You may never know…

“Elaine …  ELAINE … ELAAAAAINE … “WHAT,” she said in a panicked voice from upstares, knowing something was wrong.  “Can you come here?” I ask.  As she made her way to the family room in a hurried pace, I had two visitors in my lap.  Oden and Guiennis were stretched out, one facing one way and one the opposite, sound asleep and in doggie dreamland.  “What's the matter,” she quickly asked.  “Can you get me something to drink?” I said and looked at the dogs and looked back at her saying “they're comfortable.”  Smiling back at me, “I understand” and off she went to get me something.  I will tell you that I pushed that a little when I wanted another and asked again while holding my empty glass in the air but she helped out but not without a small scowl.

The life of a dog rescuer can take on many faces.  You are a hero on the one hand and a villain at times when you can’t help, or it is impossible.  Many don’t understand what we do or how we do it because they just see the surface and think we can do everything.  Oh, how I wish we could wave a magic wand and fix all the problems with all the dogs.  It’s usually not the dog’s problem, it comes with the surroundings or settings in the past home.  All in all, we have had great success trying to get them back where they need to be.

 Sometimes things are pretty hectic with dogs being introduced into the pack of a rescuer but they nearly always work out, and everyone gets on track.  The one thing most don’t know is the attachment you get with the dog you’re taking care of.  Nearly every foster we have used has adopted one of Clancy’s Dream’s dogs, becoming a foster failure.  You learn all the tricks they know, including counter suffering, or ball playing.  It’s always fun to see them come out of their shell blooming into a loving creature.

At times, rescuer’s are apprehensive about getting a new dog to care for and then, you fall for them, love them and see their loving heart that at times was buried deep down somewhere in their soul.  It’s always a great day when the right family is found, but the downside for anyone who took care of a dog is the small part of their heart that leaves with them.  Most times, Elaine wanted to keep the dogs that came through Clancy's Dream because they were unique.

The one thing no one ever sees is the heartache you get when they do go to their new home after you fall in love with them.  You keep saying they will be OK but always wonder.  Just several weeks ago, an exceptional dog came into one of our fosters that was sick.  Everything was done, and every attempt to fix the problem was made, and after many weeks, the dog died.   A separate cremation was arranged, and the ashes were transported to the farm where we had a ceremony that was private along with our dogs, and the sweet soul was laid to rest in the folds of the farmstead and around Clancy.

Noone knows what we all go through to help dogs in need.  The ups and downs, the love and the pain, but without the help of many people, it wouldn’t be possible.  The sad part, there is always more to follow, but we’ll do what we can.  We love them like they are our own, sleeping in our bed and running and playing with our dogs.  As I write this a 16-month-old purebred BC has his paws on my chair waiting for me to play ball with him, which I will until he goes to his new home very very soon.  I will miss him as I do with all of them and each has take a part of my soul.  Ken

A Beautiful Day…

Early Thursday morning of this week. I walked down the driveway toward the end of our lane to get the mail.  As usual, I veered to Clancy’s gravesite for a visit and I stood there soaking in the early sunlight and the cool breeze and reflected on the events of the past week and the things to come in the near future.  As always the windchimes were talking, and life was good.  I pondered for a moment and soaked everything in and felt good and in an audible voice as if I was speaking to someone, I said “it’s a beautiful day,”  and it was.

A friend of ours was coming over to our house and dog-sit for the day because we were heading out with friends.  When she arrived, bad news came with her.  She and her Veterinarian were treating Sapphi, her dog for an aggressive form of cancer. 

Sapphi is one of her beloved Austrian Shepherds, and just a few days ago, I saw her, and she was doing good, but since then, things went south... very fast.  As soon as our friend got out of her car, she said: “it’s time, the Vet is on the way.”  “Sapphi” had just an hour or so to walk this earth as she did many times before.  She smelled the last fragrances of the things she loved and rolled in the leaves, getting ready for her next venture.  While walking with her owner they walked the trails on the farm and said their goodbyes along with cuddles and kisses and all had a peaceful and treasured day to be remembered. 

When the Veterinarian arrived, arrangements were made, and Sapphi and her owner went to a spot that comforts all of us in times of need and reflection.  Her burial cloth was laid down, and her owner and Sapphi sat on top of Clancy’s grave where Sapphi rested in the arms of her beloved owner and closed her sweet eyes and went to sleep.  A moving moment for all and for anyone who has traveled this road.  Smokey her true brother and littermate was always nearby, and when the owner was weeping as we all do, he went to her and kisses and consolidated her telling her in his own way “all is ok, ” and it was.  It was time, and we all have been here if we have pets.

As we all sat and stood by and waited for her transition to her other life a slight wind blew, and the sun was shining through the open canopy with the wind chimes singing as if we were being spoken to and I'm sure we were.  Sapphi was welcomed home by a Border Collie friend she had and knew from this farm, our Clancy and her human father, Mark.  After she was interned, we stood and knew the correct decision was made and how peaceful and delightful Sapphi life was and knew everything was right.  With the birds singing, chimes speaking and the wind blowing our friend spoke of the 16 years she shared with her beloved pet and said “this is a beautiful day, ” and it was.  Rest well Sapphi, know Smokey is OK and give our big boy a hug from us.

Sapphire and Smokey were littermates
Annie and Fi were also laid to rest here at the farm the same weekend.  Their ashes were buried and placed in the cherished area of the spirits of our dogs.  They all have a sacred place somewhere else that we don’t understand but someday will and until then we can sit together in the Adirondack Chairs and talk about the best dogs in the world...  It truly was a Beautiful Day…   Ken

I'm Right Here...

Saturday night let to some excitement here on the farm.  It wasn’t necessarily good, but it was exciting for the some of the dogs.  Although we have had great weather for the last three weeks, we have not had any rain and need it very bad.  This changed last night.  We have a walking barometer with Shepp, and it appears he can tell the change in atmospheric pressure before we see any changes.

 He will lay his ears back and start into space and go into what we call the “zone.”  I have seen many dogs with this same issue but not to the point of how it affects Shepp.  We have tried many things with little success or no success at all.  It included oils, thunder coats, quite rooms, holding/loving and even calming sprays.  It not new to him, and it has been this way since he came back from Florida.  This is the very reason that he came back to us as his owner said “there are thunderstorms every day”  and I can only imagine.  Shepp is one of the most loving dogs that we have.  He is gentle and friendly and easy to get along with but when a storm comes, watch out when his ears are pinned back.

While watching TV in the bedroom last night, I was laying on the bed getting some cuddles from Molly and Dahlia when a clap of thunder sounded.  All of a sudden, nearly every dog jumped from their dog bed into mine.  Molly scooted closer to me, Abbie came right to my side profusely licking my arm, Annie had “help me” eyes and nearly every dog came to me from somewhere in the house looking for safety. 

Elaine took Shepp down into the family room and comforted him by himself which did help him.  It’s bad enough that Shepp in miserable but when he is into the “zone.,” he gets destructive and will lash out at things such at doors or carpets.  Before the cruise, after much debate with his Vet, we decided to try a medication for anxiety hoping for good results.  Not only does he take something each day, but he also should take something at least an hour before anything appears.  This is hard because it’s sometimes difficult to know a storm is blowing into our region.  It's not just the thunder that affects him, it also just the rain.

Ironically I was talking to a Vet in Floride Wednesday night talking about a rescue dog we are getting at the end of the month.  This topic came up when I ask about the dog, and it turned to Shepp and his problems, and she gave me some advice and ideas that are new on the market including a ThunderCap which she has had some great luck with.

All in all, things worked out, and as much as I enjoyed the licks and snuggles, it reminded me that we all have weaknesses and need attention from each other.  Nearly every night, as I sit in my recliner, I am reminded how they comfort me in my struggles and keep me focused on the simple things in life that are really important and from a dog’s point of view, it’s pretty simple which gies both ways...   Ken

"In all my lives as a dog, here's what I've learned. Have fun, obviously. Whenever possible, find someone to save, and save them. Lick the ones you love. Don't get all sad-faced about what happened and scrunchy-faced about what could. Just be here now. Be... here... now."

- A Dog's Purpose 2017