Twas the night…

Yes, it was a night like no other here at the farm.  As I watch you in your new bed, you are at peace and now warm and comfy, not on the concrete floor without a blanket.  Your dreams have gone from uncertainty to a future.  You are now in a place where people love you as you now can trust people again and always. Destiny awaits you with new loving parents and possibly a dog and kids to play with who will welcome you and maybe even to there bed.

I saw the sparkle in your eyes and the smile on your face right from the start and saw you change from a scared little girl to someone who has hope, faith, and a fresh start.  I watched you the day you came to us and saw you run, actually run with all your heart, just to keep up with the other dogs, and you weren't as fast, but you had fun trying. 

You acclimated into our rescue family is just a few hours, and I know you were unsure of what would happen next because your past was so unstable and scary.  You met new friends and companions and loved each one of them as they love you, but this time it was different.  You got to wrestle and tumble in the middle of our floor and run up and down the stairs when you scampered through the house.  Something you didn’t know how to do until you watched the other dogs go up and down, and you did too. 

You learned many new things in just a few days.  A bath is good even though it is a little scary, but it gets the dirt, shelter smell, and any little critters off, and now you are clean and safe with a clean start, something not everyone gets like some of the dogs you knew.  I will never forget walking out the shelter and hearing the other dogs bark that was left behind.  Did they wonder where you were going, you have seen other dogs go with someone before, and it didn’t end very well.

When I arrived at the shelter, it was busy, and people were going and coming at a quick pace.  Walking into the “dog” room, as usual, I heard the barking before I went through the door and even smelled the urine, feces, and antiseptic before I went in.  A little dog was crouched in the corner with her eyes covered, hiding from the world and everything around her and it was you.  

All but given up
I went into your 3 by 5 kennel with only one empty water and food bowl.  Setting on the floor with my back to the gate, I patted the floor, and you wanted to come to me but was scared.  When you did, I cried.  You licked my hand as to thank me, and I thanked you for not giving up.  I ask God how does this happen but was answered; it didn't this time she was saved.   Twas this night occurs at the farm frequently and every week throughout the year.  To many, it is just another night but to this dog, little did she know that the night before, sleeping on the bare cold concrete floor, was a special night.  Twas the night before rescue…

Twas the night before Christmas and the shelter was dark,
The whole place was silent, not even a bark.
The dogs were locked in their pens for the night,
The staff had gone home and turned out the light.

As I lay my head down on the cold concrete floor,
I fondly recalled the home I had before.
The family I loved who loved me right back,
We'd shared everything from a secret to a snack.

Things couldn't be better at this time last year,
But that has all changed, and now I am here.
I won't see the tree, the lights or the snow,
I'm scared and alone, my spirits are low.

Others like me were put up for adoption,
A new home for me isn't an option.
We've been locked up in cells as if we're all crooks,
We don't deserve homes because of our looks.

While families celebrate with holiday cheer,
I know in my heart that my end is near.
The vet will arrive, the lights will go on,
By the time you awake, we all will be gone.

A stranger will come and take me away,
I'll never awake to see the next day.
As I at last close my eyes I won’t shed a tear,
The fond memories, with you, I'll always keep near.

-- Author Unknown

I'll show her...

Elaine left Thursday afternoon to see her father, and she will stay the night with him.  She will then drive further south and spend the weekend with her daughter in another state and won’t be back until Sunday night.  Elaine is making her rounds to see family, and I will stay home and take care of things  Well you know what that means,  It means, I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING…

I have 11 dogs to watch, and it has rained for two days, it’s muddy and still raining, but it will clear up Sunday night of course, when she gets home.  What do you do with 11 dogs when it rains solidly for the entire time, and of course, there needs to be potty time in the rain.  We have a wraparound porch, but if I let them out, they can go as needed and come back to cover.  Great idea, but Dog Dad is required to be with them when they go so they can look at me, so I grab my galoshes, raincoat and hat we take a walk, and you know what that means… I get to dry off 11 dogs and then do a load of laundry.

Yes, I'm right here
Usually, when Elaine is home, some dogs will stay with each of us.  She has her pack, and I have mine, well… until she gets back, I have a big pack of critters that hang on every word and movement I make, and you know what that means, there is not a bed big enough for all the dogs and I will get very little sleep. I’ll fix her…

I’m one of those guys that don’t like to be by myself.  Just knowing that someone is here keeps me comfortable and I like the company, and when she leaves, I feel even more responsible to keep things in shape, the burden lies with me, and I am in charge so to speak, so to speak…

“I’ll fix her” is my motto, I’ll show her…  As I go through the house, I’ll vacuum the steps and floors, that will teach her.  I’ll catch all the laundry up, she’ll be sorry, and I’ll even clean out the refrigerator and wipe the inside out, she’ll know I’m upset.  The coup de grace will be when I clean out the pantry, I'm sure she won't mind.

As the evening wears on, I am exhausted after dusting, washing, wiping and doing all the chores.  The dogs watched the whole time because it was raining and nasty outside.  I only got wet a few times taking them for a long walk, and when it stopped, I used fewer towels, and the sun came out.  After a restful night, everyone slept soundly and even slept in a little later than usual and realized tomorrow is another day…

Tomorrow is another day
What makes things work best for me when she leaves for several days is to plan ahead.  You purchase pre-made meals that you can microwave and have ready in minutes and with paper plates or just using the container it comes in, that makes it fast and easy and clean up is a breeze.  Stock up on your favorite non-alcoholic beverage, and that makes the night more enjoyable keeping the chill off.

Keeps the chill off

All in all, things worked out, and we made it, you learn as you go and life is good.  The house is clean, and she'll be sorry for missing all the fun but maybe next time.  I just have one question when she gets back, "where do you keep the toilet paper?"  Ken

The Christmas Present...

Many years ago, my sister bought my mother a very special Christmas present.  Diane had a small dog, and my mother seemed to like it and Diane thought she would share the joy and love to Mom.  Diane would have topped everyone’s present by giving the “best” Christmas present ever.  I remember the day as if it was yesterday.  The celebration was in full swing when my sister arrived with the bundle of “Joy.”

To say my mother was surprised was an understatement.  The look on her face would stop a freight train, and a forced smile came upon her face, not wanting to hurt my sisters feeling she took the dog.  After everything wound down that evening there was poop and pee in various areas to clean up and Mom was exhausted from chasing her new family member around the house.

While Diane thought it was a great idea and it would give Mom some company, it wasn't.  Later, Mom told me "if I wanted a dog, I would buy one."  The day after Christmas, Mom called my sister and told her to pick the dog up and return it to the pet store.  The incident was never spoken of by anyone in my family again.  I guess my Christmas present was the show-stopper.  Mom loved her new kitchen rugs I got her, and I got to see them often.

When we bred Border Collie puppies, it was a magical time to be with them as they grew and I loved to see them go to their new home full of love and energy.  One year, we had Christmas pups, it was not planned, but you can’t control those girls.  They were born in the middle of September which meant they could go home around Christmas.  As a past detective, I’ve got that gut feeling that something is not right and with one of the future pup owners I had it.  We always screen our prospective owners, but that feeling was there.  The day before he was to pick up his pup for the kids, I called him and told him my thought and that it would not be a good idea to get the pup.  After much begging, he wanted to talk in person, and he came over.  After much talk, and as we were walking, he put his arm around me and said: “I promise you I will do everything I can do to give your pup a good home, besides, what will I tell the boys.”  One year later, I got that call, the pup was coming home.  He did, and he was a train wreck and even bit me when I tried to work with him.  

I have beat myself up a thousand times, and I promised myself it will never happen again and it didn’t.  I worked for months trying to fix all the wrong in the dog.  He would not approach me, much less let me touch him for weeks.  Once while I was sitting in the floor in the same room he approached me, I turned my head away and bowed.  He licked my face, and I knew there was hope.  Years later and with much work, he succeeded in life.

With the Christmas season coming up, from experience, don’t surprise anyone with a dog.  Everyone needs to know what is going on and is on board with the entire process, even children.  Dogs are expendable to some, and that’s where we come in.  Some dogs Clancy’s Dream brings in has issues of some sorts, and it’s a lack of love, attention, and exercise.  It's never the dog but the past owner.  They are given all of it here, and they live happy lives.  The other strong suggestion I can give is never to purchase a dog from a Pet Store.  While they look beautiful and healthy, their parents are sitting in a cage and will live their entire life there.  As of 2017 in Indiana alone, there are over 200 puppy mills and over 6,700 adult dogs trapped, and that’s only what they know about.  They only exist because people purchase the dogs...    Ken

~Author unknown

T'was the night before Christmas, when all thru the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nick soon would be there.

The children all nestled snug in their beds
With no thought of the dog filling their head.
And mom in her kerchief and I in my cap
Knew the dog was cold but didn't care about that.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Figuring the dog was free of his chain and into the trash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But Santa Clause with his eyes full of tears.

He unchained the dog once so lively and quick
Last year's Christmas present now painfully sick.
More rapid than eagles he called the dog's name
and the dog ran to him despite all his pain.

Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen
On Comet on Cupid on Donner and Blitzen.
To the top of the porch to the top of the wall
Let's find this dog a home where he will be loved by all.

I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year
For Santa had made one thing quite clear.
The gift of a dog is not just for the season
We had gotten the dog for all the wrong reasons.

In our haste to think of the kids a gift
There was one important thing we missed
A dog should be family, and cared for the same
You don't give a gift, then put it on a chain.

And I heard him explain as he rode out of sight,
"You weren't given a gift, you were given a life

They Grow...

At times we get dogs into Clancy’s Dream Rescue that could be compared to a blank sheet of paper no matter how old they are.  What I mean, there is no structure or obedience, and some are just a bundle of joy bouncing everywhere, but others come with a heavy heart.  Here are a few things I have observed.

From the dog's point of view.

I have learned that there is more space than a 6-foot area of dirt and a chain
I have learned that you can keep warm in the winter
I have learned you can go into the house
I have learned I can eat every day
I have learned to go up and down stairs
I have learned what a human is
I have learned what a toy is
I have learned what a bath is
I have learned what other dogs are
I have learned what peace is
I have learned what trust is
I have learned what hope is
I have learned what love is

When you rescue a dog, it can be overwhelming, and every time, I get a queasy stomach because of what we run into.  Each dog is different and reacts in many ways.  Some are eager to see you, and some are apprehensive, but most haven’t a clue of how their life is about to chance.  Every point of view, I have seen and some I have seen them all.  As most of us are dog lovers, we may have never seen these points of view and can’t imagine ever seeing them, but in my world, I have.  I can tell you when I go to a shelter, I will whisper to the All Mighty, “Please let me be able to save this dog.”  And when the dog is in the car, I have cried to him, “how can this happen because it was to bad.”

From my point of view.

I have seen you run at the farm, something you have never done
I have learned that you love to be in the house and sleep in the bed  
I have fed you every day
I have taught you to go up and down stairs
I have seen you love humans
I have seen you play with a toy
I have given you a bath
I have seen you play with other dogs
I have seen you at peace
I have seen you trust
I have seen you now have hope
I have learned what love is

Doing this rescue thing can be hard at times, there is never an easy one, and some are more complicated than others.  I have literally seen a dog run for the first time off lead or have a soft bed that is not the ground but is usually is in our bed.  They are safe inside the house during the rain and not sleeping in the snow.  You would be surprised because of their lack of socialization that it’s hard for them to meet strangers and most don’t know how to go up or down a set of stairs.  Once they do it, it’s usually Okay, but the easiest way for me is to pick them up, holding them tight and speaking softly, set them down in the middle with them.  Once there I talk and encourage them to move, and they do.  When the pack goes up or down the next time, without any hesitation, the new dog will follow.

It’s heartwarming to see a dog blossom into something that would benefit there life and the life of there new dog parents after the rescue, and sometimes it’s pretty easy, and at times it takes a little longer.   The most difficult situations are when you can’t help a dog and unfortunately, we can’t.  Monday morning I am traveling to eastern Indiana to evaluate a dog as we do every week to see if it fits into our program and as I sit in the car getting ready to go in, I will whisper to the All Mighty, “Please let me be able to save this dog.”   Ken