Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winter Walkies

Today we joined some friends and went for a walk up to Memory Grove Park, which abuts the Capitol Building in Salt Lake City.  It was a balmy 18 degrees, so we dressed up warmly and I did my best to keep the dogs out of the stream and ponds (they just cannot stay out of the water and I didn't want to drag along frozen pupsicles).

Allie really had a great time.  (Although she had a bit of a collision with Zephyr, one of her friends, and got knocked into the air as he ran by -- she's limping around a bit tonight.)

Zephyr said he was sorry.

We met some new friends along the way.

The dogs [mostly] stayed out of the water -- so they only had a few icicles hanging from their fur.

This is Zip -- he's a gorgeous little split-face BC who is looking for a forever home.  He's a great dog and is very friendly and loving.  Check out Zip's Webpage on Western Border Collie Rescue's website.

Rusty says "Ya'll come along with us on the next walk, ok?"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's That Time of Year . . .

To be thinking of Christmas shopping!  As the holidays approach and the new year is getting closer, what better gift to give family and friends than a calendar full of gorgeous dogs AND (here's one of the best parts), almost all of the proceeds from the sale of these beautiful, well designed calendars goes to help dogs in need. 

The bulk of the money raised by WBCR goes to provide spay/neutering and other much needed veterinary care for the dogs, as quite a few of the dogs arrive in rescue in bad physical shape and often very heartbreaking situations.

Dogs like Callie.

Darling little Callie is one of the special WBCR girls that came from a hoarding situation in Oklahoma, where 120 + dogs were found to be living in desperate circumstances, many of them Border Collies. Callie was transferred to a Colorado shelter and was determined to be too shy for the shelter to care for very, she was transferred to WBCR where she could gets lots of TLC and special attention as a loved dog in a foster home.

Like many of the Ada rescues, Callie had no idea what people were or how to trust them. When she first arrived in her foster home, she had to be hand fed for a couple days before she would even allow anyone to touch her. Slowly she has come around to her new situation and is making great progress in gaining confidence and trusting people.

Then there's Banjo.   

This chocolate-eyed, baby faced cutie was picked up as a stray by a highway in Idaho and was one saaaaad puppy dog --confused, dejected, frightened, you name it.  BanJo curled into a ball and cried for a full day. But on day 2, we caught a glimpse of an impish grin, and by Day 3, it was clear BanJo has quite the irrepressible spirit!

But, the next month in foster care was up and down. She seemed to have good days (when she felt great and was full of play and fun) and bad days (when she was lethargic, restless, uncomfortable), so we took her to the vet again and in late July, BanJo was diagnosed with liver failure, and given just a few weeks to live.  But nobody told her that, and she continued to have good we went and got another opinion, and it seems that she was NOT in liver failure, but had a liver shunt which was thought could be easily remedied with one surgical procedure.  Thanks to a caring vet in CO, BanJo’s surgery was done with a deep discount, and was performed in mid-August.  Unfortunately it did not go as well as we’d hoped. Her shunt was inside the liver rather than outside of it, which complicated things considerably, but the surgeons did what they could to redirect blood flow to her liver, and now it’s a waiting game to see how she does post-op and over the following few weeks. She's been clearly feeling better since surgery although we won't know for sure till what her long-term prognosis will be.

So, here's your chance to help us help dogs in need.  Buy calendars for everyone on your Christmas list this year.  :D

  A BIG thanks in advance from:









and all of the other dogs at Western Border Collie Rescue!
Happy Holidays!

Order yours now!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

WBCR at Soldier Hollow 2009

We had a great adventure over the Labor Day weekend (and I am still recovering). Western Border Collie Rescue had a booth at the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Trial and it was such a great experience. I haven't heard an official tally yet, but rumor is the attendance numbers were close to 30,000 people attending over the four days this year. It was quite the crowd!  I was at the venue from early morning until evening, but only managed to see one single run. 

One of the activities that the Soldier Hollow organizers set up was an instinct test for WBCR's rescue dogs. They thought this activity would be a good way to show the public that even rescued Border Collies had sheepherding instinct and it would also give good to exposure to our rescue, because we don't have many foster homes and volunteers here in Utah.  However, they wanted 10 dogs to test - which meant we had to try to arrange to get 10 foster dogs to Utah from Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming. Well . . . that didn't quite happen, but we did have 10 WBCR dogs (either foster or alums) at the exhibition round pen at 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning.

Mark Peterson, the man behind SHSDT, did a quick check with each dog in the pen prior to the exhibition and 9 of our 10 dogs passed muster and we were set for the 10:00 a.m. demonstration (Trixie*, an adorable little blue merle BCx new to WBCR, got herself booted because she was extremely reactive to Mark and the sheep and barked herself silly.) *On a side note, pretty little Trixie got adopted while at the trial by a very nice couple who had been cleared for adoption through WBCR's application process about a year ago and who came up to the trial to meet her.

Max works the sheep.

Don Hensley, a former judge for the Soldier Hollow trial who was a competitor this year, graciously offered his time and expertise to evaluate our dogs for their interest and potential ability to work sheep. It was a very interesting experience and most of our dogs did quite well.
Zeke likes working the sheep.

Cade, a sweet, big (55 lb.), BC boy who spent 3 months languishing in a Nebraska shelter before WBCR pulled him in early August, was a star, despite never having been on sheep! Don thought he showed an amazing amount of potential as a stockdog and Mark Peterson got on his phone to let some friends know about Cade and his availability.  One of the best things about Cade is he also a very sweet and friendly BC and is fabulous with kids.
Cade (Photo courtesy of WBCR)
Grace (Photo courtesy of WBCR)
On the other hand, we were told little Grace, a petite, but intense little foster BC in Idaho, would make someone a "great little frisbee dog."  She just didn't care about the sheep at all. Oh well, Grace was absolutely a trooper in our booth and is wonderful with people (and like Don said, is a terrific frisbee dog).

And Allie . . . well, Allie's evaluation was amazing to me.  Allie had never seen sheep before, but from the minute she laid eyes on the wooly creatures she was enthralled.

She went into a low crouch, her eyes glazed over and she went for the sheep with a gusto! (I was glad she was on a long dragline!)

Let me at 'em! I'm goin' to eat me some sheepies!

Ahem . . . I asked Don, "Is she really supposed to be chewing on the sheep's feet like that?" "It's ok," he said, "she's actually a little tentative and needs to be more assertive or they won't take her seriously." Assertive??? If she was any more "assertive" I was afraid we were going to be banished from the venue in disgrace for taking a big bite out of somebody's sheep.

Don said Allie showed a lot of interest and had some good instincts, but needed training before he would turn her loose on stock. (No kidding. I kept imagining blood and gore everywhere.) Then there was the problem of his using the command "That'll do." She just didn't know what the heck that meant. She was used to "Leave it!, Allie, dam*&@# leave it!"

Please note the wildly twirling eyes as Allie gazes longingly at the sheep.
Al was like a whole different animal after her 10 minutes in the roundpen and for the rest of the time we were at Soldier Hollow kept trying to drag me back to the scene of the crime.

But seriously, it was a very exciting experience for both me and Allie. It was interesting to see those generations of Border Collie genes kick in and I was amazed at her desire to work those sheep. She really wasn't quite as terrible as the pictures or my commentary would suggest and she could be called off the sheep (once we straightened out the confusion over the commands).

Oh yeah, and Don's verdict on Allie -- she would probably make a "real nice little farm dog." :)

WBCR was treated very well by the organizers of Soldier Hollow and we got to camp in the vendor camping area which is below where the handlers and their dogs set up base. It was a great site, with a gorgeous view, a large covered pavillion and nice restrooms.  It was also a good place to exercise the 15+ dogs we had with us.
Cade and Wylie (fresh from a pull at the Spanish Fork shelter)
Our booth at the event was set up in the big canvas Intermountain Farmers Association tent (IFA is a major sponsor of SHSDT).  We had a lot of room and protection from the elements.  We got a lot of inquiries, answered a lot of questions and sold calendars and t-shirts.
On top of manning our very busy booth for the four days, we managed to squeeze in a shelter pull, two home visits (one for adoption, one for a potential foster home), an adoption (Trixie, who was mentioned above) and Tonya, WBCR's fearless leader, manning the phone non-stop trying to arrange a foster home and transport for 7 brand new BC puppies dumped in a Wyoming shelter (which is no mean feat, considering that these puppies didn't even have their eyes open and were going to have to be fed via eye dropper every three hours).  Whew!  Add all that to wrangling foster dogs and volunteer dogs at the venue, it's no wonder we were all exhausted.
The shelter pull was from the Spanish Fork, Utah shelter and we pulled four BCs (well, actually three BC/BCx and one little Aussie who was on the "E" list, so Tonya just couldn't leave him there). 
Just back from the shelter.
Spanish Fork dogs relishing their freedom.
Wylie and Bandito (Spanish Fork dogs) meet Rusty.
It was a whirlwind weekend and a lot of hard work, not to mention I saw only one run of the actual sheepdog competition, but it was fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  WBCR got some much needed exposure, I met some great people and we were able to help some dogs in need.  The whole thing was a big dog party back in camp most of the time, so Allie and Rusty loved it, too.  I'm looking forward to next year.
Colter (chief dog wrangler) and Molly, a WBCR foster dog, chillin' in camp.  :D

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Summer of Travels

It's been a very busy summer. L0ts of things going on, including a tw0-week camping trip with Allie & Rusty.

We spent the first night in City of Rocks in Idaho. It's a rock climber's paradise and pretty cool camping. Big rain storm that night, however, with lots of thunder, lightning, and wind. Allie spent the night curled up on a bed underneath the dining table in the trailer.

Another fun place that the dogs really liked was the Anaconda Sportsmen's Park near Anaconda, Montana. Right on the Big Hole River, the fishing is usually good and the dogs spent a lot of time swimming in the river.

("Oooh", Rusty says "That's a good spot".)

We spent a few days camping in Yellowstone. Saw a Grizzly by the side of the road.

One evening, while we were camping at Norris Geyser Basin Campground, we were just settling down to dinner and a lot of the dogs in the campground started to bark. Not just a little bark, but loud persistent barking. Then Rusty joined in. I turned about and there behind me was . . . . Sasquatch! Seriously.

I didn't get a picture, because to put it mildly we were a bit taken by surprise. There was this great big, 6 ft. 5 in. guy, in a Sasquatch suit. He waved and started running off through the campground. You could tell where he was he in campground by the dogs barking wildly and the screams. I don't know who he was, but it was actually a pretty good gag.

Another highlight was the Grand Tetons.

My next adventure will be the 2009 Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Trials. Western Border Collie Rescue is having a booth at the trial this year! It should be a great adventure.
So, if anyone is up in Heber City, Utah over the Labor Day weekend, be sure to stop by and say "hello".