Let's Go Eat

Elaine has traveled out of town to see her grandchildren for the weekend.  Someone has to stay at the farm and take care of the dogs, and I guess it has to be me.  We had an uneventful Friday, and everything went smoothly until bedtime.  Snack time went as usual, and everyone lined up in a half circle and got their treat several times.  Several days ago, we had popcorn for our nightly snack, and in a few days, I had TWO new crowns. 

On a customary evening after the dog’s last potty break and it’s bedtime, Elaine will say “let’s go to bed” and half of the dogs will follow her upstairs to her room, and I will settle down for a night of documentaries or some mindless TV show and have a “take the edge off” cocktail.  The only thing I miss when she goes to bed is the shotgun questions about the show or life in general.  I’ve learned to pause the Television so I could give her my full attention and this feature must have invented by a man.

Bedtime rolled around, and as usual, I climbed into bed, but tonight things were a little different.  JoJo was on her customary pillow next to me and was crowded by Whiskey.  Doc was at the foot of the bed which left no room for Gabby but she squeezed in.  Annie jumped onto the bed and with both sides filled up, she laid on top of me on my chest.  I will tell you, this was just a little crowded, but I toughed it was for the greater good, or maybe it was that extra “take the edge off” cocktail.   

Sleep came quickly, and I was wrapped in love, to say the least, and a bunch of dogs and fur.  After several hours, I woke and realized I need to go to the “necessary” room because it was necessary.  Grabbing the top of the covers, as usual, I threw them back, but nothing happened and I thought of this again.

Clowns to the left of me!
Jokers to the right!
Here I am stuck in the middle with you.

'Cause I'm stuck in the middle with you
And I'm wondering what it is I should do.
It's so hard to keep this smile from my face.
Losing control and running all over the place.

“I can’t move” I shouted, I must be paralyzed I thought.  It felt like I had I had hundreds of pounds of weight on me.  After coming to my sanities, I reached to the right and to the left, and I did have hundreds of pounds on me, and it was fuzzy and furry.  The dogs that usually sleep with Elaine had traveled to my bed and were laying on top of the covers, trapping me under them, and I couldn’t move.  “Come, guys, let me up,” I ask.  Nothing… they were in a deep sleep.  “HEY, come on guys, let me up” a second time, nothing… no one even raised their head.  I can figure this out I thought, I grabbed the headboard and tried to pull my self up and tried to wiggle my self to the top of the sheet.  There is a lot of friction with that many dogs and bedclothes around you, and it didn’t work.  “GUYS LET ME UP.” Now I am getting a little concerned.

Putting my thinking cap on I decided a new plan of action is needed.  Trying to escape a bed coffin with hundreds of pounds of dog weight on you because you can’t lift up the covers along with some exhausted dogs is quite the challenge, but I need to be smarter than the dogs.  Not only do I need to escape, but I also need to go to the “necessary” room, and nothing is getting easier it seems.  Thinking as fast as I could for a solution, I got it!  The perfect thing and hopefully it will work and if I know some of them, it will.

Always ready to eat
“LET’S GO EAT,” I screamed, and in a flash, ears perked up, and dogs stood up twisting in circles, and a happy dance was in full swing, one dog jumps off the bed, and then the others followed and I know I was saved.  In the excitement and activity of the moment, dogs were intertwined in the sheets along with me.  I found myself turned upside down with my feet still on the bed and my head near the floor.  The “necessary” room was not as necessary at the moment.

All in all, things worked out and after everyone got fed, back to bed was in order.  The only change made was that I finished the night in the recliner.  Ken

Their Story...

Image result for dog collars
A new Beautiful Collor just for you...

Several weeks ago, I walked into the dog kennel, and something caught my eye.  I am not a collector at all but Elaine is, and we have had this conversation frequently.  She won’t get rid of nearly anything, and it drives me crazy.  I’m the type that if I don’t use it in six months, I’ll throw it away and buy a new one if I ever need it again.  I don’t like clutter.  I wonder why I have these?

As I opened the door, I just happened to look to the right of me and in a corner and saw something that I’ve never thought about.  Hanging on several nails were collars that had come into our foundation from dogs that were surrendered to us for various reasons.

While I see the collars often, I usually just pass over them, but that day, I saw something different.  I walked over to the hooks that were all too full, and for some reason, I recalled the stories of them.  I touched them and knew each one carried a story and it was mostly ugly or sad

I first thought about the happy times and when they were bought for the dog.  I’m sure of the ones that were purchased by women.  They have flowers, fancy designs and some with a decorative script because they wanted it to look beautiful and I'm sure it did.

I can see in my mind's eye the time when the collars were purchased.  Picking through all of them just to get the “right” one.  It’s hard to choose the correct one, and it needs to fit the dog in more ways than one, color, style and even personality played a role in this. It's a very exciting time for the dog and the new dog parents because it is a new beginning for all of them.

 Unlike most men purchasing a card.  I remember once dropping Elaine off at a store, and she was buying a card for a friend.  I parked the car, looked around the store and wondered where she was.  I thought I would start my search in the card area.  There she was, still reading all the cards, just to get the right one.  I walked up and said, “everything alright?”  “I just want the right one,” she said.  “Let me show you how to buy a card.”  I picked the first one up and said, “here, this is great”  "Did you read it," she asks “No, I never do.”

After evaluating a new rescue dog, we replace all collars with a Clancy’s Dream Rescue collar.  If they get away or run off, they will be returned to us because it has our information in it.  Over the years, I would hang the old collars on a nail because we may need one for some reason.

Each collar has a story, a few are cute and fuzzy, but most have a sad ending and lives were shattered, and families were torn apart and the dog was in the middle, they always are.  Some of the collars were from families that had to rehome the dog because of health reasons, or family breakups.  Some of the owners could not handle the excitement and energy that the dog had.  Even a few were turned over because they no longer wanted the dog, and also sign it over to the county shelter, yes we have some of those, more than you know.  The dog is sometimes the disposable property.

Some dogs need to be rehomed and there is no other chose, I know because I have been there too and it's the worst day of your life and has lasting pain and we have those collars too.  When I touch and feel the collars on the wall, I imagine the fun times when everyone's life was good and the belly rubs and games that may have occurred where life was good.  I also feel that some collars had a chain or rope attached and it was something that was used to grab and some collars were a source of constant pain.

The bright side is the good of all of this.  All collars tell a story, you may not think it, but it does and will follow them wherever they go.  When the time comes, we remove our Clancy's Dream Rescue Collar that is given to them here at the farm but when they leave with their new owner and collar it is with a second chance and new start.

A fitting tribute of a collar, I saw this at Glen Highland Farm.
A story is always told by what we wear, both inside and out.  I guess I will hang on and collect all of the collars I have possessed.  I have considered taking them to our local shelter and donating them for other dogs.  In my own way, I don't want to give up the collar because it has "their" story embedded in them both good and bad and I will never give up on them, we are who we are because of our past.  I am also afraid that I may see the collar once more and I can't face that again so I guess I really am a collector.   Ken

A Broken Heart…

Because of the rescue work we are involved in with Clancy’s Dream, I get tagged many times during the day because of people forwarding information about Border Collies, and at times it’s pretty urgent because of kill shelters, and this has been a hectic week in the rescue world with happy endings.

One post I received was a plea for help because the Border Collie is not doing very well in a 3 X 5 enclosed kennel.  While this is very bad for any dog because they aren’t allowed to go outside for potty breaks or see the sky, it can be devastating for a Border Collie that is active, and it requires quick decisions and quick actions on our part.  I can’t imagine any dog confined to such a small space 24 hours a day for any length of time. 
Any love given will return 100 times over.
As I look down and see 9 of my dogs laying in every position on anything they want to be on, it pains me to think about it a Border Collie that is confined 24 hours.  I also received a story titled “Dog Dropped At Shelter Is So Sad His Family Doesn't Want Him Anymore,” and as you may know, it was a Border Collie. 

An excerpt from the story reads;
Hunter thought he had a forever home with people who would love him for a lifetime. Sadly, he was wrong.  Last week, the 6-year-old pup was surrendered to the Houston Humane Society in Texas. Hunter's former owners told staffers there that he wasn't getting along with their new puppy, so they'd decided they didn't want him anymore.  No one explained that to Hunter, of course, but it soon became clear that he'd gotten the message.
"When I walked up to the kennel, at first I didn’t even see a dog in there, until I looked in the corner. I saw him frozen in fear, trying to make himself invisible."  "I immediately sat on the floor, turned away from him, waiting for him to come to me. After a few minutes he cautiously approached me, Hunter then broke down.  “Ever wonder what a broken heart looks like? Well there you have it."
PUBLISHED ON 08/08/2018

Unfortunately, in the rescue world, you see many broken hearts from both sides, something you never get used to.  But there are happy endings when you make that right match and make the dog happy along with a new family, very happy to have a dog back in their life.

Just this week, we are taking 3 more Border Collies into Clancy’s Dream, and if it wasn’t for the support, both spiritually and monetarily, we couldn’t do it.  Just tonight, as I was brushing Bandit who came in today, he relaxed in my arms and probably for the first time in his life, he was brushed.  Border Collies and all dogs are not always given a chance and there will never be a perfect dog, just like their will never be a perfect person but we try and make it work, and in the end, life is better for all of us, even the dogs we can save. 

Please help in any you can, not necessarily with money.  I know people who help by volunteering at their local shelter just by visiting and routinely walking the dogs that never see daylight in the grass where they can then smell something more than the disinfectant that is used to clean the kennel.  While some may think this not noble, I assure you it’s everything to the dog.  Ken

Have you noticed?

Last week as I was writing the blog, it was intense and all-consuming.  Trying to finish and put the final touches and photos together I was frequently interrupted.  While I was focused on the subject, every few seconds my arm was nudged, and I brushed it off trying to concentrate on my work.  Another nudge and I quickly looked and even had a scowl on my face I'm sure.   “What do you want,” I ask and as I turned and saw the most beautiful face staring back at me.  She was smiling and appeared to want something. 

My scowl quickly turned to understanding, knowing what she wanted, so I scratched her ears, but in a few seconds, she wanted more.  Nudging my arm again, I stopped typing and went to the edge of my seat giving her more room.  I knew it wasn’t enough, so I got out of the chair and sat in the middle of the floor.  As I sat down, she curled up in my lap looking up at me as she loved me in her own way, now she had what she wanted.  Tenderly pawing my face, she was communicating to me that she just needs some attention.  Once I changed my direction, I could see it, it was right there in front of me, we both were in heaven, and we both got what we needed.  How many times did I blow one of my dogs off or push them away, not angrily but just being too busy to notice?  I’m afraid to even think about that.

Since then, I have made a conscious effort to watch them as they interact with each other and to their needs.  They are all so different it’s sometimes comical.  At times they will check in with me just to make sure everything is alright and always help with the things I do.  This would include helping me tie my shoes, drying my legs off right after a shower, and helping with cleaning my plate, all of these things are important to them, but the most important thing they want is to be loved.
I know I’m guilty of this but how many times in a day do we have the opportunity to show them the affection they want and not give it to them.  As I was observing them a little closer, I was amazed by their needs and wants.  

While they are in their own world, they are genuinely devoted to making me the center of their attention and life.  This is always not the case with every dog.  Some are just the reverse and could care less about the needs of their master and will go in the opposite direction.  I think this may occur for several reasons, first, the upbringing of the pup and how it was raised.  Secondly and something I see all of the time is we humans are part of their pack.  In their world, nearly everything is “pack” orientated, even if there are no other dogs, only people.  In a pack, someone needs to be in charge, and it doesn't need to be the dog.  I believe they are more secure knowing who is in control and can relax and sit back knowing their station in life and thus pay attention and care for the pack leader even if it is a human.

Many times I know I’m guilty of not giving them what they want or need.  Thinking back, I see the thousands of times they ask me for attention sometimes they get it, and at times, they don’t.  I have learned to acknowledge their needs and even if it’s a brief ear scratch, rub on the head or full body and butt scratch.  It only takes a minute, and it means the world to them.  When Dutchess came to me last week, I was surprised at the amount of love she gave me not because she needed to, she wanted to.  Isn’t this what we really want in a dog?   Ken