Roll Over Beethoven
Oh Mickey, You're So Fine
Chaps' Stick
Sir Peabody and the Wayback Machine
Betsey Wetsy
A Girl Named Hank
Pound Puppy
Just a Stray?

From: John S. O'Neal and Beethoven

My friend, Katherine and I found Beethoven one day outside the house I was building. We had just gotten out of the truck and smelled something awful. Looking around we saw this brown dog about 20 feet away. We called to it and he crept up to within 6 feet of us then turned and ran away. We could see his neck was very infected. I went in and worked on the house for a while and when I came out there was that smell. And I could see a pile of maggots on the porch just outside the door. The next day Katherine came back and found him and took him to the vet. His collar was ingrown. Apparently since he was a small puppy. He was a year and a half old when we found him. They were going to put him to sleep but Katherine wanted him. They shaved him and cut off the dead skin and gave us lots of antibiotics to feed him.

The next day when we came for him, he recognized us right away and came running down the hall just like he'd always known us. He didn't know how to eat or drink water from a bowl. He picked up biscuits in his paws like a raccoon and ate. Whoever had him had just thrown him scraps to eat. Within a week he could heel, sit, jump on the couch and raise his left paw for his harness, and bat at the front door keys when he needed to go out. He has since learned to turn the keys. The door has to be blocked at all times. His fur has come back in and he's gained weight. He knows the names of most things in the house and loves to be picked up. He's not a full blooded BC, his coats a little short, but he has all the other traits. We're glad he found us.


From: Caroline Schusterick and Mickey
Knoxville, Tennessee

3 years ago I rescued one of the most wonderful Border Collies in the world! I was told by my mom, who has 3 BCs and was in the East Tennessee Stock Dog Association, that Stan Moore had a BC that he was going to do away with because it would not work on his farm. It was from a couple that got divorced and he bought the dog hoping that it would work for him. He did not work at all and since the theory of "you work for your food" existed on Stans farm, he did not eat, nor did he stay in a suitable kennel. When I got him, he was in a kennel that was about 5 feet long and 3 feet wide and was up off the ground about 4 feet. There was a small board that he could sit on, but the bottom of the cage was all wire. He could not walk when I got him home. I has already had a Golden Lab and another BC, so I thought he would fit right in. It didn't take long until he could run and run he does all the time.

He used to be afraid of men and being handled for care. He had definately been beaten and who knows what else. He now loves EVERYBODY (but the UPS man and the Garbage Man) and he even let me take a tick out of his head without having to chase him all over the back yard. We are working on the bath part still. He see the shampoo bottle and runs like wild fire. We have a fenced acre and 1/3 and he is endlessly running and playing with the newest member, our Rotwieller puppy. He loves that puppy like it was his own. During some cold weather when the water bucket was frozen I watched Mickey break the ice and then tip the bucket so the ice would come out so that the puppy could get to the water. He has also saved a bunny rabbit or two from Rufus the cat. He such a wonderful dog! Every time I here of someone looking for a dog, I tell them that they need a BC! Now that I know your Web Site is here, I will tell them about it. Rescuing Mickey was one of the best moves I have ever made! He brings so much joy to my other 3 dogs and also to my family.


From: Teresa, Ryan and Chaps
Dallas, TX

Everytime an adopt-a-pet was held at our local pet store, I checked out the dogs. One July Sunday afternoon I saw Chaps in a crate looking very reserved with his head down, eyes up, and ears back. No one was interested in him and he glad because it was humiliating for him to be in that crate with all those other dogs barking and trying to get attention. The information on his crate said "Chaps, 2 yr. old neutered male, Aussie/mix, good with children and cats, not good with other dogs." I asked if I could take him out. They put a leash on him and he came with me to the other side of the store away from all the people and dogs. Still holding his head down, I noticed he was watching my every movement and listened attentively to whatever I said. I knew there was something special about him so, I took him home.

The first few weeks, Chaps' was very destructive. When my son and I were at home he was fine, but as soon as we left, he'd go on a rampage and tear up my son's toys. I had no idea how to handle this. He also nipped and growled at everyone that came close to us, especially children. I had been told by my vet and others that he might have to be "put down" if his behavior didn't improve so I enrolled us in an obedience class my vet referred us to. Because our trainer had worked extensively with Border Collies, she realized almost immediately that Chaps was not an Aussie at all, but a Border Collie. The rescue shelter had mislabeled him because of his blue-merle color and blue eyes, but his tail was long and thick. Chaps was also very aggressive towards other dogs which was a problem in obedience school, so the trainer boarded him for 10 days while we went on vacation. During that time he learned to socialize with her Border Collies and with strangers and never destroyed a thing. When he was returned to us, we had to have lessons as well, but eventually we learned to communicate. All Chaps needed was a firm but loving hand and respect.

Chaps is now about 2 1/2 years old. I never gave up on him, but more importantly, he never gave up on me. He is so intelligent that all I have to do is point or use hand signals and he obeys. Instead of snarling and growling now, Chaps welcomes our visitors by gently placing his favorite toy in their laps. And, if he's unsure of someone, he stands between me and that person until he knows I have accepted them. I couldn't have gotten a better dog if I'd special ordered one.

I just want to tell anyone who is considering getting a dog, older is often times better and a rescue dog can make a wonderful companion because they want to be loved and treated with respect. They know what it's like to be on the street or be mistreated and seem to be more appreciative of discipline. Please, consider adopting an older dog, and if you're lucky enough to get a Border Collie of some kind, you are in for a real treat! I'd never consider having any other kind of dog.


From: Rachel Heaney and Sir Peabody

Last year my sister volunteered at our local town animal shelter. One day while she was cleaning out the pens of the puppies she heard a terrible scream coming from a corner pen. She raced toward the noice only to discover a brown full grown beagle grabing a very small boarder collie mix puppy by the neck and fligging it around. My sister grabed the puppy from the grip of the beggle and raced through the animal shelter to the vets office next door. She whole time the small puppy was screaming and crying. At that moment my mother has come to pick up my sister from work and walked in the office just as my sister raced in. Lucky the puppy was only scared and was not injured. My mom decided to adopt this small puppy since she could not bear to put it back in the animal shelter.

The puppy was given to me to take care of since I always wanted a puppy. We named him Sir Peabody {but we call him pebo} after a cartoon character since he is is white with 5 large black spots. He has brough enjoyment and compainship to myself and my family. He was become a local town star since we take him on walks everynight on our town streets. He is also friendly to everyone and loves children. This summer we entered him in our county's dog show and he was selected as the third best dog in all of Lincoln County. He beat over 30 dogs for this honor. Adopting a dog from our local animal shelter was the best thing we could have ever done. And we would not trade him for anything in the whole world.


From: Linda Cripps and Betsey Ann

One day in the middle of winter, I went out with my people in the car for a long ride. When they opened the door, I dashed out, but nobody came out with me. When I turned around to see where they had got to, the car was already long way off. I went after them but I soon got more and more lost. I kept on walking and going because I knew that no matter what I was going to find a way home. Then I met the man in the blue jogging suit, and he patted me on the head and said "nice doggie" and went on jogging. I watched him go, but later that day I encountered his scent in another place and decided to follow it. It led to a stone porch in front of a wood house. I was so tired I curled up in a ball in the corner, and went to sleep.

There were other people who I wasn't sure wanted me to stay there, so I had to watch them carefully as they went in and out. The old man was sort of grumpy but he did bring me some food. Later that night, he brought a funny red light out to the porch that gave off an awful lot of heat, so I had to move all the way over to the other side to stay properly cool. The next few days are sort of a blur, I did nothing but sleep, eat, and make the poo-things. Although the old man didn't seem to be very excited about it at first, they never made me leave. This is how I came to live with Hairry [the old man], Jene [the old lady], & Chris [the man in the blue jogging suit] who only lives there a few days a month.

There was plenty of land here at my new home, but they didn't have any work for me to do, so I kept myself busy - evicting the mice that lived under the porch, keeping the squirrels away, re-terracing the front yard and organizing all of the nice smelly socks in the house. One day, I was off in the wooded valley and found a little tan creature with speckled white spots and long legs hiding under the bushes. I knew instantly what to do, you get them up and moving and bring them back to the house, stare at them, bark at them, but get them to move. This little sheep-thing was very slow and not very steady on its feet but I got it herded all the way back to the yard, where I met Winna [who moved in later] who fell down on the grass laughing, and then in that thick-headed way humans are sometimes, she took it back to the woods !

I have plenty of room to run, but BTW humans aren't the best of running companions, even the best of them can only manage 10-12 miles a day. Some things the humans have made are brilliant - red velvet wing chairs, and the places you drive up to the window when out riding in the Jeep and the hamburgers come right in the window. Or the day that comes around every winter, when we all sit around and get to unwrap packages, I can do it the fastest of course. Other things, no matter how hard I stare at them, they can't get right - like making the poo-things in all of the lovely porcelain bowls of water they have parked in several rooms in the house. Or the things that make no sense at all, like those noisy shoes Winna wears at times, and her feet go all crazy; I have to put my paw down, and nip at her ankles to get her to stop. Or that they work so hard at washing the most interesting smells out of the house; they certainly don't appreciate the exquisite aroma of some good fox scat, when I'm lucky enough to find some.

Now I know that this valley is my home, and I will never have to leave. { If I could fix everything, I would trade the useless cat-things for some sheep, however}

Thank you for listening to my story.

From: S.M. Ridley and Hank

Hank is our charity case. She (yes, her name is Hank) is a semi-rough coated black and white 3 year old. My wife went the to local SPCA in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada with her father to look for a dog for him (his previous dog had died of old age a few months previously). In a cage adjacent to some puppies that Ken was looking at was Hank. She was underweight and had been at the dog shelter for over 3 weeks (apparently a stray) and according the the workers, she was scheduled for euthanasia the next morning. Now this was at 6:50 PM in the evening and the shelter closes at 7:00 PM. There was absolutely no hope for Hank, her hours were numbered. My wife has a soft heart for animals and when Hank looked at her with those big brown (and sad) eyes and wagged her tail it was too much for Myrna. She said that she would take Hank and would pick her up in the morning.

When Myrna arrived at the shelter the next morning, the only dogs in the shelter were a few puppies and Hank - the rest had been euthanized. We already had a BC cross so Hank was to be my dog. Within 6 weeks of bring her home, Hank had completed her beginner class in obedience. She started obedience classes 5 weeks behind the other dogs and by the 10th and final lesson (her 5th lesson) she graduated at the top of her class with 198 out of a possible 200 points. We are now trying our hand at Agility which she seems to like a great deal, however, her first love is the Frisbee. When we got her she did not know how to catch the Frisbee or retrieve a ball and now she is typical Border Collie neurotic, willing to go all day.

She has been a wonderful addition to our family. Her first Agility trial will be in the Spring of '98.

From: and Kelsey

My terrier mix had just died and I was looking for a dog that did not look or seem anything like her, because I did not want a replacement but a new member of the family. Also not wanted was a puppy... been there, done that. An adult dog was preferable. Unfortunately, not much of that worked out. She was a puppy of 5 months age who just happened to be in the adult cage section instead of the puppy area. She had been given up for apparently antagonizing the neighbor's cows, barking constantly, etc. She had this pout about her that interested me. I took her home and on her first days home she was confined to the kitchen where she picked up the smells she enjoys the most, food, and because I like to cook this kept her close to me. It was a quiet environment, and thus, I slowly moved her into the rest of the house. She constantly chased me around the house nipping at my feet and I quickly put an end to that by distracting her with rawhides. This behavior has never returned. I knew nothing about Border Collies as a whole, but generally speaking, I knew that dogs need exercise, lots of attention, etc. and I just conducted myself the same way with her as I have with my other dogs and it has really worked well. Even though I was a one-dog person, I did extend the family to include a terrier mutt in need of a home and Kelsey became the perfect mom. With this new adult dog being in really bad shape Kelsey really worked diligently with me in getting her into shape as part of the family and now, Kelsey has her best friend for company and I have my best friends when I get home.

From: Grace Saalsaa and KC

Always having had a very soft spot in my heart for animals, especially my Border Collie, I decided that I would like to have another one. At first my husband was opposed to the idea. Not because he didn't want one, but because he loves our female so much he didn't know if he could divide up his love between two dogs.

Then I found THIS site: dedicated and devoted to the very special Border Collies! The amount of extremely helpful information has made me laugh, cry, commiserate, and love my Border Collie even more. After numerous communications, we ended up making the nine hour drive from Wisconsin - to pick up KC. The moment he saw my husband, KC threw himself into his lap as though to say "this is MY human."

KC was a stray. Somehow he had become separated from his owners, ended up in the animal shelter and then in a Border Collie foster home. Although efforts had been made to find his owners, nobody claimed him. He had been neutered. Somebody cared enough about him then. But where were they now?

He was much too thin, with every bone visible even after three good weeks in the foster home and although they had spent many hours brushing him out, his fur still looked dead and dull. He was happy but tired quickly. Feeling his legs, they lacked muscle - as though he had perhaps spent a great deal of time confined. But his spirit was much larger than his little skinny frame and he instantly wrapped himself around our hearts. We ignored the comments from certain family and friends who thought it was extreme to "drive all that way just to get a pathetic-looking stray."

About the fourth day we began to notice that he shuffled his hind feet when he walked. And soon we heard a distinct popping sound coming from his right hip. I called the vet, had his hips x-rayed and learned that he had severe hip dysplasia. Could it be his owners knew that and dumped him? He had no right socket; merely a dimple as to where that socket should have been. His left hip was very bad too. My husband called the Border Collie rescuer to tell them about KC's hips. They were alarmed and deeply dismayed to learn of KC's problem. They loved him too. Because KC had been such a mellow dog, nobody had noticed the slight shuffle and the popping sound just suddenly started. They offered to refund our money, to take KC back and to find us another dog. But we knew in our hearts that nobody would ever want to adopt a stray with such terrible hips. It would be an immediate expense - and there were others out there that were healthy and whole; that needed a home just as much as KC did.

We decided to keep him. We spent hours brushing out the dead fur, encouraged him to eat more than 1/2 cup of food a day (now he eats 2 full cups) and worked on building up his strength. We discussed ways of helping him deal with his pain. Friends and family suggested we "put him out of his misery" because, after all, he's "just a stray." My husband was in as much pain as KC, having sleepless nights as he wrestled with the thought that perhaps the family and friends were right. Put him out of his misery. He's just a stray. You can get another. I ended my husband's misery with this:

Yes, the little guy has a serious hip problem. But no, we are not putting him out of his misery. We are going to help him. We didn't drive nine hours out and then back again to kill the dog. My idea of rescuing a dog, with a fixable problem, is not killing him - especially when we haven't checked into all the possibilities of fixing the hip. As for KC being "just a stray"? No. He is not a stray. He is OUR dog! And if we have to take out a loan to get his hip fixed, then that's what we will do! If KC had been an child, and it was legal, we wouldn't put the child out of his misery for having the same hip problems. And surgery for hip dysplasia in a human is 10 times more expensive than for a dog! KC will have hip surgery.

That very afternoon, after we had decided to take out a loan, we received an envelope in the mail informing us that a relative who had died 7 years ago had left us an inheritance. It was enough money to cover the cost of repairing both of KC's hips. An omen.

Today, three months later and a full week after the total hip replacement, KC is all ready pain free, with sleek, rich black fur (except where the surgery was performed) and full of himself! By January, when he allowed to run freely, he is going to be a handful and we may find ourselves remembering the days when he quietly shuffled about the house. We remember those big brown eyes imploring us to help him get rid of the pain.

Just a stray? No.


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