Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Today I played with Blizzard and Rosie down in the field downtown. Blizzard isn't taking off for the roadside part of the field anymore. When he did recently, I yelled "No" and told him to come sit, and he did! At his foster home the other night the 3 yo let him out the front door again and off Blizzard goes, running for the road! "Blizzard... come sit!" What a good boy. There is hope for him. He just needs consistent training. If I had him with me 24 hours a day, no doubt he'd have all that down pat before now.
It began to rain so I packed us all up and headed home. After I made myself some lunch I prepared the shower for Blizzard and vise versa. He got a good scrub down and all the dirt from the foster home ran down the drain. His handsome white fur glistened. I wanted to cry. This would be our last shower together. I felt his muscles on his back legs again and felt his sturdy frame and cleaned that big block head of his and I kissed him. Crying. I was making him pretty for the evaluation on Thursday. Some people were coming on Thursday morning from the New England Border Collie Rescue to evaluate him. I know he will do okay. He is a sweet boy. He has some issues but they think it will be something they can work through with him. I trust the BC rescue will get to know him and what his needs are and find him the very best home. I want it to be his forever home. He deserves that!
I was putting Blizzard's collar back on and I looked at his little pirate name tag I had gotten him recently. I looked at his flashy blaze orange reflective collar as I put it on thinking my name would not be on him much longer. He has grown to look forward to my coming to pick him up for an afternoon run and evening in a home environment. I was learning more about him too. One visit he actually presented his nose for his gentle leader!
I talked to my husband a bit today. We are both very frustrated that we are not together yet. And he is very upset that he will not be able to meet Blizzard. I am having to change my whole mindset so that I don't include Blizzard in my future plans. He won't be there anymore. I just feel so sad and like I really failed this animal. I begin to wonder if turning him in to the rescue will ruin my ability to adopt from the rescue in the future or how this will look on a puppy questionairre. I remind myself that even though this hurts like hell, I am doing what is best. If my husband had just gotten us moved a little faster... but he didn't. The fact that I haven't seen my husband in almost a whole year has really begun to eat away at my morale and I am depressed about it. First there is hope for a move, then it's gone. Like poor Blizzard, first he is living there then he's not. First he is flying out to Oregon, then he's not.
I enjoyed seeing Blizzard relax here in my apartment with his tongue sticking out. I will no doubt miss that when he goes for good. I wanted to keep him so bad I did anything I could think of to keep him as mine until we were all able to move happily west together. I tried SO HARD!
Tonight when I walked him back across the river to his foster home we were just down the road and that stupid white ShihTzu that has attacked Rosie a few times was out with his incompetent owner. I had been waiting for this moment since Blizzard came back into town. I relaxed my right arm a bit (where I held him) and let him pull forward towards this yappy thing lunging at us. He began to do his whiney scream thing and then we passed. I was hoping that dog would break free from the woman's grip again, but no such luck. I would have put Blizzard between that dog and Rosie. Blizzard did well. I did not scold him for this one. I praised him. This may be the last time I will have that opportunity to use Blizzard to make us feel more secure while out walking.
I cannot communicate the pain and sorrow I hold now with knowing my time with my Blizzard will be short and then I will most likely not ever see him again. His sweet eyes and soft ears... and my husband will never get the joy of meeting this special boy. I expect I will cry again about this. Rosie will just have to tolerate it.
Please find the North East Border Collie Rescue link on the side of Blizzard's blog page. If you have what the dog needs and you want a great friend, adopt one of these awesome dogs. Learn about responsible puppy breeding and what to look for when you are looking for the breeder of your next bred puppy. Blizzard never got the headstart of a good puppy breeder. When I told them he had some problems, they never emailed me back... ever. There's more too. Through the rescue you can give a dog like Blizzard a second (or third) chance at a good life with a loving family. If you aren't in the position to adopt but want to help, donate money or other things. Some rescues have a wish list.
Everyone with a Border collie give him or her or them a big kiss.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Blizzard's habit of bolting out doors and wanting to fight with every non-border collie male he sees was what the final breaking point for his stay here. He was living with friends of mine, and my husband and I were presently trying to have him shipped to Oregon... where my husband was and where I will be moving soon. By October 1st, he would have been on his way (or already there) to Oregon. The urgent phone message on my phone this morning has upped the anti a bit and I have spent the day putting ads in Uncle Henry's, calling BC rescues etc. This is so totally not what I want to do with this dog that I have invested so much time, love, and even money into. We have tried so hard to hang on to him and it seems we have failed. My husband will never get to meet the boy and he so wanted to meet him.
It is my dream that Blizzard will be adopted out to an active family in the country, or maybe even to a farm to help herd. I could see him doing dog sports and I could see him working on a golf course chasing the birds off the course as well. He is swift, very strong, and has a good herding drive... not a low drive like his breeders said he had. They didn't know him from my butt! Sad but true. I want him to have a stable family willing to work with him and love him and will keep him into his old age to his dying moment. He needs consistency.
It so breaks my heart to have to do this to my handsome boy... as thick as he is :) I tried so hard. I realize now that I will probably not ever do any Border Collie rescueing. This whole thing with Blizzard has just broken my heart. What I really was looking for was a future service dog for when Rosie must retire. I let my heart get in the way though. I should have known better to not go through a bad breeder with no puppy contract, and to get an older pup who was beyond the ideal socialization period.
As painful as it can be sometimes, we live and we learn.
Please look through his photos and see how awesome he was. God, I will miss him.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The only picture of me and my two Border Collies: Rosie on the left, Blizzard on the right (when you look at the picture)
When I had Blizzard shipped to Bangor from Douglass, Kansas, I did so with the knowledge that I would have a place for him once he got here. There would be a foster period and then I would move into my friend's attic and take over his care. I wanted to direct his training and rehab so I knew what technique was tried and at the same time, love him like he should be. Poor Blizzard was here not even a week when my friend bailed out on me just before Christmas. Not only can you not live in our attic, Blizzard needs to go somewhere else. Mind you this is a Saturday before Christmas (09) which meant he needed to be out by Tuesday, two days before Christmas.
Blizzard posing for a picture for his breeder (about 5 months)
It isn't so much that I had no place to go I could afford, but Blizzard had no where to go either. He had no control over that and I had dragged a dog that already has a few issues into my life (adding yet one more issue to my own list). I felt left out in the cold with no real choices, and this let down angered me... with I ever totally forgive?
I found Blizzard a temporary foster home with a family from my church who I really had never had a chance to learn too much about. I hated doing this because for a family I know little about (pretty much) I was dumping a lot in their arms all at once. One downfall of his placement was that I saw him less frequently than I would have at my friend's house. I did my best to include him on any runs my friend and I did with the dogs, but that wasn't very many times.
So after about a month or so, I found him another placement with a friend in MA who trains service dogs. My friend and I did the trip together, with Rosie and Blizzard as the only animals allowed on board for the trip. We were to share expenses, and they were ridiculously high. I ended paying for not only gas but also supper at a not so cheap restaurant, (but it was very good!) Blizzard got along with the two main dogs very easily while I was there and the three of them were out running around in the yard (all fenced in and large) playing chase. Rosie was allowed to join in which she kind of did while at the same time letting all the dogs know that her personal space was about 5 or 6 feet around her.
Blizzard running with the other dogs (and Rosie)
Blizzard in MA with Taffy (Standard Poodle) and Sophie (German Shepherd)
The problem is that this family (my own) was split thousands of miles apart from each other. My husband is in Oregon, and I should have been there by now, but once he got there, his funding to complete the move were pulled and I got left behind. Blizzard, Rosie and the 3 cats and I should be there with my husband living in a house together in Oregon.
Rosie & Blizzard
Friday, February 12, 2010
Border collies actually come in colors other than the traditional black and white. Their coats have different patterns as well. The white is not always on the collar, chest, down the head and nose, feet and tail tip though that is how most know border collies to look like.
Pete is in a Foster Home through the Pacific North West Border Collie Rescue. He is in Klammath Falls, Oregon. If you want to check out Pete and other border collies available in the Pacific North West US area, click on their link located on the left side of the page.
Pete actually is a tri-colored border collie. His split face color pattern is not what people are used to seeing in a traditionally patterned border collie. Pete's half face and freckles give him character!