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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Time is Running Out...

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 Must Find Another Home :((


We have tried everything possible to hold on to this dog.  Unfortunately nothing has worked out since he got here.  Had I known that I wouldn't have a place for him where I live I would have never had him sent up here to Maine.  That was the biggest let down from my friends who had originally opened their home to him (and myself). 

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

Heartbreak and Hardtimes

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.

Blizzard running with the other dogs (and Rosie)

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 & Rosie on the Trip to MA

With this placement, I was hoping that Blizzard could get some consistent training, and maybe even some TLC too. I wasn't even aiming for a service dog status for him at this point. I just wanted him to be a good pet for an active family. So it is about 2 months now since he has been there and recently I have heard NOTHING of his progress and the training she is doing with him, and no pictures of him have been sent to me for quite a few weeks. What is going on with my dog? Is he getting any better or worse? Is he learning anything at all? Is he going out on walks on a leash (because he really needs that)? AND...

Blizzard in MA with Taffy (Standard Poodle) and Sophie (German Shepherd)

Did Blizzard knock up her Standard Poodle or not?? (I don't want this, and am not in support of overpriced "Designer Hybrids").

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

Right now I am going to again look at my options and see if there is something better I could be doing for that poor dog. All we need is money to move and that would take care of everything. Problem is, that costs a plane ticket (for my husband to fly back over here) and close to $3,000 to pack and load a truck which will be driven by professionals because my husband is just not safe driving stuff like that... and towing a Subaru Forester behind. Where would everyone sit even? To drive out I think we need another $1,200. That would have to be worked out. I am living beyond my means, though my husband is trying to help out which means not much is saved for a move. Blizzard costs $75 to be in MA, plus I send food, Frontline Plus and Interceptor on a regular basis. (I would pay for that anyway if he were here). We just need a loan or something and all the chaos could end.

My husband, Chris, Rosie, my service dog, and me at the beach 2009

Some options people might give me are not options for us. One is to get rid of Blizzard... Sell him (as a stud) and try to get my money back. Someone suggested. Give him up to a Border Collie Rescue. Not an option for me. First of all, he cost to damn much for me to just hand this guy over to strangers. Second, I want him, Third... even though they have never met, my husband wants this dog. He has fallen in love with a dog he has never met. Going to more foster homes isn't a different approach. Giving a pet away via humane sociely or rescues doesn't tend to look very good on a puppy application either (and leaves a sour taste in my mouth too).
Blizzard in his Crate in MA

I can only pray and beg that this move will take place very soon so I can just pick up Blizzard, put him in the car with all the other animals and drive off in to the sunset (literally).

But is there something better in the meantime for my boy??

Blizzard: Looks like fun!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The True Colors of Border Collie: A coat of many colors

So what color is Blizzard?
This is Blizzard playing in Saxl Park, Bangor, Maine USA
Well, lets find out...

Zero is a totally white border collie that has dark eyes.  A totally white border collie is a rare sight, and to see  one that is healthy... can see and hear... is also rare.  ( "Zero's" life situation has changed and she needs a new home with lots of space in the country.  Are you interested?  Check out the link to the left of the page for the Eastern Tennessee Border Collie Rescue.

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!   

Gent is also at the Eastern Tennesse Rescue.  He is a blue merle.  Blue is what they call the grey area with the black blotches, creates a merle patterned dog.  When one breeds a merle pattern dog with another merle, the outcome can be sad.  There is a large chance of puppies born who cannot hear or see and have other related medical problems as well. (

Bobbie is at a rescue in the UK called Wiccaweys.  They rescue Border Collies and working sheep dogs.  Bobbie is a rough coated (long haired) black tri-colored border collie.

Tipper is located at a foster home for the Pacific North West border collie rescue.  If you want to check him out or any other dog there looking for a new forever home, the link is on the left side of the page.

Tipper is a beautiful dog.  He is a red tri-colored border collie.  Looks like he has light brown or amber eyes to blend in with his fur too!

Micah is also with the Pacific North West rescue.  He is being fostered in Washington State.  Micah has been seeking his forever home for quite a while now.  Do you have room for a dog like Micah?  Read about him at the PNWBCR site.  Maybe you can give him the home he needs.

Micah is a stunning black border collie with brilliant fair eyes (can't tell if they are blue or amber) and I can't help but be attracted to this dog.  He has very little white on him.  As handsome as he is, he probably would not be able to be a conformation show dog.  That's okay because there are so many other fun things for border collies to do.

Eli is in a foster home through the North East Border Collie Rescue located in Vermont.  She is predominantly white with very light grey eyes.  It is hard to see, but she is a red merle.  If you are interested in adopting Eli or any of the other dogs being fostered thru NEBCR, click on their link on the far left of the page.

This dog WAS looking for a home through the Pacific North West Border Collie Rescue, but on last check, I no longer saw her listed.  I hope she is doing well in her new home.

The above dog is the same color as Blizzard is!  He was registered with the AKC as a Sable and White dog.  That is what the breeders told me he was.  HOWEVER, eventually I found out that a border collie CAN come in a brindle too!  I believe it was in the Border Collie Museum on the internet.  I will find and post that link for you on this page so you can check it out.  So the above newly adopted girl and Blizzard are Brindle and White border collies.  The two of them look like they could be littermates!

This cute pup is Mira.  She is believed to be an Australian Shepherd x Border collie.  Just a pup, she is being fostered through the Eastern Tennessee border collie rescue.  To check her out, feel free to click on the link on the far left of this page.

Mira is a real shaded sable and white dog.  Notice that on the brindle, the black is striped mixed in with the red hair.  On the shaded sable, the black is on the edges of the colored part of the dog's coat.  If  you look at Mira's picture, you can see the black shading around her mask.

This special boy is Roosevelt.  He is a chocolate and white... or brown and white border collie.  And look at his grey eyes!  What makes Roosevelt so special is that his two front legs are deformed.  He was born this way so he doesn't know anything is wrong.  The North East Border Collie Rescue is trying to get donations of money to help Roosevelt get surgery to hopefully get his legsworking better, and to get him a pair of WHEELS!  (I believe there is a link to the company making Roosevelt's wheels at the NEBCR site).These wheels with be custom made to fit Roosevelt so that he will be able to get around without putting extra stress on his back and hips (which in the long run could mean he would become even more disabled).  If you think you can donate some money to Roosevelt's cause, please click on the North East Border Collie Rescue link to the left of this page.  While your there, you can check out the other dogs looking for forever homes!

What I don't have yet is a good picture of a blue and white, and a gold and white border collie.  The gold is another form of sable.  It can be as light as cream colored, to as dark as a golden retriever's dark golden coat.  If you have a good example of any of these colors in your dogs, please feel free to email me and send me a photo.

Now, how can I change Blizzard's AKC registration papers so it reads Brindle and White??
Update:  It will not be cheap to change his color on his registration papers.  I think it is another $30.