses that bridge.  But know that many people stepped up to do the right thing for Girley who was 14 years old, dirty, scared and matted, who was turned over to a shelter which probably meant her death.   We don’t know why she was relinquished, it doesn’t matter but what does matter, she is home and safe in loving arms. 

I have seen this commercial before, but this day when I watched it, it meant so much more to me and reminded me of what the dogs expect of us…

“You're my buddy, my pal, my friend
It will be that way until the end
And wherever you go, I want you to know
You're my buddy, my pal, my friend”

Video of   "Your my Buddy"...  it says so much... and a 14 - 3/4 year old dog going through his bucket list... worth every 60 second of the video... something to learn here...

14 years young Josey (Girly) getting ready to go to her new home
We all will need a place to call home but mostly when that time comes. “It’s not just the miles in life, it’s what "you" make of them” and truer words were never spoken…  We all need help at times and especially when we get old, but hopefully someone will help, just like the shelter in Louisiana did with Girly and her new family.  Thanks to everyone involved who loved “Girly” when no one else did… 

"Girly in the twilight of your life, rest well and know that you are a Lady and even though you days are mostly behind you, your future is very bright"...  We all need a "buddy" until the very end...Ken...

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Note, my favorite Golden Retriever commercials 

My New Room...

This past Friday night came with cold weather.  I had a bonfire earlier in the day because it just seemed fitting because of the crisp air and falling leaves.  It was supposed to get near freezing and it’s almost a welcome event.  We’ve had a multitude of different types of weather this year from 20 inches of rain in six weeks during the spring to very dry weather for the remainder of the fall but freezing weather was now upon us.

Leaves changing this Friday...
The dogs had a very good day this Friday, playing and running and even getting in the lakes but running was the event of the afternoon which always makes for a quiet night, which is good.  We’ve had guest for the weekend and their two dogs are related to our dogs and it was a homecoming of sorts which is always nice to see “family”. 

The usual routine for us is to bring our dogs inside during “TV” time and at bedtime separate them up for sleep.   They like to sleep anywhere but prefer to be in bed with us.    As Elaine and I were settling down for the night, our usual space was occupied by our weekend guest which meant some of our dogs were going to stay in the kennel.  It’s such an indignity for them because of the accommodations and they suffer so much.   It has controlled heat, padded beds, their own individual rooms, background music and even a nightlight, poor dogs…

When we had our very first dogs, one would sleep in the house and one would protect the covered porch in the summer but in the winter, we would kennel them up because it seemed like the right thing to do.  Their shed, was drafty with a straw floor, a heat light for warmth and it was a palace to them but we know, dogs belonged outside… or do they?  Times changed, hearts changed and we built a new 14 run kennel with “out” runs, a gas furnace, ceiling and ventilation fans, padded beds, soothing music and a night light… times did changed but Dutchess wanted the food channel too.

Dutchess dreaming of food...
Friday night was kennel night for most of the dogs because of the lack of room but they would be fine and everyone would sleep better.  As I went to the back door, putting on my shoes for the walk to the kennel I noticed something…

Friday night, there were humans in the bed too...
As I was walking them for their last walk before sleep and when we approached the kennel to go in, they turned toward the back door of the “human” kennel and it was the sad eyes from them that changed my mind.  Up on the porch I went and everyone went inside to our/their bed and climbed to their spot.  It’s hard to keep them out when they look at you and knowing what they want, just to be with us.  As we settled in for slumber, it just was a little crowded…   “Rest well" I said as I gathered my pillow and blanket and went to a cozy kennel for the night to watch the food channel…  Ken

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