A Purpose...

As promised, I said I would follow up my Blog from several weeks ago after watching the movie “A Dog’s Purpose.” Giving my point of view, it is a very heartfelt movie about the life of a dog that comes back in several versions of other dogs when he passed away.   If you see it, don’t be late because the first 60 seconds sets the stage for the whole crux of the movie and you could easily miss it.  I ask, what is their purpose?

“Humans were capable of so many amazing things, but too often they just sat making words, not doing anything.”
 W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog's Purpose

I loved the movie and saw things from a dog's point of view, some things I never thought of before but are probably right.   I ask my Facebook followers what were some of the purposes to them were regarding eating, sleeping, and things you do with them and was amazed by some of the answers and how much they did and tolerated their dogs in some of the behavior.  In truth, most of us do the same things with our dogs.  I don’t know why but we usually treat them like family, and they get away with most things we wouldn’t let our kids do.

The movie will have you laughing, crying and just feeling good but it all comes together at the end. Buddy is the dog in the film and Ethan is his owner. The last thing Bailey experiences before he dies is the love of his boy. It's a big deal for him because he has never felt this sort of unique love.  With Ethan, Bailey is special.

Buddy and Ethan
Buddy- “I was a good dog. I had fulfilled my purpose…I understood it now, why I had lived so many times. I had to learn a lot of important skills and lessons, so when the time came, I could rescue Ethan, not from the pond but from the sinking despair of his own life.”  W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog's Purpose

As Elaine and I left the movie, I try to look at the ceiling and floor but not at any other faces; I tried to put on a brave face, It was happy and sad in a good way.  Elaine was "How Long Can You Possibly Cry?" crying while we walked to the car and I just couldn’t understand what was so wrong.  Through chopped words, she said to me after composing herself and said.  “I’m too old to see Clancy again, and he won’t come back to me, but to somebody else.”  I now know why she was so upset, as Buddy moved through his lives, he helped many people, always to the end of his life.  Clancy came into our life after our “Morgan” was killed very unexpectedly and tragically.  We went looking for a new dog and went to a breeder and picked one out but he was taken.  We only picked Clancy because all the others were taken, little did I know.  

Fate… maybe, but some pretty strong forces were directly pushing Clancy into our life and the lives of many dogs that needed help, we just didn’t know but was shown the way.

In the movie, Buddy was a dog that traveled through people's lives to give them "everything" he had, including his life.  He did not see it as a sacrifice but a duty and honor.  He understood more things than we usually will see or know.  He experienced life in a beautiful way, helping where he could.

Quote from Buddy- “I was a good dog. I had fulfilled my purpose…I understood it now, why I had lived so many times. I had to learn a lot of important skills and lessons, so when the time came, I could rescue Ethan, not from the pond but from the sinking despair of his own life.”  W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog's Purpose

Kenny- “Clancy was a good dog.  He had fulfilled his purpose…I understood it now, why he had lived so many times.  He learned so many important skills and lessons, so when the time came, he could rescue other dogs from the sinking despair of the life they once lived.

“Humans were capable of so many amazing things, but too often they just sat making words, not doing anything.”  W. Bruce Cameron,  A Dog's Purpose.  As Clancy taught us, let's not make words, let's make a difference.

Somewhere, someone will receive a nudge or a lick and not understand why.  It may be something they may not be able to comprehend or understand, at that particular moment.   Be patient with your new dog and take the love and kindness that comes your way and look into their eyes and see their soul, especially through "those" eyes, that will pierce your heart.   

Delight in the love and licks on your leg and know you will learn to love this, as I did.  You can’t envision the ride you will have if you choose.  Life is a dream if that’s only what you what, a reality, if you listen and act, it's up to you.  We now share a common love, and please give our Clancy a hug.  He now has another purpose with you, and someday, you will understand…but it may be hard.  

I now know “A Dog’s Purpose.”   Ken…

It was the worst of times... but got better.

In August of 2012, I received a lengthy email about a Border Collie breeder in Northern Indiana, and after reading it, I wrote back and asked the writer to call me, I needed more information.  They mentioned they had made a stop to visit this breeder, looking for a Border Collie while traveling back home to Michigan. She was shocked and just needed to vent and a shoulder to cry on.  I was familiar with the breeder because I had received an abundance of calls, but nothing like this one. I felt after talking about this breeder, it was time to take a trip up north, and we did.

Chase, his owner, started it all when she called and needed help, Chase is a Sanders dog.
Karen Newhall, a BC owner, and friend of ours went with me to check it out.  As we pulled into the driveway, I turned to Karen and said, "I hope it's not as bad as we've been told," and she said, "Me too." We were wrong, very very wrong.  I will tell you, that trip affected me in ways that will haunt me for the rest of my life.  Sleep escapes me on more occasions than I like.  I just can’t seem to get the faces of those sweet dogs and the smell of that place out of my mind. To the dogs, we did everything we could do, your faces will live with me forever...

On January 30, 2017, nearly 5 years after our visit to that horrible place, the many court appearances, repeated testimony, and legal battles, Thurman "Randy" Sanders, Jr., 69 passed away. He spent his life fighting the legal system for what he believed.  The courts, Karen, myself and many others disagreed with his thoughts and ways.

Randy Sanders
He received nearly $85,000 in fines, and restitution, jail time, a lifetime ban on ever having/owning a dog.  The courts spoke, it was final and loud.  In comparison, Michael Vick a sports figure received only three years’ supervised probation during which he cannot buy, sell or own dogs. 

Boone, a Sanders dog, he captured my heart when we worked with him...
When I learned of his death, my mind immediately went back to the years that we spent fighting for the lives of those dogs. We wanted nothing but health, happiness and a forever home filled with love for those Border Collies.  Some had never set foot on grass, never set a foot outside that small prison of a kennel that Randy Sanders had put them in.  The worst part of it, some of them never will because they didn't make it.

Boone having a ball with his new owners...
When his death was published, many people were excited. According to them “they wished he would burn in hell” and some comments were even worse.  I saw his death and life somewhat different. At times, I had sleepless nights and thought of the scenes and the smells I will never get out of my mind.  I hated what he did to those precious dogs that I love so much and the train wrecks he made of the ones that he sold.  This pain will go on for an extensive time, both for the dogs and the dog's owners. Like a rock thrown into a calm lake, the ripples go on forever, both good and bad, and then they bounce off the shore and return.  What he did will reverberate in the Border Collie world for generations of dogs to come.
Echo, a Sanders dog was broke in so many ways.

Ruby a Sanders dog, so shy but finally came out of her shell.  Like Boone, she is missing part of her tail, it was pulled off.

What he also did was to wake up a community and change people’s lives and laws.  While it has certainly changed the lives of the other people that were involved with the case, it has also changed my life forever.  Through the many struggles, I have had to deal with, I know, I am who I am, because of my past.  This is true for your good and bad experiences both.
One vow I made to myself was to assist and rehabilitate any dog that was the product of Randy Sanders. I am doing this for love and will continue doing anything in my power to help.  A year or so after we started the process of the court proceedings, I got that opportunity.  I got a call from someone that lived a few states away, they owned a Sanders dog and needed help with him, so they came to see us.  When “Chase” arrived, he ran for hours never slowing or stopping.  About midweek, I wrote this email to his owner.  “I put Chase on the exam table, I needed to brush him because he was matted pretty bad.    At first, he didn't know if he liked it or not but soon settled in and he actually went to sleep.  I worked on him for about an hour and got all of the tangles out.   After I  had finished, he turned and started licking my face showing emotion for the first time.”  

 At that very moment, it came to me that "Chase” is the “very” dog that started it all with Sanders.  He is the actual instrument that shut down an institution that had lasted for 40 years and ruined so many dogs and the families that had to cope with these mistreated dogs and most of all, the greed of one man.  The lady who called me in 2012 is the owner of “Chase” that spurred Karen Newhall and me to go and investigate the puppy mill.  After I had pondered these thoughts, I got a little misty-eyed, Chase then rose from the table and crawled into my lap and put his front paws on my shoulders and licked my tears and sweat away on a hot August night trying to comfort me.

If ever God has talked through an animal, he did so through Chase.  I wrote to her “I also want you to know that all the effort, phone calls, money, and trips were well worth it.  I guess Chase wanted me to know that he was grateful, but I am thankful for you (Chase’s owner) and your husband for doing the right thing.”

I am sorry Mr. Sanders passed from this world alone and isolated, but I believe that we will all face our maker. I have prayed for his soul. I will not judge him, just what he did to my beloved breed.  I remember that day so well that changed my life.  “I want to be part of the solution, not the problem,” I said, and now it is my mission.   If I would never had met or known of Mr. Sanders or seen the sights I saw,  chances are I wouldn’t be where I am now in this world of broken dogs.  “You just have to visit” was the statement from everyone that I talked to who went to his farm and left crying…and I did go, and glad of it and I did cry…

In November, Clancy’s Dream re-homed six dogs in one month along with some surgeries, food, shots, and microchips and is well on its way helping Border Collies with more on the way.  There is a team of dedicated people who are on "Clancy's Dream Team" and it is Mr. Sanders who also played a part in this whether he wanted to or not.  Thank you, Mr. Sanders, for showing me the way and making the difference in my life and in the lives of the dogs we rescue through Clancy's Dream, who would have thought Clancy's Dream will live because of you.  Ken 

A special thanks to a very special person who also helped tirelessly on this and still does for the dogs that don't have a voice.  You are a special Lady.  

Thank you my "Clancy Man."

Clancy's Facebook Page

Copied, but very nice...

Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All the recent arrivals were confused and concerned. They had no idea what to think for they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had spent some time waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was happening and began to gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge to watch. They knew this was something special.

It wasn't too long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung heavy and low with tail dragging along the ground. The other animals on the pathway...the ones who had been at Rainbow Bridge for a while...knew the story of this sad creature immediately. They had seen it happen far too many times. Although it was obvious the animal's heart was leaden and he was totally overcome with emotional pain and hurt, there was no sign of injury or any illness. Unlike the pets waiting at the Bridge, this dog had not been restored to his prime. He was full of neither health nor vigor. He approached slowly and painfully, watching all the pets who were by now watching him. He knew he was out of place here. This was no resting place for him. He felt instinctively that the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be.

But alas, as he came closer to the Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who spoke softly to the old dog and apologized sorrowfully, telling him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their special people could pass over the Rainbow Bridge. And he had no special beloved people...not here at the Bridge nor on Earth below. With no place else to turn, the poor elderly dog looked toward the fields before the Bridge. There, in a separate area nearby, he spotted a group of other sad-eyed animals like himself...elderly and infirm.

Unlike the pets waiting for their special people, these animals weren't playing, but simply lying on the green grass, forlornly and miserably staring out at the pathway leading to the Bridge. The recent arrival knew he had no choice but to join them. And so, he took his place among them, just watching the pathway and waiting. One of the newest arrivals at the Bridge, who was waiting for his special people, could not understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the pets who had been there for some time to explain it to him. "That poor dog was a rescue, sent to the pound when his owner grew tired of him. The way you see him now, with graying fur and sad, cloudy eyes, was exactly the way he was when he was put into the kennels.

He never ever made it out and passed on only with the love and comfort that the kennel workers could give him as he left his miserable and unloved existence on Earth for good. Because he had no family or special person to give his love, he has nobody to escort him across the Bridge." The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the all-invasive gloom lifted. Coming toward the Bridge could be seen a single figure...a person who, on Earth, had seemed quite ordinary...a person who, just like the elderly dog, had just left Earth forever.
This figure turned toward a group of sad animals and extended outstretched palms. The sweetest sounds they had ever heard echoed gently above them and all were bathed in pure and golden light. Instantly, each was young and healthy again, just as they had been in the prime of life. From within the gathering of pets waiting for their special people, a group of animals emerged and moved toward the pathway.

As they came close to the passing figure, each bowed low and each received a tender pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. Their eyes grew even brighter as the figure softly murmured each name. Then, the newly-restored pets fell into line behind the figure and quietly followed this person to the Bridge, where they all crossed together. The recent arrival who had been watching was amazed. "What happened?" "That was a rescuer," came the answer. "That person spent a lifetime trying to help pets of all kinds. The ones you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of such unselfish work. They will cross when their families arrive.

Those you saw restored were ones who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are permitted to perform one final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor pets that couldn't place on Earth across the Rainbow Bridge. You see, all animals are special to them...just as they are special to all animals." "I think I like rescuers," said the recent arrival. "So does God," was the reply. --Author Unknown--

A Dog Purpose, really?

A Dog’s Purpose.
Why in the world would there be dogs in the world?  Where did they come from?  If we did evolve, why don’t we look like dogs?  I ask this question last week on my Facebook page and received many answers.  “For some people, their dog is to assist them in a job (herding, protecting or helping those who are medically unable).  Mine help me stay in shape because they require walking, etc.”  one reader said, “I need somebody to wake me up and give licks, pee on a tree, sleep all day, wake up again, give more licks, and then stay up till midnight barking at the TV.”

It seems like dogs have many purposes in our world, but to some readers have very unique reasons, “I need somebody who can break wind without a first thought or second thought.” I know people like this...  “I believe a dog's true purpose is to teach us humans a thing or two about love, respect, and loyalty.”  “They are never willing to sit, stay, or roll over when you want them to but who can chase balls, sniff crotches, fetch sticks and lift spirits with a lick.”  In my sadist times, just a lick, look or some lap time makes my day and then I realize, things will get better and they always do.

“Having a dog means never having to bend over and pick up food that was dropped on the floor. It means never being cold at night because someone always wants to lay near/on you. It means never setting an alarm clock because it cannot provide face licking and body slamming that two hungry dogs can achieve at 5:30 am.”  While this may seem unusual to a non-dog owner, I can attest, this is the truth.  On a few instances, I have even let Dutchess in the house to get something I spilled on the floor, and she did a pretty good job.

One writer said, “they are strong enough to pull sleds and find bombs, yet gentle enough to love babies and lead the blind.”  “Our dogs each seem to have a different purpose, though ultimately their total devotion is both of their goals…. she's determined to get us off our butts. She loves to please us by completing successful agility jumps. She jumps on the back of our couch as we walk by, so she can be at our level for a hug. She always wants to sit on our laps and be with us, for companionship.

What does it mean to us as humans to have a dog and why?  “It means spending ridiculous amounts of money on vet bills and not batting an eye while I refuse to pay $0.03 more for gas at the gas station close to my house. It means not needing a doorbell because you will always be alerted when someone is at the door. It means buying a SUV because you're brood is now too big for your two door car.”  I gently reminded my son some months ago when he was looking for a house, “remember you have a dog, it needs to be dog-friendly with a fence”  and I was pleased when he mentioned the first thing to do before they move in was  “we need to build a fence,”  and he did.
“It doesn't matter what you didn’t do, or couldn’t take, or didn’t win, or couldn’t make they will love you without judgment.”  Another reader “It means buying a house that may not have everything you want, but as long as the yard is appropriate for the dogs, you will learn to tolerate those things inside the house that irritate you. It means planning vacations around them or canceling them at the last minute when they are sick.” 

As people who want acceptance and try to prove to the world that we are successful, we don’t need to do that with our dog because they don't care and we really shouldn't. “Dogs are companionship in the purest form. A dog doesn't just see you as an equal, they see you as a person who has chosen to give them a home and good life, and they're genuinely grateful.”  “Somebody to lie next to you during the long nights of pain and sorrow when it hurts to move”  “Somebody to stand guard, play ball, snore for hours and repeat again and again.  Somebody to give you strength when you have none of your own.”
 I remember several times when I would walk with one of my dogs and my world was collapsing.  Although they knew something, they were smart enough to make me fill better.  From a blog I wrote in November 2015 “Just Yesterday morning, I couldn’t sleep and get 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 trees, and it was dreamlike.  She led the way to her favorite spot at our 2nd lake, mostly because it’s one of her play areas.  This time, she walked onto the dock and waited for me.  I sat down on a step, Abbie curled up into my lap and licked my face.  We sat there and listened to the wind 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”  This was the day I found out Abbie had Cancer.

So what is a dog’s purpose?  If you had never seen or met a dog, you would never have one from reading this...  As I’ve said many times before “I didn’t want a dog.” but I never had one before and didn't know the love they could give.  To them, their purpose is to aggravate me, jump on me, jump in the Hot-Tub with me, steal my food and sleep in my spot in the bed.  But when I look into those eyes and see their soul, my soul and see their love and devotion, my soul seeks to be like them because they really are better than us at times. “Somebody to be your buddy and guide us in this world and the next. Somebody to wait for you on the other side or stand guard in your absence until they can join you for eternity.”

Do they have a purpose? You bet they do…   Part two will be when I see the movie... but I kinda know what it might be about.   Ken