Stopping to visit...

Monday Morning, I was reading my mail in the office and got a phone call.  Elaine has just pulled out of the driveway going to work.  I looked at the phone and saw it was her. "What did you forget," I ask. "You're not going to believe this, but two Mallard ducks are sitting on Clancy's grave, a male and a female."  "What are they doing," I ask, "Just sitting right on top of his grave, you've got to see it." I walked out of the house and could hear them quacking as if calling someone but as I walked toward them, they flew off, circling the area for a few times and headed East.  The odd part, the grave sites are in the woods and ducks usually stay in a clearing.

We had only lived in our house at Dogwood Ridge for a few years, and it is in the country, deep country.  Our hardware stores and farm supply stores sell things a little different than the same stores in the city.  We don't see any other houses and live right next to the Hoosier National Forrest.  

We were in a local hardware store, and they had ducks.  They were only a few days old, and Elaine really-really wanted some.  I told her that "let's go home and see what we need and then decide." We had most of the equipment, and it was a go, we had nearly everything we needed.  The next day, Elaine went to the farm and feed store to buy a few ducks for the farm.  I stayed home to catch up on some chores, and when she returned, things got complicated.  Not only did she purchase eight Mallard ducklings, but she also got Khaki Campbell and Pekin ducklings.  We were full to the brim with ducks.  I will tell you that when they grow up, they get bigger.

It was truly amazing to watch them grow, and they grew so fast!   Everyone looked the same when they were young, but as they grew, things changed, and the colors started to come out.  They were beautiful and tons of fun.  We needed a place for them to stay at night, so that is when I built my first small duck shed, and it looked like an outhouse.  The neighbors laughed, but I liked it, and we were now real country people.

We did have our dogs, Clancy, Molly and Meggie but no one paid any attention to the ducks but Clancy who would herd them and keep a close eye on them.  As Meggie grew up and the ducks were staying in the water, Meggie and her sister would herd them in the lake.  The ducks would swim around and stop and peck at something, and Meggie would get close.  The ducks just swam faster and left them in their wake.

Meggie and her sister
The ducks were so friendly and followed us around and especially loved it when I cut grass.  The mowing would spook thousands of bugs from the grass to the air, and the ducks had a field day following me and catching them.  We raised ducks to repopulate the Mallards and knew they would fly off someday. When I fed the dogs, the ducks would come to the door of the kennel, and I would toss them some food, and they would peck at the ground and my shoes and get their bellies full, and this was a daily occurrence.  When the Mallards flew off, and we were duck-less, it was sad, but it was one of the neatest experiences we have had.  They always say that Mallards return home and I wondered...  

Clancy, watching and Meggie watching from a distance.
When they were here, the ducks would fly to us and land at our feet, and if you held your arms out, they would fly up to your arms.  My fondest memory is when they would be several hundred yards from you, and you would clap your hands, and they would zero in on you and fly right next to you and circle and do it again almost like a game.  When they passed you at head level, they appeared to be in slow motion, and the wind from their winds was amazing.  It was Great…

Every year, some would always land on the lake and rest as they were migrating, and we often wondered if they were ours or their siblings.  I never gave it much thought until one day I was in the kennel and as I walked out the door.  A male and female Mallard was just feet from me and was staring at me. "Are you hungry?" I ask, and they came closer.  I grabbed a handful of kibble and tossed it to them, and they pecked it all up.  After getting their belly full, they pecked my shoe strings and flew off. "I wonder," I said out loud.

My Boy and his ducks...
As I saw the Mallards fly off on Monday, I wondered if they came to visit their friend, to pay respect to a fallen hero who was their mentor and who they may have imprinted with. I'll never know, but it was so touching.  As I walked to the graves that morning, each grave is the same, only the headstone is different, but his grave had some small feathers on it, but I have to wonder why they would visit Clancy's grave?   If I have seen anything with the dogs, rescue, and people, I see miracles and things that just can't be explained nearly every day.  People call that have never heard of us, impossible situations come together in an instant, people help out unexpectedly that you don't know and it all amazes me.  If I have learned anything, some forces come to play when the dogs and Clancy's Dream need help.  I know this because I have seen it a thousand times.  You will never know where or why the miracle happened, but it's really not a miracle at all because it was meant to be.  Somewhere, someone will receive a nudge or a lick from a dog and not understand why.  It may be something you may not be able to comprehend or understand at that particular moment.   Be patient with this and take the love and kindness that comes from it,  you can't envision the ride you will have if you choose his path.  Ken...

Mothers Day

Today, we celebrate Mother's day, and I was told what we are doing this morning.  Elaine told me last night she wants to go out for breakfast, and I said, "You know they stop serving breakfast at 11 o'clock, and that means that you need to get up before then."  "Waffle House is OK with me," so we are heading to Waffle House this morning.  Elaine does like to sleep in, but today, she is making that sacrifice to get up and head out early.  Mothers day was always special in my young years.  My sister always picked a beautiful bouquet of flowers from our yard for Mom, and I usually got her a bunch of dandelions, but she always seemed to love them.  

They didn't last too long.
But did you know that the second Saturday in May is National Dog Mom’s Day, and it sends out a chorus of yips, barks, and howls of praise for all the dog moms!  The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed National Dog Mom’s Day to be observed the second Saturday of May beginning in 2018.

My dogs are our family members, whether they came into our lives unexpectedly or as carefully planned additions. We adopt them as puppies, adolescents, or fully mature animals with a bit of baggage, and yet, we find common ground, a connection, and bond like families do. They know our moods, and we know theirs. We care for them, shelter them and share an immeasurable loyalty with them.

Molly and her Pups
National Dog Mom’s Day recognizes the bond women share with their fur kids. When they humor us, charm us, or even when they are naughty, they are like any other child to us, and each of our children is different.  “Our pups may not surprise us with breakfast in bed or a handmade macaroni noodle card, but instead, we wake up to a lovable dog jumping to greet us with sloppy puppy kisses. But we don’t care because our hearts are so full of love for these fur-kids!” – Hilarious Hound.  Raising a puppy or welcoming a rescue into your home is no small task. It’s hard work. It takes dedication and consistency to raise them. Our fur-children quickly give a whole new meaning to unconditional love, and dog moms give that love right back to them every single day.

While you get ready to celebrate Mothers Day this year whether, it's in person or thought, remember the good times and speak lovingly of the person who cared for you and always want the best for you.  I know I will.

Dutchess and her Pups
Dutchess is ready to pack up in the car and head out to Waffle House for a Pecan Waffle and a tall glass of milk, and she even rolled in poop so she would smell good for everyone.  She likes the booth best because she can lay down when she gets full.  

Remember May 8, 2021, is NATIONAL DOG MOM’S DAY; mark your calendars; Dutchess already has...   Ken

A Savior is Born...

In a story in the Bible, there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid... sorry, wrong story and wrong shepherds, but be patient.

Things happen for reasons, and at times it takes years and sometimes a lifetime.  We moved to our cabin in 1999 and didn't have a dog nor did I want one because it was too much trouble.  I retired when I was 43 and puttered around the farm doing things I wanted to do.  I would take a job just to have something to do, but when they upset me, I was gone.  I needed nothing from them but would offer my full attention and skills, it was a beautiful place to be.

Because I had a garden and we lived in the woods, deer were abundant and usually ate everything I grew.  Everyone said to get a dog.  I resisted for a long time but fell into that trap.  We originally wanted a German Shepherd because of the size and felt they would be suitable for our farm life and to keep the deer away.  We scoured the newspaper and only found one breeder anywhere near us, and the cost was a whopping $600.00.  It was just too much at that time.

Fast forward to May 2019 and I sit with three German Shepherds at my side.   Whoaaaaa, don't there I still love my Border Collies with all my heart, and they will never be replaced.  I just never thought that I would have two breeds of dogs that are so important in my life.

Dahlia was my first one, and she came to me because she had too much time on her paws and got into trouble.  Her owner worked twelve hours, and it was an hour drive to work.  The bad part, the owner worked at night, and when she came home, she went to bed.  Dahlia soon learned to break out of her cage, and after several times, the straw that broke the camel's back was when she broke into the bathroom through the wall and tore the sink off the wall.  That very day, Dahlia came to be with us.  We were going to rehome her, and on the very day she was to go to her new home, she jumped on the couch and buried her face in my lap.  I looked at Elaine, and big tears started, and I said, "I can't do this," and we didn't.

 JoJo came to us last year and she was very loved and spoiled and had great dog parents.  They also have her brother Jett, and he is a stunning and a majestic dog but several large dogs playing and running through the house is a bit much.  We kept them when they were 14 weeks old, and I fell in love with both of them.

When something needs to be done to halt the chaos, I was contacted.  Needless to say, JoJo came to live with us, and I was thrilled, to say the least.  She is so comical, she flops around on my desk, slapping my keyboard when she visits which is every time I come to my office, she lays under my desk, popping her head up to get her ears rubbed between my legs and then going back to sleep until her ears need scratching again.  

She sleeps next to me putting her head on my pillow right next to my nose which leads to a few nose kisses during the night.  I have taught her tricks, she can eat from my fork and will even take food from my mouth which leads to her making a visit when I'm eating, and I have taught to jump up on me.  While this is unacceptable to some, I think it's endearing.  Nearly every day, she jumps up, putting her paws around my neck and licking my nose.

Bear came to us through Clancy's Dream because he needed a new home.  He had a great home, but again that "work" thing came into play, and he was spending too much time by himself. He's only 11 months old and is just a puppy that weighs nearly 80 pounds.  In just a few short days he has been with us, I have fallen head over hills over him. He's a big strong male and looks very similar to my other two, acting a lot like mine in some way but in other ways very different.  

Before you ask, we will not keep him.  As much as I want to, we just can't because as I've said many times "we don't need another dog." and his fate is sealed, but not by me.  I know a plan is out there for Bear and he is needed for a journey of his own that is more exciting, he has already been picked to carry on his journey with his new owner.  He gravitates to me and will lay his big head in my lap and I know he will do the same to someone else.  As I think back to my first "wants" here at the farm, it just wouldn't work then, it wasn't to be at that frame of time and Clancy's fate and mine were already sealed.  Purchasing a German Shepherd was not possible and besides, if we would have gotten one, chances are we would never have gotten Clancy.  We would never know the love a Border Collie can give and Clancy's Dream would be a myth and all of the dogs Clancy's Dream has saved would not have happened.  

Be patient with your plans you have and let them work through your heart, it's timing, not yours but from elsewhere.  But it's when the purpose is needed, it will happen.  We couldn't afford the $600 that was required to purchase a Shepherd because unknown to us, Border Collies needed to be helped and Clancy had already picked us.  The cards were stacked, but when the hands were played, we all won.  We will never know or be able to comprehend the strength of the force that leads our life, whether it's from above or from the dogs we love so much… As the photo depicts, maybe a dog savior was born years ago and he was called Clancy...  Ken

Sometimes what we want doesn't happen when or how we want it to.  But that doesn't mean the answer is "no" it just means "just not right now."