The last night...

Friday night, I was sitting in my chair and thought about Jackson, a Border Collie that was in a shelter in Kentucky.  Earlier in the week, I was notified by several tags and emails that stated he needed help because he has been caged at a kenneled for two months, imagine what this can do to a Border Collie! Unknown to him, we were on the way.

From the post;

“Jackson - NM border collie, 5 yrs. Old, 62 lbs. Found as a stray on 8/29. Jackson has been at our shelter for a LONG time. Jackson came in very matted with burrs in his coat.  Jackson has little time left before he is euthanized. He is a very smart dog and wants badly to be safe and loved.”
This very weekend, Clancy’s Dream is doing two evaluations on dogs that need help.  The dogs are in a situation that is not suited for a Border Collie and is having a problem coping, and they are having issues, this is a typical story in their world which can cause a multitude of problems.  Also, 4 other dogs are needing to come to us this week.

Every dog in every shelter has a last night in that shelter, and everyone is preparing for it but in very different ways when that night comes.  In Jackson's case, after an evaluation, Clancy’s Dream submitted the paperwork necessary to get him released.  Transportation to a foster needs to be arranged.  This in itself can be difficult because of the locations of all the people involved.  Dates need to be set, and schedules need to be cleared, cars gassed up, directions printed, forms filled and completed by Clancy’s Dream and by the shelter.  On the shelter's end, medical evaluations, shots, surgery, exams, tests, and grooming.  Everything needs to be coordinated for one pick up, and this is with every dog.

The next day is the big day, everything comes together, and all is set for the new life for the dog whether it’s the transporter coming or the executioner.  The transported drives to the shelter and at times, it’s 2 to 3 hours away, and some transports can take 8 to 10 hours one way.  The animal shelter will assemble paperwork, forms, and contact us to reaffirm the arrival.  Everything is checked and double-checked with a lot of people working to coordinate the plan.  Messages are sent timetables set and kept, and everything goes as scheduled.

Every dog in every shelter has the last night,  and that’s a lot of dogs and coordination.  Every dog is on a timetable when they arrive, and the countdown starts on the first day they arrive, and hopefully, they all will live a happy and loved life when they are adopted.

Jackson arrived safe and sound in the arms of Clancy’s Dream Saturday afternoon.  He walked around smelling trees, never running or playing.  Jackson has all but shut down and given up hope.  Last night he refused food and was content in his kennel where we feed all the dogs.  He had to be coaxed out with a lead and sauntered back inside the house where he laid back on his dog bed.  Hopefully, the spark will ignite again, and he will come around.  Jackson is the spitting image of Clancy, pricked ears, same markings, large head and piercing brown eyes,  and even a half collar.  As I sat in the kennel with him, I wept as I stroked his head.  How does this happen…

Unfortinially, the dogs in a shelter are all not adopted but the last day has come and gone.  The cage is cleaned and sanitized, ready for the next dog.  Freshwater and food are placed in containers for the dog that is already waiting at the shelter, and the countdown begins.  In every shelter, many dogs are spending their last night in a noisy, smelly place, not knowing what tomorrow may bring.  You decide where that will be…  Ken

I should have done that...

I should have done that years ago…  I don’t like change at all.  But things have changed around here, and I am surprised and bewildered at the same time.  I have finally done it, I have finally moved to the modern age.  I purchased 3 new toys in the last few months, and everything seems to be going well so far.

When I was a kid, things were different in my world.  While in my mind, I’m only 18 years old and I like to think my body is too.  We took Sunday drives every weekend to visit family and have a casual drive and would visit family.  Being someone who had undiagnosed OCD I’m sure, it wasn’t easy for me to sit still in the back of the car.  I once pulled all the hair off of my sisters Tiny Tears doll and bit her nose off laughing the whole time, and once during a Sunday car trip, I threw Tiny Tears out the car window.  Many miles later, my sister told on me, and I didn’t care, it was worth it, and my dad turned the car around and found it, wasn’t a pretty bad day for me after that.

My sisters was minus the hair
I never liked when something would change.  Computer programs and even the grocery store do.  Sam’s Cub is the worst, they seem to change every week.  Being the grocery shopper, I visit them at least once each week.  Love the store hate the weekly changes.  Why can’t they just leave it alone and I have expressed my dismay to the manager, with no results

Something I didn’t think I would ever do is get an iPhone.  Most everyone had one, and I just wouldn’t do it.  Why I thought and until the first of April, I didn’t have one, but now I am a proud owner of one.  It’s not the newest model, but it’s pretty good, and I like it.  I’ve made countless mistakes and phoned people and not know it.  Once, I’ve even “Facetimed” people by mistake, and that was a hoot.

My next project was my new Fitbit… life changer.  Now it’s a race for me to see how many steps I can get even try to challenge myself on how many stairs I can climb.  The good part is on our farm some of my hiking paths have hills, and I usually take those trails when I want to increase my workout.  So far, I’ve done pretty well.

My next project was a GoPro.  Long gone are the days of a video recorder that you carry on your shoulder and I did have one of them, and it was like carrying a suitcase around.  Now I take a camera the size of a cracker on a short stick.  Who thinks this stuff up.

Not telling my age… but when I was a kid, a calculator was not invented.  If you wanted to add or subtract something, you did it wit, a pencil, and paper.  If you had a mathematical project, you used a protractor and slide rule, and I bet they don’t even sell those any longer.  I guess you can say I’ve joined the real world.

Today you can do everything with your phone.  I am shocked at what they can do and don’t want to know all of the other things because I think my brain will explode.  When we were on a Cruise in April, right after I got my phone, I got a test that Molly was not acting right.  Trying to explain things to each other didn’t work too well.  In just a few minutes after our last message, my phone made a funny beeping sound, and a screen popped up, and it was Molly and the dog sitter.  MY God, where does this stuff come from I said to Elaine?  We “Facetimed” for several minutes about Molly and we were like kids talking to her, and she perked up recognized us.  Amazing what this stuff does.

Coming from a simple person from the stone age and while the stuff it’s cool, it can be challenging for me to make it all work.  If it weren’t for youtube, I would be lost.  It’s the simple stuff that gets me.  Just last night, I could not figure one simple thing, and I just wanted to know how to turn the GoPro on.  As God is my witness, how can it be complicated to turn something on when it only has two buttons…  Ken


It's going to rain...

Just when life gets comfortable, and it mellows out, you look at your dog and see a storm on the horizon.  The clouds drift in, and you don't notice it, but they build until it finally is a downpour. 

I saw a photo of a Border Collie named Sadie on my social media that went to the Rainbow Bridge because of Cancer, the same kind Abbie had.  The family had gathered to celebrate her life and what she meant to all of them when she passed.  It was a very touching photograph, and I immediately thought about our situation here at the farm.  When you get your new dog, old age is the last thing on your mind, but they get old.    This isn't always the case as for Clancy and Abbie, but most of the time, it is inevitable, and they change, and you don't notice.  When I talked to the owners whom I had never talked to or know, I knew there pain too well.

"When we placed our hands on her heart, I just wanted the love we had for her
to radiate through her. She was a special girl." From Sadie's owner.
As I now look at Dutchess, I see this several times the day.  You, fortunately, don't see her age is creeping up because you remember what she looks like from early photos, and you really don't want to see it, but I see daily changes at times and if you don't see it with your dog, believe me, it's there, it's always the first touch of gray.

Dutchie Doo, my Dutchess...
One thing we can do is prepare our dog for that time, not physically but mentally.  While I'm sure that we all take physical care of our loved ones, do we take care of their minds?  Look at it from their point of view.  They exist for us, and they are part of our family.  With 9 dogs, I see things differently than most people because the dogs all want the same thing, and that's acceptance from me.  Many times Dutchess will bring a ball to me.  Years ago, I would throw it as far as I could, today it's maybe 5 feet, but she is so excited and content.

Abbie Dabby Doo
It's not unusual for the dogs to all circle around me for their ear scratches and belly rubs.  I always acknowledge them one by one, and they seem in heaven.  Just a touch from me brightens their world, just like when they come to greet or comfort me.  I would suspect most of you do, but we have had dogs come into the foundation that rarely had any contact beyond their limited space... I saw a placard a week ago that said, "5 things you can't recover in life." I thought about this and wondered how that could apply that to a dog's life.

I look at my dogs, and they seem so needy, but all they really want is for me to share my life and love them.  Here is my version of the 5 things you can't recover when they are gone.

5 things you can't recover when our dog is gone.

Those eyes that want more and you brushed them off.
Not walking them when it's raining or too cold, they don't care about the weather.
Showing them when you loved them and you pushed them away.
Not giving your time for "them."
When they bring you a ball, and you're too busy.

Dutchess is getting old, she still always gets into mischief and will usually just watch the other dogs play now.  I guess she is now the coach from the sidelines but I know she wants too.   Make there life as full as we can and remember to love them to the end, you are all they have.  Run Free Sadie...Ken

Note about Sadie from her owners...

Sadie had gone to the Rainbow Bridge, the last goodbye.
"Her name was Sadie, and she was perfect. We got her as a puppy, and she won our hearts the moment we laid eyes on her. She was easily trained and loved to play frisbee. She loved people and always lit any room up that she was in. She demanded play but used her manners when she was told no thank you. She lived a healthy, happy life until being diagnosed with lymphoma in May of this year. We gave it our all, and so did she enduring a four-month chemo protocol. She fought until the very last day. Her mind and soul were there, but her body could not keep up. Her soulful eyes watched us everywhere we went. She will be furever missed and has been extremely hard to accept that she is really gone."


I'm watching you...

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I'll be watching you

Every Breath You Take – The Police

I don’t know about you, but my dogs see everything I do.  I’m just glad they can’t write.  Did you ever make do something and the dog reacts to your movement?  With my dogs, I really watch what I do and how quick I act or react to something.  For example, no matter how sleepy they are, if I get out of a chair or even in the morning when they wake up, there up.  Tail wagging and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed raring to go.  Not like us, who opens our eyes and look at the wall and wonder how long we can lay there before we need to get up to go to the bathroom.  In an instant they are READY.  The bark and turn circles and run through the house and we can barely put one step in front of the other.  

Open a bag of chips or a snack, even in another room, and you have fuzzy paws right at your feet wanting their part.  I’m telling you, they have super hearing and eyesight and maybe they can read your mind.  They are always watching, even when we think they're not.
A new trick that they have learned if you pick the TV remote up at 10:30 pm, it’s time to go potty, and EVERYONE jumps up from a deep sleep and RUNS toward the back door, and all you did was pick the remote up.  Whether you were going to the bathroom or getting a snack, you are now letting the dogs out too.  What is really odd is this only happens when Elaine does it.  If I pick the remote up at the same time, same circumstances, nothing, not a movement from anyone.  When she does it, and the dogs jump up, my only comment is “thanks for taking the dogs out.”

Just wrap your mind around the things they see us do!  They see us at the worst of times in the morning and at night and all through the day.  I can just see this from Dutchesses point of view;

Do you really need to eat that… all of it?
That’s a big glass, can I have some?
Why do you sit on a white bowl?
Don’t get in that rain box, just jump in the lake and shake off.
You didn’t smell her butt.
Clean your teeth with a stick!
Sleep when you want.
Can you lick your own butt?
What were you thinking?

Each dog acts differently, but the most watchful dogs we have is Meggie and Dutchess when it comes to food.  You can open a cellophane bag, and they will run for 1000 feet to see what is in the bag.  No matter where they are, they are close at hand. I don't know how many times I would get something from a shelf or closet and when I turn around, they have already found their spot near my feet nearly tripping me.

What is amazing is how much they see us do.  Every moment the dogs are around, they watch us, even when we don't think so.  Whether it's eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom to shower or whatever... they are watching.  My only hope at my house is they never write a book, that could be bad,  Ken