The Dreaded Cone of Shame?

Many times we think of the Cone as a symbol of “shame.”  In our house, it is anything but.  We are very familiar with them and have several on hand because of the activity that goes on around the house and property.  Here It’s usually a badge of “honor” because of the feats that they do to get their Boo Boo.  My dogs are the “Evel Knievel” of Border Collies you could say, and I’m surprised that they do not have more.

Back in September of 2012, Abbie was in a cone for who knows what.  For me, the injuries seem to run together, or it’s an age thing, I just know they love to run, and I try to pick up the pieces.  Now I really don’t care if they do run, I just want them to be careful because we've had had many vet trips for sutures and x-rays, and nearly every one of our dogs has made that journey.  Sometimes they will run into each other, nip at each other and even run into anything or everything.

“Over the river and through the woods to grandmothers house” is a beautiful verse to a lovely song, but with Border Collies, the through the woods part scares the bejeebers out of me.  I've seen them run through overgrow shrubs and around trees missing them by only a smidgen of space, gritting my teeth the whole time, wanting to turn my head and look elsewhere.  
Of all the past “cone weares” Abbie is the most active.  Once when wearing it, she would run as normal and while I tried to limit her activity and you know it’s impossible with a BC, so she went off into her domain.  After nearly knocking the back door off its hinges, tires off of the car and whizzing past me knocking me to the ground, the “Cone” had seen better days. In two days, she went through 2 “cones” and luckily, she healed fast because I couldn’t afford too many more.

Cone one, she said she was sorry...

Cone two, day two, "I did it again, HA HA."
Nearly everyone has had to wear the “cone,” and sometimes I think they are proud of it because it means they will take nothing or back down even a tree, and while they may by pleased with themselves, I believe they are a little silly. 

This last episode with Abbie was a little worse than expected.  After we had come inside to cool off and rest for a second after some playtime, I noticed Abbie licking her leg, sometimes a tel-tel sign of a Boo-Boo.  As soon as I pulled the fur back, “Oh my God” was my first words and then said, “we’re going to the Vet."  It was a bad time all around because of appointments and stops I needed to make, so I called the Vet’s office and pleaded, “Can you take me in now” of which they did.  I dropped her off and went to the errands I had to do but when I picked her up.  The Vet and I had a little talk,  “I don’t feel good about this, with her cancer medication she is taking, her immune system is practically nonexistent, and it’s in a dangerous spot and may not heal.”  Things turned south very fast, but he also said to “keep her restricted and in a cone at all cost and the stitches will be in at least three weeks.” 

 Wow, I thought is the beginning of the end?  With that, I decided that no cheating or out of the house activities were in order.  So far, as of day four, we are doing OK, a little weepy and swollen, but everything seems to be holding.  Time will tell.  Ken

Cone three, yesterday...
 On a lighter note, we have decided to make this a fun time with their “cone.”  We have searched the internet and found a few they might like in the future… 

Even for the barn cats

Looking Back...

While the Board of Directors and I have been officially working with Clancy’s Dream since August of 2016, we have been working to rescue dogs since 2010.  We only officially put it on paper in August of last year because of Clancy's death.  We are in the process of updating our Webpage, and while we’ve only had it for 6 months or so, it needs to updated with several things.  This is truly a trial by fire, and at sometimes, I get burned, and we can always use some extra help.

One thing I am doing for the Foundation is to go back in some of our records and get information and photos of dogs we have helped and put them on our website.  It is bittersweet to see the dogs again because we all, including the foster parents, miss them and it brings back memories.  At times because they were fostered I may only see them for a few hours or when they are transported to the Vet or their new home, but I never forget the look in their eyes.

One of 5 dogs we drove to Glen Highland Farm in in upstate New Your.
Since we started working, rescuing and rehabilitating Border Collies, we have traveled to numerous states, driving thousands of miles and literally spending thousands of dollars and up till now, it was our gift to the breed, but now the foundation has stepped in, and we can do more.  The one thing I have seen is the love, attention, and drive that people have that want to help, who also love the breed as I do.

Karen Newhall and I taking 5 dogs to New Your to a Border Collie Rescue.  This was when my life changed.
Some may remember the puppy mill that I was involved with in 2012.  This literally changed my life, and I think for the better for many reasons.  I won’t go into the hardships of any of that but I remember and cherish the joy it brings to us when we not only help the dog but the entire family.  I only wish I would have copied or saved the comments that have come my way from various sources, but when I am down, I do remember the kind words that I don’t deserve.

What I do cherish is to hear is the comments and read the stories of how their life has changed because of their new dog and to see them love their dog as much as I did and this makes my heart warm.

It's exciting to see and watch a dog bond to its new owner and observe the life change on both sides and to be part of it.  Not in my wildest dream would I have thought I would have become and "animal activist"  but I guess I have.  Not necessary by choice, but by need.

This is a roller coaster to be able to put things together and at times see them fall apart., but in the end, you see those eyes telling you that they are happy...  Ken  

Clancy's Dream

To understand some of my feelings you can go to;
Let it end...
A Rescue Trip

Below are "just a few" of the dogs we have rescued, I will never forget any one of them…

Getting close…

For the last several days, I have been taking Abbie out to play by herself.  I do this for several reasons, the first is, with her illness I don’t know how long she has left with us.  So far, she has outlived everyone’s prediction and has been doing great since her diagnosis in October 2015.  The second is it’s hard for her to play with dogs chasing and nipping at her.

It started a week or so ago when we had to visit Kaycee and pals just to check on them while their Mom was at work.  I walked over to their house, and Abbie was at the gate with me, and I said, “let’s go” and out she sprang, knowing she was going somewhere but what she didn’t know where and to do what. 

I was to let Kacie, Lit Bit, and Izzy out of their kennel and exercise them for a while until Mom came home from work in a few hours and everyone was going to have some fun.  As I walked out of their garage, I grabbed two Frisbees off the counter and into the large open outside area we went.  Everyone was so excited, and Kacee and Abbie were turning circles as we walked to our destination.  Off they went into the distance waiting for me to throw the Frisbee.  Zoom it went, and their eyes were as big as saucers, and they pranced as it came their way, but when we were done, dissapointnment and sad eyes were all around.

When we play ball or Frisbee at home, it’s hard to get everyone to cooperate and be on the same page.  It always seemed that nearly everyone picks on Abbie when she plays.  She is ONLY focused on the ball, stick or Frisbee, nothing else and nearly everyone is focused on her because of her excitement.  The exception is Dutchess, Molly, and Meggie, they play with whatever we’re throwing and watch the ball or Frisbee, not Abbie.  The rest of the pack is picking on Abbie, and the only thing I can attribute that too is because she is so focused.  Several times I have had to take her to the Vet for stitches, and once even Crazy glued her wound, but it was small.
For the next several days I would put all the dogs up in the kennel to feed them except Abbie, and she knew what was going on.  She would look at me then glance at the cabinet which held her treasures and then back at me, but she is heading for the door because she knew, and when outside, let her carry her Frisbee.  She is so excited.

Yesterday, I kept Dutchess and Molly out because they like to play too, but Molly is just as content to hold a tennis ball in her mouth and run with them.  We played hard, and everyone was tired and thirsty, and I knew what they wanted.  

As hard as I tried, I attempted to lead them away from the lake so they would stay dry.  Didn’t happen, Molly got into the water up to her belly, but Abbie and Dutchess were different.  As she has done thousands of times, Abbie went to the dock with the Frisbee and sat it down in front of her.  Her usual routine it to taunt the other dogs with her toy and push it into the water where she will immediately jump in after it, which she did.  I can only assume she this is her way to play by herself or to make sure she gets it back.  This time was different because Dutchess knew and was ready too.

No calling them would keep them dry, and as soon as I heard that ever-familiar sound of a plop, I knew it was too late, and she was wet.  In just a few seconds, Dutchess joined her in the water where they both got a long drink and back to the house, we came.  But guess who didn’t get to come in… but only for a while… We are getting close to dock diving season and they are ready.  Ken.

Clancy's Dream
The dog's Facebook page

What did you say?

As I sat down in my recliner, the dogs gathered in their usual spot, but this time, things were just a little different…

“Hey, get out of the way, I can’t move,” Dutchess said as she moved to “her” spot.
“Don’t get up there, that’s my spot” as she gave her scowl looking at Meggie who also went for the recliner but was beat out by the beast.

“Get off my butt, I’m trying to lay down,” Shepp said to Doc as he was getting into his spot in the chair.  Doc always pesters him when he is walking by.
Something is different, I can hear what they are thinking.  This is new, can I talk dog talk?  Have I entered their work or have they entered into mine, this is scary but fascinating, but I’m just a little bit worried.
Most of the dogs filed into the room taking their usual spot.
“I didn’t get enough food,” Dutchess said as she was talking to Gabby, but was rebuked by most of the others, and in unison, they shouted, “You never do!”
My mouth flew open, and I watched in amazement.  This is scary, they don’t know I can hear!
“I watch him eat his meals and snacks all night, and we get just a tiny bite, and the drinks they have, is there no end?”  Dutchess said.  Oh, my God, I thought, this is insane.  “Well at lease we get more as the night wears on,” Annie bellowed.

“Why can’t we watch something else on TV, is there nothing on about dogs?” Abbie said.  “I’m sure there is some tennis on, don’t we have ESPN?”  “I’ve never seen as many the tennis balls they have and when he’s not here, and we get to choose what we want to watch,”  Annie said.  “I’ve watched him hold onto the remote so long, I know how to change it.”  “I love it when he falls asleep in his chair,” Gabbie said “I bet he falls asleep because he is well-oiled” Molly shouted over the laughter.
I can’t believe this, am I losing my mind as I watched my dogs look at each other and make nods and shake their head.  Everything calmed down, and there was silence among us.  Maybe I am working and thinking too much if I hear voices and I've not even had a drink, but I tell you, I think I need one.
Just when there were peace and things were back to normal, I heard it.  “Who did it?” and Shepp looked up putting his nose in the air and sniffed.  “Can’t you wait until you go outside?” Dahlia said as she came from the other room, lying down for just a second before going back to where she came from.

“Who did it, it’s a killer.” everyone laughed.  At that moment every dog turned their head and looked at me with a stare of disenchantment and the first time I answered them “I did not do it!”  This has gone too far, now I am answering them.

According to Juliane Kaminski a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Portsmouth.  “Dogs are special. Every dog owner knows that. And most dog owners feel their dog understands every word they say and every move they make. Research over the last two decades shows dogs really can understand human communication in ways no other species can. But a new study confirms you should be speaking to it in a certain way to maximize the chances that it follows what you're saying.  The latest research affirms the idea that not only have dogs developed an ability to recognize gestures but also a special sensitivity to the human voice that helps them identify when they need to respond to what's being said.”

While I do agree with the author, but I think my Border Collies have gone a little further.  There is no doubt that our dogs understand us and will even react and mind us, but when you find yourself answering them, you better be hiding your car keys and apparently there is no reason to spell certain words.   Give your dog a hug today before they drive off.    Ken